Natural Wound Care, Fatty Acids

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At times, we find a product that piques our interest enough to try it against our favorites.

Natural Wound Care: Pete’s Equine Remedy
We have tried many natural/herbal skin products over the years, most recently in May 2001.??After that field test, we decided to try Pete’s Equine Remedy, which contains purified water, apricot kernel oil, other essential oils and vitamins E and C.??

It was gentle to irritated tissues, and we found it useful as a soothing treatment on superficial abrasions and rubs, where it protected against over drying.??Hair regrowth was fairly rapid in these situations, and the treated areas showed no evidence of infection.??

Although the label says it is also good for dermatitis, rain rot and similar conditions, we didn’t see much effect, except for relieving the dry, itchy and cracking skin. When used on a low-grade superficial fungal infection on the tail that caused itching, Pete’s effectively lessened skin cracking and itching. However, it didn’t appear to affect the infection itself. We also tried it on scratches and rain rot. Again, we noted a decrease in cracking and dryness but no effect on the infection.??

We would reach first for a product with more potent anti-microbial ingredients for these problems, such as Immune One Equine Balm (800/664-8182), Emerald Valley’s Soothe Itch (888/638-8262) or Animal Legend’s Tea Tree ADE (800/399-7387).

We’d use Pete’s Equine Remedy on superficial rubs and abrasions to keep them soothed, moist and clean. It also works well for symptomatic relief of dry, itchy skin conditions. Contact: Frog Works 303/973-0109.

Essential Fatty Acids: Healthy Coat
In June 2000, we discussed essential fatty acids (EFAs), which help develop healthy skin, coats and hooves, and help with chronic conditions like arthritis. They also help fight inflammatory conditions.

However, improper oil processing will destroy some EFAs and affect their usefulness, which is why most store-bought oils contain mega calories but little more. Healthy Coat, a mechanically extracted, preservative-free, soy oil for horses, is processed properly and is a strong source of EFAs, vitamin E and lecithin.??

We fed Healthy Coat at a rate of 2 oz./day to a healthy Standardbred mare. We noted an obvious improvement in the shine and manageability of her coat within about a week.??We even cut back on her grain ration a bit as just this small amount of oil started to make her gain weight as well.

Healthy Coat is a good choice for calorie boosting or coat enhancement in young, healthy horses. However, the high (52%) omega-6 EFA profile and relatively low level of the naturally anti-inflammatory omega-3 EFAs (about 7%) means it may not be the best choice for horses with inflammatory tendencies or for older horses.

Of course, omega-6 can be converted within the body to an anti-inflammatory form. However, this ability decreases with age, and most horses already consume more omega-6s over the inherently anti-inflammatory omega-3s.??For this reason, with older horses or horses with inflammatory problems like arthritis, we prefer stabilized whole ground flaxseed or flax oil, such as Enreco Horseshine (800/962-9536), Designing Health’s The Missing Link (800/774-7387) and HorseTech products (800/831-3309). Contact: Soy Inc, 800/484-9760.??