Tag Archives: allergies

Helping Your Horse Deal With Stress

Stresses such as chronic pain, long-distance travel, or environmental changes can compromise the immunity of your horse. . Allergies, heaves, thrush, insect bite reactions, and hives all can reflect a struggling immune system, as can the more obvious signs of respiratory disease.

Healthy, well-managed pastures supply your horse with many important nutrients, including vitamins E, A (as beta carotene), and C. Grasses are also high in omega-3 fatty acids in the proper proportion to omega-6s. And if a variety of grasses and clover grow in your pasture, you can expect the protein quality to be good.

While free access to pasture often provides most of the nutrients your horse requires to remain healthy, many horses rely on hay as their main forage source.  Hay loses some of its vitamins and omega-3s in storage, so horses consuming only hay for prolonged periods of time (more than three or four months without fresh pasture) might require additional feed supplementation. If your horse exhibits signs of suppressed immune function (e.g., signs of respiratory infections including a runny nose, coughing, and fever; recurrent thrush; bacterial infections; fever; allergic reactions; and general malaise), it’s time to boost his diet’s nutrient content. One of the immune products I use (going on 12 years with spectacular results) is Transfer Factor. You can read more about it on my blog.

Your horse might also need Vitamin E to fill nutritional gaps and maintain a healthy immune system:

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect against disease by neutralizing the damaging free radicals (unstable molecules with an unpaired electron that pull electrons from other molecules) that mental and physical stress produce.

Vitamin A and C are also important for immune function. Vitamin C has been shown to be an effective supplement in reducing the effects of stressful travel.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation as well as allergic inflammatory response in other species. Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Equine Research Centre found evidence that the fatty acid source flax seed can potentially reduce the allergic inflammatory response in horses susceptible to biting midges. Omega-6 fatty acids can exacerbate inflammatory responses if fed in large amounts, but omega-3s do just the opposite–they help inflammation subside. I keep a coffee grinder in the barn to grind flax seed fresh daily.

Spirulina Blue/green algae reportedly reduces allergy signs and improves respiratory function in animals.

Massage is another way to reduce stress in the performance horse. At horse shows, sports massage can make the difference between a nervous, uptight horse and a relaxed happy performer.


Natural Cures With Black Seed

I’ve been nursing my 14 year old Jack Russell Terrier grand dog after a stay in the hospital for a serious case of pancreatitis. A horse client suggest I join the yahoo support group and it has provided me with an abundance of new and interesting information. Have you heard of Black Seed? I hadn’t until now, but will be reading more and sharing:

Black seed is a plant. People have used the seed to make medicine for over 2000 years. It was even discovered in the tomb of King Tut.

Historically, black seed has been used for headache, toothache, nasal congestion, and intestinal worms. It has also been used for “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), pockets of infection (abscesses), and parasites.

Today, black seed is used for treating digestive tract conditions including gas, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, and hemorrhoids. It is also used for respiratory conditions including asthma, allergies, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, flu, swine flu, and congestion.

Other uses include lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, treating cancer, and boosting the immune system. You may read that a patent has been issued to cover the use of black seed to improve immunity, but don’t be misled. The presence of a patent doesn’t mean black seed has been shown to be effective for this use.

Women use black seed for birth control, to start menstruation, and to increase milk flow.

Black seed is sometimes used in combination with cysteine, vitamin E, and saffron to ease the side effects of a chemotherapy drug called cisplatin.

Some people apply black seed directly to the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), headache, and certain skin conditions.

In foods, black seed is used as a flavoring or spice.

How does it work?

There is some scientific evidence to suggest that black seed might help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine, but there isn’t enough information in humans yet.

Scientific studies have shown that the administration of black seeds have a beneficial effect against pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal forms of cancer. Chronic pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is often a precursor to the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. A study performed by the Department of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania revealed that a chemical present in black seeds decreased inflammation of the pancreas which inhibited the production of pancreatic cancer cells. The chemical responsible for these protective properties is thymoquinone. Thymoquinone is one of the chemicals in black seeds that is responsible for the antioxidant benefits of black seeds.

Your Animals and Transfer Factor

Dr. Will Falconer, DVM – “Most of the chronic diseases we commonly see in animals (and humans) have an immune basis. Diseases such as diabetes, allergies, asthma, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, repeated ear infections, cancer all stem from an immune system not fully functioning. While they can be cured through the careful use of homeopathy, the road to cure can be a long one — often years if the animal has had years of disease. Transfer factors can significantly shorten the course, by giving a much needed balancing effect to the immune system. If the immune system is overactive as in allergies, ear infections, asthma, diabetes, or hypothyroidism, transfer factors can balance this over activity so the system is not attacking its own organs, overreacting to things that shouldn’t be perceived as a threat. If, conversely, the immune system is under-active as in mange, parasites, viral infections, or cancer, transfer factors can clearly stimulate it to better meet the challenges it needs to be alert to.”

Dr. Steven Slagle, DVM, Davis, Ca – “A cat with Leukemia, an oral tumor, and posterior paralysis due to a spinal tumor was very ill and emaciated. One month after starting her on transfer factors (human formula) at 1 capsule per day, there was some regression of the oral tumor, restored appetite with some weight gain, and increased sociability. Five months later, this cat continues to improve – she regained her normal weight, her oral tumor has regressed 80%, and she has regained the use of her hind legs and tail.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many veterinarians recommend the human transfer factors formulas, instead of the canine and feline formulas for their sick animals. In the below testimonials, the veterinarians, medical doctor and pet owner used the human transfer factors formulas, to treat their animals. Dr. Slagle (above) used the human formula to treat the leukemia, paralyzed cat. The human formulas comes in a small capsule and it is easier to give a sick animal who doesn’t want to eat. It is easy to shove the capsule into the throat, or empty the content into the pet’s food. Some people mix the powder with a little water and squirt it into the animal’s throat with an ear syringe.

Simply stated, transfer factors are tiny molecules that are able to convey immunity information from one entity to another to educate naïve cells about a present or potential danger along with a plan for action. Although the mostly notable function of these smart molecules is to speed up the recognition phase of an infection making the duration of an illness much shorter, transfer factors also have the ability to suppress an over active immune system.Transfer factors have the ability to balance out the function of your immune system, whether it needs to increase in function or be reduced in the case of auto-immune disorders.

Richard H. Bennett, Ph.D – “For decades, the approach to maintaining healthy animals was to wait for signs and symptoms of disease to occur and to counter the challenge with an array of drugs which were toxic for the disease causing agent. This approach is now being questioned as the armada of drugs is diminishing due to multiple drug resistant pathogens. Compounding this alarming trend is the current approach to health maintenance which assumes that “all is well” until actual disease processes begin. By this time, the disease is established, sometimes irreversibly, and the damage has occurred. So the questions arises…What if a new paradigm existed? Could it be possible to optimize the immune status of animals so that (1) disease is much less likely to occur and (2) if disease does occur, it’s severity and duration is minimized? The answer is YES and this paradigm shift is being engineered by small, naturally occurring protein-like molecules called TRANSFER FACTORS.” Dr. Richard Bennett holds a doctorate in Comparative Pathology from the University of California, Davis. His work in this area includes basic and applied research in infectious disease microbiology and immunology.

Dr. Sam Jones, DVM – “Transfer factors has been a remarkable addition to my veterinary practice. It is an amazing immune booster that provides support for so many conditions that animals have. ”

To order, see my “I Recommend” sidebar on the right.

Some Healing Herbs

Whenever possible, I like to avoid products with toxic ingredients. In life and death situations, I gladly go for the heavy artillery, but for less urgent ailments, I try homeopathic or herbal treatments. I’m trying to keep this post from being 50 pages, so please leave me a message if you need more detailed information.

I discuss Aloe Vera and Arnica (Traumeel) in other posts. Here are a few more that I’ve used successfully:

Chamomile: anti-inflammatory, pain reducing, can be added dry to the horses’ feed.Good for skin allergies when applied as a rinse.

Cat’s Claw: I have not used this, but have read anecdotes about using it to stimulate the immune system when treating cancer. Not to be given to nursing mares.

Comfrey: used to treat bruises and assist in bone healing. Can be taken internally or applied externally.

Dandelion: for digestive disorders feed a few handfuls of fresh dandelion leaves daily.

Echinaea: for skin conditions. Also increases white blood cell production, so useful for infections.

Eyebright: I have used this on myself for pink eye. Very effective for horses as an eyewash or compress.

Fenugreek: Appetite stimulant. High in iron.

Garlic: promotes sweating. Has some antibiotic properties, especially for respiratory infections.

Kelp: contains iodine, sodium, potassium. Supports the thyroid.

Licorice: Not to be given to pregnant mares. Good for cough.

Nettles:for asthma, and bronchial problems. Stimulates circulation so is used for navicular, laminitis.

Slippery Elm: for colic, diarrhea. Used for foals with diarrhea mixed in yogurt. Can also be made into a poultice for wounds and infections.

Valerian: calms the nervous system. Relieves gas and constipation.

Yucca: for arthritis.

Witch Hazel: Great for insect bites and burns. Controls bleeding so keep this on hand for minor injuries.


Transfer Factor Gave Me My Life Back

I suffered from severe asthma for 15 years. I went to a specialist, who declared that I was allergic to Life (dogs, cats, horses, trees, mold, mildew, dust, grass, and on and on.) I got 4 allergy shots a week, but still had 6 different inhalers that I had to use. I felt terrible from coughing, shortness of breath, and the steroids in the inhalers. In 2002 I met a small animal vet named Dr. Ken Hansen. He heard me coughing and said “You should try this (Transfer Factor). It can’t hurt.” With those few words, my life changed. Within two weeks I was off all my inhalers. I stopped the allergy shots. I take my TF religiously, and have not had an asthma attack in almost 11 years. I rarely get sick, and if I feel that I might be coming down with something, I take a few extra Transfer Factor (there is no toxic dose) and I feel better within hours. I have taken no antibiotics or any other prescription medicine since I have been taking TF.  This wonderful supplement has been used successfully to treat:

viral disease, fungal disease, parasitic disease, autoimmune disease, neurological disease, mycobacterial disease,bacterial disease, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and too many other conditions to list.

You can easily order by clicking on the link to the right of this column.

I never get tired of sharing my story and all the other success stories I’ve heard in the years I’ve been enjoying such good health. Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have, and I will do my best to answer them.

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