Rembrandt, the laminitic miniature horse
Rembrandt had always been a ‘special needs’ horse. He was born five weeks premature and according to the rules, should not have survived. Surprisingly, he flourished well and did not appear to have any physical issues. He lives with three miniature mares and it soon became apparent that he was a little slow in his mental acuity. It took him much longer to process information and even longer to act upon it. The mares made all the decisions and Rembrandt followed along in their wake.
Learning new skills was a challenge for him – but once he had mastered it, he never forgot. Once he became an adult horse, he began suffering from recurrent respiratory infections; swollen lymph nodes around his neck and a chronic cough.
The remedy that worked most effectively for him had always been Baryta carbonica
Lack of confidence
Swollen lymph nodes
Recurrent respiratory problems
Wary around strangers
Around six years of age, regardless of restricted feeding and adequate exercise, Rembrandt’s neck became cresty and hard and he developed solid fat deposits around his tail, shoulders and at the top of his rib cage. Additionally, it was noticed that he was becoming more and more sensitive in his feet and his movement changed from a lovely free stride to a choppy short step.
One winter morning, he was found incapable of moving and in full laminitic stance. This was perplexing as he was not overall overweight (apart from his strange deposits of fat); had not gorged himself on grain; there had been no trauma to his feet from hard ground – none of the usual causes of laminitis applied.
He spent a lot of time lying down and was reluctant to move off his deep soft bedding. Over the next three months, Rembrandt was given Baryta Carb, Belladonna, Hypericum and Crategus along with Phenylbutazone from the vet. While all these remedies reduced his pain a little, he was still in a very sorry condition and it began to be considered that euthanasia would be the kindest option.
Given that the cause of his plight was still unknown, I wondered if Rembrandt could be suffering from a metabolic disorder and as his symptoms, with a stretch of the imagination, could be likened to diabetes in humans, decided to try giving him Insulin homeopathically.
The response was unbelievable! Within four days, he walked off his bed and joined the other three miniatures at the bottom of the farm. Over the next 2-4 weeks, his cresty neck became soft and reduced in size and the fat deposits disappeared from his body.
Even more surprising was the change in Rembrandt’s temperament and mental acuity. He was bright, up with the play and more often than not, the first horse to respond. He went from “What? Where? What’s happening? I don’t understand” to “ LET’S GO!”
Rembrandt receives four drops of Insulin every day of his life. I have tried changing the potency, reducing the frequency… only to observe him beginning to show the same symptoms within 2-3 weeks. He doesn’t mind – a slice of apple with his remedy each morning suits him very well.
Illustration by Vicki Mathison
Keywords: laminitis, diabetes, metabolic disorder
Remedies: Baryta carbonica, Insulin