Thursday, July 09, 2020


It’s that kind of day. I’ve been losing my focus this week and I feel a bit like one of the 25-odd Swallowtails on the buttonbush this morning!

Yesterday afternoon these three enjoyed a little hay between rainfalls in the barnyard. Cody had a reaction to insect bites last week and I went at him with a homeopathic remedy first, with Benadryl and then vet as back-up plans. He already gets chondroitin, fresh ground flax, and spirulina in his feed, and I’ll be adding a trio of additional supplements to see if I can boost things overall. What I did that worked in the short term: did a work up for a remedy and gave it. Bathed him with Banixx shampoo. Used the EcoVet spray (as I have been). Set up our spare big outdoor-rated barn fan in his shelter so he can stand in the air flow to stay cool and insect-free. And fed wet hay to get more water into him. The wet hay was a shoot from the hip kind of thing but I believe for Cody it made some difference, since I suspect his sensitivity to bug bites is connected to his sensitivity to dust in hay, and I just wanted to cover every base I could.

If you’re like many of my family members who do not believe homeopathy is a legitimate treatment, I respect that, but I can tell you that whether it’s a placebo or simply chance, after the first dose he became more agitated (which can be common if you hit the right remedy) and then after the second dose (given 30 minutes after the first) I saw a literal reduction in the many hive-like welts on his body. You’ll have to take my word on that, but it’s true. I guess it’s possible the placebo effect impacted me and he picked up on that and it impacted him, and if that’s how it works I’m fine with it! By the third and fourth doses that same day, he was looking close to normal and things are back to an even keel for him two days out from that.

My source for remedies for horses is George MacLeod’s book The Treatment of Horses By Homoeopathy. It’s an older book that you can get on Amazon and it’s a terrific resource for using homeopathic remedies for horse ailments. I would never suggest that anyone do this for serious issues or without calling your vet if that is needed, but most of the time homeopathy can be used as a wonderful adjunctive treatment. My experience is that if you do the work to identify the correct remedy for the individual patient you will get excellent results. I’ve found that skin issues respond very well to homeopathy, and I’ve at times been able to nail it myself, and other times used our homeopathic vet to make the call. Considering that the mainstream treatment for hives would likely be a shot of steroids that carry the risk of laminitis, I feel it’s prudent to try this first. It has worked 100% of with my herd in 16 years of keeping these horses.

With everything on the farm blooming right now, I have been happy and surprised to see this snake plant send up its own lovely flower. It’s not native but was a gift and I’m happy to see it thriving. It comes inside for the winters but seems to love going to the porch for the summer season.

In other news, we have yellow jackets nesting in a wall of the barn aisle. My husband has been stung several times now, and since there seems no way to get them to leave before they naturally die out in the fall, we’re going to have to use something to spray and exterminate them. We rarely do this kind of thing (fire ants and ticks being the exception) but with the proximity to horses and people it’s necessary. This evening when the horses are turned out we’ll deal with this. It’s only happened twice in the years we’ve lived here that yellow jackets built a nest in or near the barn, so hopefully this is it for awhile! They have to live somewhere but the barn is just not the place. 

I have wondered today if Cody possibly got stung by a yellow jacket and that kicked off the reaction, but I haven’t seen anything on him that looked like that kind of sting, and he isn’t usually in the area where the nest is anyway... but it’s a possibility. It’s also odd that with my going in and out of the barn doing chores I myself haven’t encountered them at all - but they seem to be going at my husband specifically. I’ll be glad when they’re gone. 

No comments: