Lameness can be a difficult issue to pinpoint in horses, but the veterinarians at Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) in Wellington, FL, can help with an overall examination of the horse that includes a full body review. Lameness is not always caused by issues in the legs or hooves; with increasing frequency, the horse’s neck is being diagnosed as the root of the issue. Thanks to the incredible diagnostic imaging suite at PBEC, veterinarians can get a clearer look at all equine body parts to diagnose and treat lameness.

The Anatomy of the Equine Neck and What Can Go Wrong

The equine neck is composed of seven cervical vertebrae running from the head to the thorax, named C1 through C7, and each articulating with the other. The primary purposes of the neck are to move the head and to protect and transport the spinal cord and nerves, which run through the middle of the vertebrae.

Such a major role as the protection of the nerves and spinal cord can also come with some major risks and complications, with clinical signs of these problems generally presenting themselves either neurologically, as neck pain, or as lameness in the front legs. These more specific symptoms may include ataxia/clumsiness, which is generally an indicator of a neurological condition or damage to the spinal cord itself, caused by either developmental issues, trauma, or an infectious disease such as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM).

Issues such as nerve impingement from the spinal cord, arthritis of the articular facet joints of the vertebrae, neck trauma, or inflammatory diseases can easily translate to lameness in the forelimbs.

Diagnosing the Problem

Neck problems, particularly those related to lameness, are generally diagnosed through a process of exclusion, first performing nerve blocks to or ruling out lower regions of the horse’s body. Palpation of the neck, testing of the neck’s movement, and full neurological exams may also be performed in addition to a full lameness exam, depending on the horse’s symptoms.

Once other regions of the horse are ruled out as the location of the problem, veterinarians can use PBEC’s other imaging modalities, including radiographs, ultrasound, MRI, and nuclear scintigraphy, to get a clear picture of what’s wrong, make a precise surgical plan if needed, and design comprehensive treatment plans. PBEC is the only facility in South Florida with a Canon Aquilion LB Exceed CT scanner, and it is available for referring veterinarians. PBEC’s new CT scanner makes that process easier, faster, and more precise.

The new CT scanner at PBEC is able to show elements such as soft tissue detail that are not detectable on routine imaging modalities. In addition, the Canon Aquilion LB Exceed CT scanner helps veterinarians examine areas of the equine body that were previously difficult or impossible to see, such as the pelvis, sacroiliac, hip joints, stifles, entire limbs, and the neck.
“The neck is a really difficult area to image,” Dr. Karen Beste, a board-certified surgeon at PBEC and the head of the imaging team. “Routine radiographs don’t provide 3D detail. We can add contrast for myelograms, which allows us to look for dynamic compressions in the spine. We can see detailed changes that may impact a horse’s ability to perform and be a safe horse to ride. The new CT scanner allows us to get full neck CTs, all the way to thoracic vertebrae, even on really large horses. Additionally, because the acquisition times of images are so fast, horses are under general anesthesia for a very short time, which is better for any horse but particularly for a neurologic horse.”

While PBEC’s Canon Aquilion LB Exceed CT scanner has incredible technology, it’s nothing without the experts that manage the scanning process and those that read and interpret the scans, including board-certified radiologists Dr. Sarah Puchalski and Dr. Stacie Aarsvold, who look at every scan.

Treatment

Once a solid diagnosis is reached, the proper treatment protocols can be prescribed. Depending on the root of the problem, possible treatments may include shockwave therapy, regenerative therapies such as interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP) therapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, or one of the most common treatments, injections of the facet joints.

In the case of facet joint injections, veterinarians at PBEC can medicate under ultrasound guidance, guiding a needle into the joints and delivering corticosteroids or similar medication. Surgery is also an option as a final approach to severe complications.

In milder cases, treatments may also simply call for increased time off, chiropractic treatments, or the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications.

If you suspect any issues with your horse’s neck, contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic any time by calling 561-793-1599 to schedule an appointment.

By Amanda Picciotto Feitosa / Jump Media

Horses can injure themselves when you least expect it – sometimes even when they are not being exercised. That was the case for amateur rider Kelly Berry, who is based in Georgia, and her 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Sunny. Unfortunately, Sunny suffered a lateral collateral ligament injury in the pasture, necessitating eight months of rest. Berry thought they had done everything necessary to help Sunny return to shining form, but after coming back into work, Sunny was not able to stay consistently sound for longer than a month or two at a time.

