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Aloe Vera for Horses : Grass Sickness

Image of Aloe Vera Flower

The well-documented benefits of Aloe vera have caused veterinary professionals and horse owners to use the plant to treat an array of ailments. Animal doctors, equestrians and jockeys are all finding impressive results. Aloe vera may be utilized in many ways and has proven to be an effective treatment for grass sickness.

Grass sickness is a disease that impacts any horse breed that has access to grass. The disease comes during the spring and summer when the horses are grazing on new land. All ages and types are susceptible, but studies reveal the disease is most prevalent in younger horses, two to seven years old. Grass sickness is associated with cool, dry weather, with many cases found in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America.

The cause of grass sickness is unknown. There has been a great deal of research on the cause of the disease, but the results have been inconclusive. It is believed that a toxin present in the grass, be it a poisonous plant, chemical or a bacteria, damages the nervous system. The nerve damage leads to paralysis of the digestive tract, resulting in the extreme weight loss linked with the disease.

Presently, research is still being done on how to properly diagnose horses with grass sickness. But, what is known is that grass sickness is not contagious and comes in three forms—acute, subacute and chronic. According to The Equine Grass Sickness Fund Research Team, symptoms of the acute phase include colic, muscle tremors, salivation and dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. In this case, the horse will be put to sleep or die within two days. The subacute phase shares the same, though less severe, symptoms as the acute form, and stretches potential survival to a week. In chronic cases of the disease, more encouraging progress has been made.

“Until recently the mortality rate for chronic cases was approaching 100%,” said The Equine Grass Sickness Fund Research Team. “The experience gained at Edinburgh University Veterinary School has increased the survival rate for selected chronic cases to approximately 70% and their care regimes have been successfully used by clinicians everywhere. The mainstay of the treatment is good nursing care, constant human contact and the feeding of palatable, easily chewed, high-energy food.”

In the hopeful case of chronic grass sickness, Aloe vera gel is a good addition to a treatment regiment. Aloe vera contains vitamins, minerals and energy stores that are essential to overall health and digestion. In recent years, six cases treated grass sickness with four liters of Aloe vera per day. The feeding of Aloe vera was broken up into small intervals and administered by a veterinarian through stomach tubes.

“All the horses treated in this way made a full recovery,” documented

Because horses can consume so much Aloe vera gel, we recommend buying bulk Aloe vera gel.