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Is it justified that people are afraid of doing a detox on the horse?

Many people are reluctant to detox their horses. They are often afraid that the horse will suddenly develop ailments or that a detox is very intense. But is this right? And what should you pay attention to if you decide to detox your horse? Read more about this in this blog.

What is a detox?

Detox, drainage, cleanse and purify. All terms that have the same goal, namely to purify the body (liver and kidneys) of accumulated waste. In nature, horses regulate this themselves by looking for certain plants that help in the removal of waste products. Unfortunately, horses do not have this free choice anymore, which means that waste products are not removed and the natural filters of the body become blocked. You can compare it with a filter in your car. During the year it clogs up due to dirt in the air and in the fuel / oil. It is therefore necessary to regularly replace filters in cars. You cannot replace the liver and kidneys, of course, but they become blocked in the same way. By doing a detox you ensure that these waste products are removed and that the horse can fully use its natural filters again.

Why are people afraid of a detox?

Unknown makes unloved is a well-known statement. Not everyone is yet familiar with the benefits of detoxing, which creates a fear of the unknown. Negative stories about a detox also often rule. Using a detox at the wrong time can have consequences. But a detox mainly has positive properties, so it is not necessary to be afraid of doing a detox on your horse. There are very powerful detoxes that do cleanse waste, but do not support the liver and kidneys. Then it may be that it costs too much energy at that moment and the horse gets other health complaints. Often this is in drop form. In addition, a detox should preferably not last longer than 14 days. Therefore always choose a detox of short duration that has a supporting function in addition to a cleansing function.

When not to use a detox?

A detox based on herbs that lasts no longer than 14 days can be given to horses without risk. However, there are a number of situations where it is advisable to consult an expert first:

  • In pregnant mares
  • With medication (advisable after completing medication)
  • With reduced energy due to illness (recommended after illness)
  • For acute hoof ulcers (recommended after recovery of hoof ulcer)

If your horse is sick at the moment and has very poor resistance, it is not advisable to do a detox. A detox requires extra energy from the horse, if you do this while the horse has to use all its energy to become better, it can be too great a burden. These horses can often use a detox because the germs and reduced resistance lead to an increased amount of waste (for example also through medication). But then wait with a detox until your horse has enough energy and resistance again and when the medication has been completed. A detox after medication is very advisable. Medicines are stressful for the liver, because it has to deal with an accumulation of waste products. You will see that a horse recovers faster after being medicated by a detox.

We also advise against detoxing for hoof ulcers. The hooves are already sensitive and if more waste is released, it could be that laminitis occurs. In case of hoof ulcers, wait with a detox until the horse has almost recovered from the hoof ulcer.

But when then a detox?

Naturopaths advise to give horses a detox twice a year, in the spring and autumn for prevention. Every horse can benefit from it. This is because horses ingest a lot of toxins through food, drinking water and inhalation. For example, through worm syringes, contaminated water and too many sugars in the diet. That is why cleaning of the waste in the spring and autumn is advisable, especially for horses in the following situations:

  • Horses with a dull coat
  • Horses that are difficult to shed / coat
  • Horses with felt pastern cavities
  • Hypersensitivity to certain substances (mites and eczema)
  • Horses standing outside next to a busy road
  • Horses that drink rainwater from puddles
  • Horses prone to hoof ulcers (not during a hoof ulcer)
  • Horses that you see eating dandelion, buttercup or acorns

A detox is actually suitable for any horse that has sufficient energy and resistance. It makes a positive contribution if the horse has a condition to boost its resistance. With an accumulation of waste, the horse gets an increasingly poor resistance, by removing these waste products you increase the resistance of the horse.

What should you consider when choosing the right detox?

If you opt for a herbal detox (milk thistle, artichoke, turmeric, juniper) in high concentration, then a 5-day cure (50 ml per day) is sufficient. If you give it because the horse has (had) a condition, we recommend a cure of 7 days (100 ml per day). In addition, it is important that in addition to a cleansing effect, it also has a supporting effect on the liver, kidneys and bile effect.

An additional advantage of giving your horse a detox is that nutrients and supplements are better absorbed. The body then has room to absorb these nutrients.

Conclusion: a detox is not frightening

A detox is not a scary thing, it is a phenomenon that horses naturally do themselves, but do not have the opportunity in the pastures and paddocks in the Netherlands. In addition, all horses receive waste products through food, drinking water and inhalation. For example through a worm cure. It is therefore advisable to clean these waste products at least once, but better twice a year. Choose the right time for a detox. We recommend spring and autumn, but if your horse is sick at that time, it is advisable to do the detox at a later time. Are you unsure whether your horse can use a detox or about the right time? Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice!


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