After trying various treatment strategies, it seemed like Berry was running out of options. Still, she was determined to help Sunny regain his show hunter career. Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist Dr. Fernando J. Marqués, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ACVSMR, of Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) in Wellington, FL, was called upon to provide a consult. He used x-rays and ultrasound to investigate the source of the problem and followed up with nerve blocks to confirm his diagnosis.

“When Dr. Marqués met Sunny, the exam was very comprehensive,” recalled Berry. “He spent a great deal of time with Sunny watching him and talking me through the process of what he was seeing.”

“I saw from the imaging that Sunny had significant pronounced osteoarthritis on the distal interphalangeal joints in both front legs,” explained Dr. Marqués. “I then followed up with nerve blocks because sometimes you find pathologies on imaging, but that might not be what the problem is. It might seem clear, but sometimes you can be amazed that what you see on ultrasound or x-ray is not what is causing the issue at the moment. We had to make sure we knew exactly where the problem was coming from and get a more accurate diagnosis before moving forward.”

Once Dr. Marqués was satisfied with his findings, he came up with a treatment plan for Sunny. First, he provided intra-articular therapy (joint injections) to Sunny’s coffins and navicular bursae. Then, he proceeded with meso-therapy, which involves using small needles to inject the mesoderm level of the skin with products to help with the relaxation and pain relief of the muscles. Finally, Dr. Marqués discussed therapeutic farriery with both Berry and her farrier to better balance Sunny’s feet in order to optimally support his body in work.

“We needed to be sure to treat all the factors,” shared Dr. Marqués of Sunny’s recovery plan. “You have to take care of the joint problem, the muscular problem, and put the forces in the feet the way they should be. That way, when the horse receives forces from the ground up, those forces are evenly distributed and they don’t induce further damage in the joints.

“A good veterinarian and farrier relationship is key in these cases as well,” he continued. “We need to have good communication and good teamwork. I spoke with Kelly’s farrier and discussed the principles that we wanted to achieve. When working with any farrier, I might suggest something, but then I hear what the farrier has to say because they know their job. After that, we come up with the final plan together.”

Following treatment, Sunny started back on the road to recovery. Within two weeks he had returned to work under saddle, but he still needed time to build up muscle strength and tendon strength. Little by little, he continued to progress.


“Sunny was on the brink of retirement as we felt like we had exhausted all options, and Dr. Marqués was my last hope,” expressed Berry. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried that his treatment plan wouldn’t work, but Dr. Marqués was with me through the entire process and instilled a lot of confidence in me.”

Berry and Sunny have since returned to the show ring, bringing home numerous ribbons and continuing to enjoy their hunter conquests together. 

“I am forever grateful for Dr. Marqués,” said Berry. “He has given me my horse back, and we have made memories that would never have been possible without him! I feel so lucky to have Dr. Marqués on my team and to call him our veterinarian.”

If you or your veterinarian would like to learn more about Palm Beach Equine Clinic and how it can help your horse, make an appointment at 561-793-1599 or learn more at www.EquineClinic.com

Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) offers innovative equine reproduction techniques in its breeding and fertility services led by board-certified Equine Reproductive Specialist Dr. Justin McNaughten and Dr. Robert Smith to increase the probability of a successful pregnancy. A leader in equine veterinary care, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, located in Wellington, FL, can provide reproductive services at both its equine hospital and in private barn settings.

Dr. Justin McNaughten of Palm Beach Equine Clinic examines a foal.
Dr. Justin McNaughten of Palm Beach Equine Clinic examines a foal.

What Is Offered?

Transvaginal Oocyte Aspiration (TVA) for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

ICSI has become an invaluable tool for overcoming fertility issues in sub-fertile mares and stallions. The combination of TVA and ICSI procedures has gained traction and become popular within the sport horse community.

Benefits:

  • Produce offspring with limited interruption to the mare’s training and competition schedule by transferring embryos to the uterus of a recipient mare or frozen for future use.
  • On the stallion side, ICSI can also maximize limited reserves of frozen semen because only a single sperm cell is selected and injected. 
  • PBEC is one of the only facilities in South Florida to accept stallions for sex-sorted semen collections. Stallion owners are now able to choose the future sex of the foal by utilizing frozen ICSI doses of semen. 
A microscope image showing oocytes following a TVA procedure at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

Stallion Services

The care of stallions at PBEC is conducted by competent horse handlers. Proper management throughout the process can significantly improve fertility.

