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Rescued horse gets electrifying treatment

When Captain, a 26-year-old gelding, stepped on a partially buried wire and sheared off a third of his hoof, his caretakers prepared for the worst.Rescued from severe malnutrition by Front Range Equine Rescue, Captain had been adopted to new owners in Falcon who hoped to use him in a lesson program. When he proved to be too frisky for beginning riders, his owners were preparing to return him to FRER when he had his accident.They called the vet immediately, and he bandaged the severely injured hoof and started Captain on a weeklong course of antibiotics to prevent infection. No one thought there was much hope.Not one to give up easily, Hilary Wood, founder of FRER, called Veterinarian Dr. Penny Lloyd, who had taken a special course in homeopathy at Colorado State University. The course taught a system of treating horses by stimulating the body’s natural defenses. After examining Captain, Lloyd immediately brought Kelly Stoochnoff of Equine BioEnergy in to review the case.Stoochnoff is a certified animal acuscope therapist, trained in the use of an electronic medical instrument called the electro-acuscope. One of a class of electrical stimulators called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS), these devices have been used on humans since the late 1970s to reduce pain and promote healing. The device uses electricity to stimulate the nervous system by sending waveforms to the damaged tissue.Stoochnoff, a Black Forest resident, was introduced to acuscope therapy after teaching and competing in dressage the majority of her life. When a horse she had in training developed muscular problems in his back and did not respond to conventional treatment, someone suggested acuscope therapy.”I’m very cynical,” said Stoochnoff. “I never believe anything unless I can see it, feel it, taste it, touch it.” But she found someone who used the therapy on people and invited her to the barn. “I was amazed just after the first time the difference it made in the horse,” said Stoochnoff. “It really made me pay attention.”The therapy did not bring the horse back to 100 percent, however, and Stoochnoff wanted to know why.After some research, she found that the instrument was calibrated for humans, not equines. She tracked down Joyce Jackson of Animal Therapy Systems, who conducts training in the use of the acuscope on horses, and she attended Jackson’s two-week certification course in California last fall.When she returned from training and treated the same horse herself, he was completely back to normal after two treatments. And Stoochnoff was completely sold on acuscope treatment. “All he needed was instrumentation that was calibrated correctly to his metabolism,” Stoochnoff said.So Equine BioEnergy was an obvious choice for Captain. “In Captain’s case, I thought, “There’s no coronary band here,” Stoochnoff said. “Not only was there no coronary band, but there were no points for me to work on.” The wound had developed a large amount of proud flesh, pinkish granulation tissue that can prevent healthy tissue from forming. But after two weeks of treatment with the acuscope, the proud flesh was gone.Meanwhile, Stoochnoff’s curiosity once again led her to an alternative treatment. Through the Internet, she found a small company in Arkansas called BeluMed X that manufactures an antibacterial healing gel for horses. Eclipse is an aloe-based healant that is created by drawing blood from donor horses and spinning the blood down to get platelets. “About 10 percent is growth factor,” Stoochnoff said. “The cells have the ability to sort themselves out as to whatever they need to be.”Stoochnoff started using the gel on Captain’s wound and noticed improvement in a matter of days. Photos of Captain’s progress can be found on Equine BioEnergy’s Web site, “It’s mind-boggling to me that we can do these things,” she said. “I started with that horse on Feb. 5, and now he’s going back to work!” With the combination of acuscope therapy and the wound ointment, Captain has regenerated his hoof, including a new coronary band. He’ll be ridden again in no time.Stoochnoff prefers to work with a veterinarian to coordinate treatment and benefit from the vet’s medical knowledge. She has worked with other rescued horses and finds a special satisfaction treating these animals. “That’s the cool thing to me about all of this,” she said. “We can take horses that people are going to give up on and find other options.”

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