Every Equestrian has come across a horse with unsolved problems.
Often it has nothing to do with a horse's quality, pedigree
or talent. Issues keep appearing that seemingly have no solution,
and no amount of blood testing, bute, feed changes or layoffs
seem to fix the problem. It's a very frustrating situation.
Well-respected equine veterinarian, Dr. Mark DePaolo of Wilsonville,
Oregon, has found at least one answer.
A majority of my practice consists of Chiropractic and Acupuncture
treatments, Dr. DePaolo says. "There are horses that seem
unable to hold an adjustment. Like many veterinarians I have
used blood testing as an important source of diagnostic information.
It's a good resource for acute problems, crisis situations
and liver or kidney issues, but it does not address long term
recurring problems. I decided to try hair analysis. It's frequently
used with humans, but rarely with horses. What I discovered
changed the way I work with and treat horses."
A majority of today's equine problems are nutritionally
related. Allergies, Cushings, Equine Polysaccharide Storage
Myopathy (EPSM), chronic body soreness, mystery lameness and
a myriad of other conditions often involve mineral and/or
electrolyte deficiencies and heavy metal toxicities. Blood
testing would indicate that the horse was normal while Horse
Hair Analysis would show serious imbalances.
So many of the horses I test this way, at least 8 out of
10, come back with some sort of irregularity, says Dr. DePaolo.
"The test allows us to understand the full range of a horse's
biochemistry and promote overall health with a customized
supplement nutrition plan."
Dr. DePaolo has had some stunning success stories utilizing
Horse Hair Analysis. "Hot Spot stopped drinking and eating
away from home and I feared colic. Horse Hair Analysis turned
up a mineral deficiency. Image was depressed, overweight and
had foot issues. He had toxic levels of arsenic in his system
and Horse Hair Analysis actually saved his life."
Then there was "Tex" the reiner everyone thought was an
abused horse. It turned out his skin hurt all over from a
serious lack of electrolytes, iron, zinc, chromium, selenium
and cobalt. After altering his feed program, "Tex" changed
dramatically and went on to become a National Champion.
'Tex acted oddly and would cringe and act abused whenever
you tried to touch him," says LaRae Fletcher Powell. "Horse
Hair Analysis showed him to be off the charts low in bio-available
Selenium. After 4 weeks on a custom supplement he was a different
A very talented show horse named "Harrison" had problems
with anger, anxiety and focus. After Horse Hair Analysis,
his personal supplement was formulated with the addition of
minerals and electrolytes associated with calming and sedation.
He now enjoys his work and his people...and they enjoy him.
Holly is a Thoroughbred that had issues with spooking and
overreacting. Although she was trained in dressage her owner
never considered showing because of her attitude. Horse Hair
Analysis revealed a problem with carbohydrates and a lack
of electrolytes, iron, selenium and vitamin E. Her owner,
Jeannine, says "The difference in Holly after proper supplementation
is like night and day. Now I feel like showing her is imminent."
The Horse Hair Analysis process is simple. Owners submit a small
sample of mane hair along with a form and symptom questionnaire.
Lab analysis is completed, a report is generated explaining
the vitamin and mineral deficiencies and possibility of heavy
metal toxicity. A customized nutritional and supplement program
is recommended. Re-testing is suggested a year later to assure
perfect bio-chemical balance. Once achieved, there are several
sustainable supplements available through DePaolo Equine Concepts"
to ensure continued optimum good health.
About the Author
DePaolo Equine Concepts is noted for pioneering new holistic
equine health care approaches and for combining traditional
medicine with holistic methods. DEC is the only comprehensive
Horse Hair Analysis and horse supplements treatment system completely
customized to suit the individual horse's needs.