Benefits:

  • A covered breeding shed with a hydraulic phantom mare and training offered to stallions for its use
  • A Computer Assisted Sperm Analyzer to provide thorough evaluation and quality control of a stallion’s sperm
  • Stallion breeding soundness exam and management
  • Treatment of stallion infertility
  • Semen collection and evaluation
  • Semen freezing, processing storage, and shipping
  • Reproductive pre-purchase exams
  • Semen collection and freezing from castrated or deceased stallions
PBEC's covered breeding shed provides a hydraulic phantom mare for stallion breeding.
PBEC’s covered breeding shed provides a hydraulic phantom mare for stallion breeding.

Mare Services

There are many factors involved in proper management of mares regarding reproduction and fertility, and PBEC veterinarians are there every step of the way to keep your mare comfortable and prepared.

Benefits:

  • Mare breeding soundness exam and management
  • Uterine culture, cytology, biopsy, and hysteroscopy
  • Artificial insemination with fresh, chilled or frozen semen
  • Problem mare breeding and infertility evaluations
  • Treatment of mare infertility
  • Pregnancy diagnosis and management
  • High risk pregnancy management
  • Parturition management
  • Post-partum management
  • Collecting ova from a deceased mare
PBEC can manage your mare through the breeding and reproduction process.

The Reproduction and Fertility team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic is ready to leverage its expert care and advanced practices to produce the talent of the future. To learn more about the routine and advanced reproductive services offered this season, contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599 or visit www.EquineClinic.com.

As Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s newly appointed Hospital Manager, Sarah Panico brings her love of horses and her past experiences of riding, competing, barn, and show management to PBEC. An avid horse lover since the age of seven, Panico became a working student as a young adult until she almost left the industry when she was 19.

“I was looking to change jobs and do something entirely different,” explained Panico. “My mom saw a job application for the hospital technician position at Palm Beach Equine Clinic on social media. I wasn’t going to apply for it, but she convinced me, and I’m forever grateful for that.”

When she joined the team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic, located in Wellington, FL, Panico thought she wanted to become a veterinarian. However, she changed her mind after discovering her true passion while working as a veterinarian technician. She found that she enjoyed the hands-on role of being a hospital technician, which involved following treatment plans and taking care of the horses in the clinic’s care. Critical cases were especially appealing to her as she enjoyed the concentrated care each case required.

“When I first started working here, I thought I had a decent amount of knowledge about horses and their care,” commented Panico. “But working with the team of Veterinarians at PBEC, it has given me the opportunity to gain a wider variety of knowledge and experience. It inspires me to keep learning and growing. The Palm Beach Equine veterinarians thoroughly enjoy teaching just as much as you enjoy learning from them.”

Panico’s day-to-day tasks as Hospital Manager are much more extensive than when she was a hospital technician. Her job responsibilities involve overseeing the hospital, managing patients, training employees, and managing critical cases. She also updates and schedules the patients’ treatment plans, assists in prepping patients for surgery, coordinates admitting/discharging patients, and assists the doctors with procedures, morning rounds, and assessments.

Nine years later, Panico still enjoys coming to work every day. She loves taking care of her patients and being a part of their recovery process. She also credits her team and co-workers with making the management aspect of her role something she enjoys as well.

“We have a great team of dedicated people here,” said Panico.

When veterinarians work to diagnose illness or injury in a horse, they must rely on their knowledge, problem-solving skills, and the resources available to them. At Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), a new 2024 Canon Aquilion LB Exceed Dual Energy Computed Tomography (CT) scanner is making that process easier, faster, and more precise. Along with PBEC’s other imaging modalities, including radiographs, ultrasound, MRI, and nuclear scintigraphy, veterinarians can get a clear picture of what’s wrong, make a precise surgical plan if needed, and design comprehensive treatment plans. PBEC is the only facility in South Florida with a Canon Aquilion LB Exceed CT scanner, and it is available for referring veterinarians.

“It can be a life-saving technology,” said Dr. Karen Beste, a board-certified surgeon at PBEC and the head of the imaging team. “It can change outcomes for horses. In its first month of use, the new Canon CT scanner has already told us that a horse didn’t have the fractured leg that we initially thought. We were able to take the horse directly into surgery and save its life.”

