Archive / February, 2019

EM and the care of horses

EM stands for “Effective Micro-organisms” and is a liquid culture of  micro- organisms from 5 major microbe groups. It was developed in Japan in the seventies and is now being used in many countries. The microorganisms in EM are taken from natural sources and are not genetically modified. They are primarily organisms which are traditionally used for fermentation of human food. EM has never been found harmful to plants, animals or humans, is safe for the environment and is harmless if accidentally ingested.

Originally developed for higher horticultural productivity, the use of EM has been extended from agriculture to animal husbandry, aquaculture, general waste management, environmental regeneration, technical and medical applications.

Horse care with effective microorganisms

Healthy Horses by Ernst Hammes

EM use in the care of horses is reported to make the animals more disease and stress resistant, e.g. to changes of weather and temperature, to improve their general health, to improve their coat, to decrease requirements for compound feed (and expenses), to decrease unpleasant odour, to eliminate tics and to reduce fly nuisance. EM use also adds to the value of the excrements as compost and liquid fertiliser. It goes without saying that the use of EM is complementary to appropriate care of animals and does not invalidate other knowledge and skills in the care of the animals. The book “Healthy Horses” written by Ernest Hammes deals with testimonials of many horse owners of their experiences with using EM in their horse care regime.

EM treatment of the stables
Activated EM solution should be used in a dilution with water (1:10 up to 1:100) to wash floors, walls and ceilings of stables and anything that comes into contact with the horses, troughs, harnesses etc. If the floor consists of sand, activated EM solution can also be sprayed over the sand. Open stables will also benefit from a spray of activated EM (diluted 1:1,000) every few months.

Daily EM applications in the stables will control bad odours, flies, tics, and, to some extent, fungal and other diseases which are being transmitted via soil or floors. EM use takes away factors which are stressful for the horses and it helps in preventing diseases. EM applications on leather equipment help in preventing fungal growth on the equipment which would occur under high humidity conditions and when little used.

EM for washing the animals
Whenever the horses are getting a wash or a bath, activated EM should be added in the last rinse of the animal, at a dilution of 1:100. After this EM rinse, further washing should be avoided. This helps in keeping flies and tics away and is preventive measure minimising cross infection of disease
causing pathogens. For the control of tics, the use of EM5 is strongly recommended as it has proven to be more efficient than chemical acaricides.

EM in food and drink
EM activated should be added to the horses drinking water in a concentration of 0.1% (1 : 1.000), either by continuously adding it ( via a drip dosatron system) or to the general drinking water supply of the horses, by adding it to buckets or troughs when needed. In horses accustomed to EM, an additional dose of 10 to 20 ml activated EM given via the mouth of the animal, may be administered on a daily base. Whenever hay or straw is given as fodder, this may be sprayed with the same highly diluted EM solution.

The odours of urine and dung under EM care are said to be less offensive.
(The dung from horses treated with EM has a higher nutritive and fertiliser value for the soil and can be utilised for horticultural and agricultural purposes.)

EM in veterinary care
For the care of wounds: gauze for cleaning and dressings for wounds can be soaked in undiluted EM. Even wounds from bites or tics which would normally require surgical care and attention from several qualified people, may be washed three times daily with EM solution. In the second week: twice daily, and later once daily. It may be possible to avoid antibiotics. Bleeding will stop fast, inflammatory swellings will be minimised, pus formation and growth of wild tissue can be avoided, healing is improved and leaves fine healthy scars. During such a treatment, the animal will be allowed its usual activity and movement.

In the case of treating infected wounds or wounds covered with crust and dirt even when already malodorous, a paste made from a seed oil (olive oil, sesame oil) and from EM stock solution (also along with EM-X ceramics powder, can be applied daily. In the case of hoof ulcers (due to foreign bodies) which have to be opened surgically, activated EM solution should be flushed into the ulcer cavity, and an EM-soaked wick introduced. This should be repeated at least every second day.

In periods of intensive wound care or ulcer treatment, when the danger of infection and fever are to be avoided, the daily doses of EM activated should be doubled. In cases of suspicious changes in the appearance of the coat, it is recommended to massage the affected area with a sponge soaked in undiluted EM activated solution. This will help to relax and soothe the animal, control fly nuisance and prevent infections. In the case of sore gums and mouth, undiluted EM may be applied with the help of cotton swabs. Eye irritations and inflammations should be controlled at an early stage by washing with a lukewarm mixture of activated EM and water of 1:1. this also helps to control fly nuisance. As horses are strongly dependent on their eyesight, early treatment of eye problems will reduce stress significantly.

An experienced horse keeper in Germany working with EM for several years is fully convinced of the benefits exerted by EM on the general microbial environment of stables, corrals and horses.

Treatment    options, including   Effective Micro-organisms, for chronic borreliosis of a horse

Extract from the book Healthy Horses by Ernst Hammes


Treatment    options, including   Effective Micro-organisms, for chronic borreliosis of a horse

We regard this contribution by Dr. Mattis as particularly important as it illustrates that EM may be just one component in creating the right environment for a horse. All other methods aiming at improving the well-being of a horse may be equally justified. An allopathic or homeopathic remedy or any other method alone is rarely sufficient to cure an animal. Any other means and method may be equally valid, and it might be necessary to find the right combination. Dr. Mattis is advised by Margarethe Doth.

