Mare with Ruptured Tendon Is in Foal
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Isabelle Gervais
Posted on: June 19, 2007

I have a beautiful mare who is in foal. Last November, she ruptured her tendon (déchiré in French). It is quite swollen and her ankle is very hard when touched so I have her in box rest. I started to give her nettle, calendula, chamomile and garlic internally and I made a compress of arnica, comfrey, meadowsweet, green clay and cabbage. Could I give her white willow and meadowsweet internally? How long will it take to get a result? Is it okay for a mare in foal to eat these herbs?

I can find no reason that your mare cannot consume either White Willow (Salix alba) or Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) whilst in foal. Recommended dosages are as follows:

White Willow: decoct 30 grams of dried bark in one litre of water (see instructions below) and of the decoction, give 140 ml per day. If you have access to fresh leaves, you can use two to three handfuls per day in feed instead of the decoction.

Meadowsweet: 20 to 30 grams of dried herb in feed per day or two handfuls of chopped fresh herb added to feed or as an infused tea in one litre of boiling water and added to feed (see instructions below).

Unfortunately, I cannot say how long it will take before you see the desired results in your mare. Many factors are involved in the speed of healing including her general health status, feeding programmes, immune integrity, muscle tone and weight, stress levels, etc. Tendon rupture can take a long time before healing is complete. In addition to the herbs, there may be homeopathics available to help speed healing. Homeopathics are usually best taken right after the injury occurs, but may still make a difference at this point. I would suggest you seek a qualified veterinary homeopath in your area who can do a full case history and prescribe the homeopathic remedy most suited to your horse’s condition as it is at this point.

Decoction: put the prescribed amount of herb and water and place both in a covered stainless steel pot. Slowly bring the mixture almost to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes. Strain. Decoctions are used when tougher parts of the plant are required (bark, roots, berries, etc).

Infusion: place the prescribed amount of herb in a bowl and bring the water to a boil. Add the water to the herb and cover the bowl. Steep for fifteen minutes. Strain. This method is used when dealing with lighter parts of the plant (leaves, flowers, etc.)

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