The new CT scanner at PBEC is able to show detail that is not detectable on routine imaging modalities, providing soft tissue detail. In addition, it can help veterinarians scan areas of the equine body that were previously difficult or impossible to see, such as the pelvis, sacroiliac, hip joints, stifles, entire limbs, and the neck.

“The neck is a really difficult area to image,” said Dr. Beste. “Routine radiographs don’t provide 3D detail. We can add contrast for myelograms, which allows us to look for dynamic compressions in the spine. We can see detailed changes that may impact a horse’s ability to perform and be a safe horse to ride. We are able to get full neck CTs, all the way to thoracic vertebrae, even on really large horses. Because acquisition times of images are so fast, horses are under general anesthesia for a very short time, which is better for any horse but particularly for a neurologic horse.”

While PBEC’s Canon Aquilion LB Exceed CT scanner has incredible technology, it’s nothing without the experts to manage the scanning and read the scans, which include board-certified radiologists Dr. Sarah Puchalski and Dr. Stacie Aarsvold, who look at every scan.

“Images are viewed by world-renowned radiologists the moment we get them,” noted Dr. Beste. “The whole imaging team is well trained and has so much experience. In addition to that, some of the best surgeons in South Florida can be present during the scan. If needed, horses can be taken directly from the CT into surgery, where CT-guided surgeries are performed. It is especially helpful if a horse is already under general anesthesia because they can go right into surgery in one anesthetic episode. The CT can make a surgical approach more precise, and the surgeon is able to perform it more quickly. The surgeon knows exactly what they need to do and doesn’t have any guesswork.”

If you or your veterinarian would like to take the guesswork out of diagnosing your horse, reach out to the PBEC team today to learn more or make an appointment for a scan at 561-793-1599.

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach Equine Clinic is thrilled to announce the addition of a 2024 Canon Aquilion LB Exceed Dual Energy Computed Tomography (CT) scanner to its lineup of modern medical imaging modalities. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is currently the only facility in South Florida with a Canon Aquilion LB Exceed CT scanner, which is six times faster than other CT capabilities.

With increased speed, there is less motion and consequently a sharper and more accurate image. This specific CT scanner is also equipped with Dual Energy, which permits Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians to visualize subchondral bone injury and edema. This CT scanner is also supplied with artificial intelligence to maximize the quality of the image.

“There is no other CT in South Florida that can compete with the quality of the images produced by our scanner,” stated Dr. Scott Swerdlin, President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. “Our hospital takes enormous pride in being the foremost world-class facility equipped with the industry’s most advanced technology for the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of your valued sport horse.”

CT technology utilizes electron beams to digitally identify structures on multiple planes, from multiple angles, allowing veterinarians to examine structures, such as the skull, spine, and distal limbs, on an intricate level.

The Canon Aquilion LB Exceed Dual Energy CT scanner combines extremely detailed image quality with the versatility needed for advanced veterinary medicine. The technology of this CT scanner allows remarkable imaging of bone and soft tissue structures at the highest resolution. The entire scanning unit of the Canon Aquilion LB Exceed Dual Energy CT sits on a gantry, which moves in all directions around the patient. The system can be elevated to scan the head and neck or lowered to scan the distal limbs of a standing horse. The CT scanner’s large bore, or opening of the CT scanner, size of 90cm allowed Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians to produce a CT image of an equine pelvis for the first time.

“We are very excited to bring this world-class technology to Wellington and provide an incomparable service to horse owners in the area,” said Dr. Swerdlin. “Our new Canon Aquilion LB Exceed Dual Energy CT scanner will allow us to more accurately diagnose injuries in every part of a horse’s body, while also making the process easy and extremely quick, literally in a matter of seconds. The imaging team consists of a talented group of imaging-specific technicians as well as veterinarians which include Board-Certified Radiologists Drs. Sarah Puchalski and Stacie Aarsvold. Our imaging team is headed by Dr. Karen Beste, Board-Certified Surgeon, who will coordinate and communicate with all referring veterinarians.”

The modern medical imaging modalities at Palm Beach Equine Clinic, including CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), digital radiographs, and nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan), permit veterinarians to make a timely diagnosis and are available for all equine patients, even if their primary veterinarian is not at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

“I would like to personally extend an invitation to all Wellington veterinarians to visit Palm Beach Equine Clinic to learn more about what the Canon Aquilion LB Exceed Dual Energy CT scanner has to offer in their practice,” concluded Dr. Swerdlin.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic has provided the highest quality of equine health care for more than 40 years. With cutting-edge technology and great compassion for the horses, Palm Beach Equine Clinic is committed to providing exceptional service for both patients and owners. For more information on what Palm Beach Equine Clinic has to offer, visit www.EquineClinic.com, or call 561-793-1599.