Since I purchased her in October 2002, my nine-year old mare Ravienne had been suffering from various ailments, yet without ever being seriously reduced in her general state of health or ever having fever. Further, she showed huge fluctuations in performance: at one time she was motivated, easy to move, and on the road to dressage competition, and at other times restless, tense, and without balance. Blood tests did not detect anything abnormal. In the course of the recent years, the mare suffered conspicuously from swellings of the legs, particularly from tendovaginitis in the pasterns and from bursitis, sometimes more, sometimes less; from vaccine incompatibility; and mainly from the above-mentioned extreme fluctuations of highs and lows in performance, changing overnight. The lows would usually last for only a few days, but sometimes for several weeks. Then she would suddenly rise like a phoenix from the ashes, and everything seemed to be perfectly alright again. In her bad times however, the mare would suffer from additional ailments, for example hoof ulcers. One ulcer after another would appear on different hooves and be accompanied with serious swelling and pain. Then sometimes there would be unexplainable boils under the belly, or she would suffer from breathlessness, from excessive secretion of tears, and finally from frequent mastitis.

Even experienced physiotherapists could not understand the reason for the muscle tension in her back and croup. The mare responded well to  homeopathic remedies, to repeatedly administered joint-specific medicaments containing glycosaminoglycans, to leech treatment and acupuncture; she always responded quickly,  which allowed her to be ridden throughout all these years except for very few days and to make slow but  constant progress in spite of the recurrent problems.

In October 2,005, Ravienne’s character changed drastically. Earlier going and sociable, she refused to be touched and even more to be groomed.  A fly on her skin was torture to her. In the stable she was apathetic. Finally, during a ride, she absolutely unexpectedly attacked another horse, rearing and with open mouth.

Simultaneously she developed a problem of the circular pastern ligament. As this presented with atypical symptoms, the diagnosis by the veterinary clinic was made only after several days and then treated with local and intravenous administrations of corticosteroids. Two days later the horse’s state worsened. It increasingly disliked all movement and developed severe swellings of the eye sockets.

In late 2005, the suspicion of chronic borreliosis (Lyme disease) was expressed, and a blood test and skin biopsy confirmed it. No one had expected the diagnosis. As the first-line medication in conventional school medicine consists of antibiotics, we started a course of the medicine.

Two days later the mare had a beginning laminitis, and her general state of health deteriorated day by day. The veterinarian acted very conscientiously and discontinued the antibiotics after one week, bled her, and injected Antitox.

For a short time the situation improved, but then it deteriorated again, both in general and in regard to the laminitis. I referred the horse to a natural healing practice that claimed to be specialized for the treatment of borreliosis and all associated symptoms. Initially there was a definite improvement. After three days the mare was able to walk and was lively again. But then unexpectedly she developed severe and painful hoof abscess and mastitis.

Neither the treatment measures suggested nor the treatment given by the natural healing practitioner convinced me anymore; nor was I convinced of the need to move the extremely sick horse exclusively on asphalt and hard rubber floors without flooring litter. With the expenses rising exorbitantly, I took the horse back and brought her home.

My own veterinary natural healing practitioner started the mare immediately on   homeopathy and gave me her ‘zapper’ (Dr. Clark’s invention) to effect a reduction of borrelia in the body. Additionally I administered her the Plocher remedies Kanne Ferment liquid, Echinacea and, for several weeks, the homeopathic ointment Traumeel.

There was a general improvement, but new symptoms appeared in increasingly shorter intervals: excessive secretion of tears, hoof ulcers, phlegmon, swellings in the skin, circumferential swellings in the region of the circular ligament of the hind limb pastern, and temporary staggering in changing legs.

In late April the mare suffered another exacerbation of the laminitis associated with sinkage of the coffin bone.  With the help of homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, and orthopaedic shoeing, the symptoms subsided quickly, but I started seriously considering putting the animal to sleep.

Then I heard about Effective Microorganisms (EM as per Prof. Dr.Higa), and I gave in to the suggestions for a trial. Several reports from completely different sources helped me to drop my initial scepticism. After all, there was nothing to lose. After extensive consultation I dared to quickly spray high doses, which probably triggered an initial exacerbation: in the evening the horse was extremely tired, the legs started to develop swellings, and the horse would hardly move at all. On top of all this, the body became quite hot, but there was no fever. I gave once more a constitutional homeopathic remedy, but actually had already decided with a heavy heart to put the mare to sleep on the following day.

However, the next morning the swellings of the legs had disappeared, and the mare was willing to move about. Her body temperature was normal, and she appeared to be exceptionally content and greatly relaxed.

This state of health has remained for a long time now, and there were no further symptoms. The mare receives EMa three or four times a day, in total about 120ml per day. When she returns from the pasture, I dab the corners of her eyes with diluted EMa solution, also the bursae of the legs and the region of the circular ligament of the pasterns. All skin lesions that had been there for several weeks disappeared within a few days which is almost unbelievable.

In the meantime I have taken up training her. The horse is exceptionally balanced, shows great motivation, exhibits relaxed movements and great stamina, characteristics that were not to be expected any more after its struggle for survival over nine months. The swellings in the eye sockets slowly disappeared, and the hypersecretion of tears from one or both eyes, as is typical for horses suffering from borreliosis, has stopped. Grooming has, after recurrent episodes of oversensitivity of skin and muscles, become possible again. I also would like to stress the remarkable fact that occasional tick bites have not triggered any signs or symptoms of the disease.

It should be noted however that the mare is administered not only EMa but also Plocher remedies which have proven a success in cases of borreliosis, and that the zapper is still in regular use. Whether EMa alone would have led to this enormous improvement or not, I am unable to judge. But I am absolutely convinced that the road to recovery was opened only by means of EMa. Further, I presume that the horse, if given regular doses of EMa, would have been protected from a borrelia infection and the resulting chronic disease.