Services for Equines by Kinetic Balance

Case Study: Andy’s Recovery from Mild EPM with Physical Therapy

Andy’s Arlin is our 26-year-old Haflinger pony who has been doing therapeutic driving, riding, hippotherapy and mental health work with us for 17 years.

In 2015, Andy won the prestigious Klinger Award for Honor and Service at the Washington International Horse Show. He was inducted into the Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame in 2016.

Andy has always been healthy. He has rarely missed a day of work, but in the Spring of 2016, he started slowing down, stumbling when ridden downhill, and appeared to have very low energy. The vet was called. All tests results were negative except for a mild positive for EPM. He was pulled from work and treated with daily medication for four weeks.

By the end of his medical treatment, Andy had recovered some of his energy, but showed the following residual symptoms:

  • Atrophy of his gluteus medius muscles on both sides that resulted in a camped-out position when standing
  • Difficulty engaging the hind legs and lengthening his back
  • Decreased stride length and speed
  • Decreased endurance
  • Some stumbling when walking downhill
  • Stiff right shoulder girdle
  • Weak pectoral muscles, which made it difficult for him to confidently carry his riders

Catherine’s Treatment

During the next five months Catherine brought Andy through a series of hands-on techniques, BEMER Vet, in-hand work, riding exercises, and finally driving exercise to address his neurological deficits such as stumbling and muscular atrophy, stiffness, and lack of strength and endurance. Also, she worked with the farrier to ensure that his trimming and shoeing helped support his muscle development.

Catherine engaged Dr. Joyce Harman for regular chiropractic and acupuncture treatments. Dr. Harman supervised the progress made from a veterinary standpoint.

Andy returned to complete function and comfort. He continues to thrive today. The comprehensive, holistic treatment Catherine provided to Andy significantly improved the quality of his life.

What Does an Equine Physical Therapist Do?

Horses are athletes and, like humans, they can become stiff or experience pain in their muscles, joints, or tendons. Neurological issues arise that can leave them unable to do their job.

As an equine physical therapist, Catherine works closely under the supervision of your veterinarian and develops a results-focused treatment and exercise program that will bring your horse back to his prior level of function and comfort.

Each treatment lasts 45 minutes to an hour and includes hands-on techniques such as Myofascial Release, Massage, Stretching, and Range of Motion; some in-hand exercises; some riding exercises (if appropriate); and the use of treatment tools, such as the SureFoot Pads, Kinesiotaping, and a BEMER Vet.

Catherine Wycoff – The anatomy of the Vagal Nerve in Human and Horses

In this episode of Webinars with Wendy, Catherine joins Wendy Murdoch for a discussion of the vagal nerve responses in horses and humans and their connection with the trigeminal nerve.

Catherine Wycoff, PT, DPT, GCFP, CERP, is a physical therapist for humans and for horses, with an undergraduate degree from Liege University (Belgium) and a doctorate from Des Moines University (US). She is also a Feldenkrais® Practitioner and a Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner, in Lovettsville, VA.

BEMER devices are designed to temporarily increase local blood circulation in healthy muscles and stimulate muscles in order to improve and facilitate performance. Better circulation means better health and a better life.

Kinetic Balance incorporates BEMER devices into both human and equine rehabilitation sessions as appropriate.

Connect with Catherine to see how Equine Physical Therapy can be a life changer for your beloved equine partner.

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