All photos courtesy of Palm Beach Equine Clinic 

About Palm Beach Equine Clinic
Palm Beach Equine Clinic is a full-service medical facility offering care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Equipped with a surgical center, advanced diagnostic imaging units, laboratory, pharmacy, reproductive station and breeding shed, recovery stalls, and isolation unit, Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the necessary tools for diagnosing and treating a variety of cases. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is ideally based in the international hub of elite equestrian competition, Wellington, Florida, and is within riding distance of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Global Dressage Festival, and National Polo Center. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to care for all horses, whether they are an Olympic-level athlete, trusted show pony, or reliable trail horse.

Dr. Santiago Demierre has been an integral part of the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team of veterinarians for the past 10 years. Dr. Demierre primarily focuses on equine performance medicine and is passionate about the prevention and treatment of lameness in sport horses. Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Demierre’s backgroundand his role at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

Dr. Demierre was raised in San Antonio de Areco, a small town in the countryside outside Buenos Aires, Argentina. He grew up immersed in the equine industry as his father was a racehorse breeder and trainer. Dr. Demierre completed his veterinary medicine degree from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 2012.

He began his career at Palm Beach Equine Clinic as an intern and then went on to become an ambulatory veterinarian before focusing on sport horse medicine. Dr. Demierre currently cares for some of the country’s top polo, jumper, and dressage horses.

“We have worked with Dr. Demierre several times now, and we love his determination and patience when it comes to the welfare of our horses,” said U.S. show jumping athlete Ali Boone. “He is the first one there in any urgent care we have needed, and he not only puts the animals’ needs above all else, but he also takes the time to explain and talk through any diagnosis and situation that needs special attention.”

At Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Dr. Demierre enjoys being surrounded by a diverse group of exceptional veterinarians who are always available to advise on a case. Dr. Jorge Gomez, Dr. Robert Brusie, and Dr. Scott Swerdlin have all played influential roles in Dr. Demierre’s career by providing guidance on managing cases and clients.

In his free time, Dr. Demierre stays busy riding polo ponies, fishing, hunting, hiking, and enjoying time outdoors.

The $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix took place on Sunday, September 3, 2023, at Equestrian Village in Wellington, FL. The class served as the highlight event to close out the ESP Labor Day show. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Valentine Car, owned by Fernando Cardenas, bested a field of 27 entries to take home the top prize.

Héctor Loyola (PUR) designed a technical track for the starting field of horse-and-rider combinations. Wordley and Valentine Car went toward the end of the order and produced a fault-free effort. In the end, 10 pairs managed a clear first round to advance to the jump-off.

“I thought the course was great,” shared Wordley. “The time was a bit fast for younger horses, but there were already 10 clear, and if the time had been slower there would have been 13 or 14 in the jump-off. For riders, where there’s a tight time on the first round, that’s where you must make your best judgment as to the pace you feel that your own horse is comfortable with.”

Wordley and Valentine Car were the second to last pair to return for the jump-off. The duo stopped the clock at 41.798 seconds to take first place. Wordley has been partnered with Valentine Car for the past two years, and they have earned many top placings together.

“He’s very quick-footed,” said Wordley of the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding. “Even in a fast jump-off like the one today it’s hard to beat him. He just skims over the jumps. I think we’ll do one more of these shows this summer, and then we’ll start doing FEI classes in the fall. The shows here are great for younger and older horses to help prepare them for bigger classes, so I want to bring them down here once more this year.”

Gabriel de Matos Machado (BRA) and Evabellie W, owned by Emily Wood, claimed second place with a time of 42.866 seconds. Dylan Daly (IRL) and Cinderella Z, owned by Jacqueline Steffens Daly, secured third place after stopping the clock at 44.280
seconds.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is the Official Veterinarian of the Wellington International Summer Series in Wellington, FL. Veterinarians are available on-site to provide exceptional care to competing horses as well as those in the surrounding Wellington area. View results, live stream replays, and more at WellingtonInternational.com. For more information about Palm Beach Equine Clinic, visit EquineClinic.com.

Sharn Wordley and Valentine Car
Sharn Wordley and Valentine Car
Photo by Wellington International/Cassidy Klein
Sharn Wordley and Valentine Car in their winning presentation for the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix.
Sharn Wordley and Valentine Car in their winning presentation for the $25,000
Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix.
Photo by Wellington International/Cassidy Klein

As elevated temperatures continue to prevail throughout the country, it is important that horse owners never underestimate how heat and humidity can affect equines. Even during the winter months, it is crucial to monitor how your horse is reacting to variations in temperature, especially when traveling to and from or relocating to Florida and other southern regions for the season.

Many problems can arise when temperatures climb, so as a starting point horse owners should pay attention to the amount of sweat their horse is producing. Anhidrosis, or the inability to sweat normally, can be a common challenge, particularly in hot, humid climates.

“Anhidrosis can develop acutely but generally develops gradually,” explained Dr. Natalia Novoa of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. “Horses lose 65-70% of their body heat through sweating, so the inability to sweat can be a potentially dangerous condition for them.”

Dr. Natalia Novoa
Photo by Jump Media

In addition to lack of sweat, signs of Anhidrosis can include increased respiratory rate, elevated body temperature, areas of hair loss, or dry and flaky skin.

There are several treatment options for Anhidrosis including supplements, lifestyle changes, and alternative medicine practices.

“Electrolyte supplements and access to salt blocks are important to replenish chloride, sodium, and potassium,” said Dr. Novoa. “A Vitamin E supplement can also be beneficial because it is an antioxidant that helps with the oxidative damage due to environmental heat stress.”

In addition to supplements, it is important to keep the horse in a shaded and well-ventilated area if possible. It can also be helpful to keep the horse’s body clipped during the summer season.

Another treatment option is adding one serving of dark beer a day to the horse’s feed. The alcohol in beer is a vasodilator so it helps open capillaries allowing heat to pass through more rapidly to stimulate sweat.

Alternative medicine therapies such as acupuncture can also help decrease symptoms of Anhidrosis. “Acupuncture is very effective at clearing heat,” explained Dr. Novoa. “The normal functions of sweat glands and sweating are regulated by the heart, the lungs, and the triple heater. Heat and humidity can block the Qi flow of those meridians, which are pathways connecting acupuncture points, leading to Anhidrosis.

Furst Filou, owned by Maura Weis, demonstrating acupuncture points for Anhidrosis.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Natalia Novoa

“Acupuncture treatment strategies are designed to clear the summer heat, nourish the Yin, and promote body fluids,” continued Dr. Novoa. “Opening up certain points where the heat tends to collect will help release neurotransmitters that affect the flow of blood and lymph.”

According to Dr. Novoa, there are three areas to work on during the acupuncture process:

1. Heart: Helps with blood supply

2. Lung: Controls Wei Qi, which dominates the opening and closing mechanisms of the sweat glands

3. Triple Heater: Controls pathways of body fluids

“It requires a few acupuncture sessions to see a change,” said Dr. Novoa. “The process is different for each horse. It can also help with symptoms like exercise intolerance, tachypnea, and fatigue.”

New Xiang Ru San powder promotes heat and fluid disbursement through healthy sweating and clears Summer-Heat.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Natalia Novoa

Another alternative treatment option is Chinese herbal medicine. New Xiang Ru San powder has proven to be a clinically effective aid for non-sweaters as it promotes heat and fluid disbursement through healthy sweating and clears Summer-Heat. New Xiang Ru San is a blend of the Chinese herbs Bian Dou (hyacinth bean), Xiang Ru (mosla), Hou Po (magnolia bark), Lian Qiao (forsythia), and Jin Yin Hua (honeysuckle flower). Bian Dou eliminates Damp, Xiang Ru clears Summer-Heat, Hou Po moves Qi and eliminates Damp, Lian Qiao clears Heat and opens the Exterior, and Jin Yin Hua clears Heat Toxin, detoxifies, and releases Exterior.

Overall, it is important to manage a horse with Anhidrosis carefully. In addition to considering the techniques described earlier, try to exercise them when temperatures are lower in the early morning or late evening. Also, make sure to allow plenty of cool-down time after exercise and monitor their respiration rate.

Anhidrosis is one of many significant issues to be aware of during temperature increases. Contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic to learn more about precautions that can be taken to keep horses happy and healthy throughout the summer season.