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May 24, 2011


Solving horse health problems with horse hair testing – success stories

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

Every equestrian has come across a horse with unsolved health problems. Often it has nothing to do with a horse’s quality, pedigree, training or talent. Issues keep appearing that seemingly have no solution, and no amount of blood testing, bute, feed changes or layoffs will solve the problem. It can be a very frustrating situation.

For many horses, hair analysis has become the cutting edge approach to help them regain well-being. It provides an opportunity to evaluate a horse’s critical mineral and metal levels and address these deficiencies or toxicities through custom supplementation, feed and/or water changes. In some cases, sources of environmental causes can be identified.  Below are a few of our success stories…

Benni – Diagnosed with DSLD

A 17 year old Arabian gelding named Benni had been a solid trail horse who was also in dressage training. His owner took Benni to a dressage show and the judges commented that he seemed tired. She discovered that his hocks were hot and starting to swell. She went through many different vets and vet bills over the next year and a half trying to diagnose his pain. Eventually, he became sore in all four legs and she was concerned that she may have to put him down as he was diagnosed as having Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis. DSLD is a degenerative condition with inflammation, faulty healing, hardening and loss of integrity of the suspensory ligaments with failure to do their intended job of supporting the horse. It can be so painful, that in advanced stages, it can make a horse reluctant to move — even to its feed or water.

After learning about Horse Hair Analysis®, Benni’s hair was sent to the laboratory to see if there was anything abnormal. The results were toxic levels of Iron, Manganese, and Aluminum as well as deficiencies in some important minerals. His owner started him on a custom chelation supplement immediately. Over the next year, Benni’s ease of movement, strength, and energy steadily improved. By the time he was re-tested one year later, he was trail riding, schooling and playing hard in the pasture. In sixteen months he was able to successfully show again.


Image – diagnosed with EPM

This 9 year old half Arabian gelding was a successful endurance horse that loved his job of going down the trail. His owner told me that he used to enthusiastically meet her at the gate whenever it was time to train. Over time, he started to avoid being caught and didn’t want to exert himself on the trail. Over months of trying to figure out what was going on with him, he started showing signs often associated with EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis). He was uncoordinated in his hind end and was occasionally falling down in the pasture. He was lethargic and unsafe to ride. After running a hair analysis, several significant abnormalities were discovered. The key findings were toxic levels of Arsenic and Manganese as well as significant electrolyte deficiencies.

It was discovered that the Arsenic came from his chewing pressure treated posts and the Manganese was coming from his primary source of water which was well water. When Image was being chelated, he was on a daily vitamin mineral supplement to avoid stripping vital nutrients while detoxing the Arsenic and Manganese. This supplementation protocol is the key to safely removing toxic metals.

Within 6 months, Image regained his energy and balance. In one year, he had lost excess weight and regained his fitness level. He was back to happily trotting down the trail. A hair re-test performed at that time showed his mineral and metal levels had returned to normal and acceptable ranges.


Quigley – uncertain diagnosis

A 9 year old Welsh cross gelding had been in a training barn for several months with very few problems. His owner was very unhappy with him when he became belligerent and began showing exercise intolerance. He would bolt when being saddled and react aggressively when being caught. Quigley also became sensitive to touch and was intermittently lame in the hind end. His owner ran a blood test which showed among other normal results, a normal level of Selenium. In order to find something to help solve these radical changes in his health and disposition, his owner ran a Horse Hair Analysis®. It turned up very low levels of Selenium, which explained these symptoms. In 30 days, Quigley was given two intramuscular injections of Selenium, daily nutritional supplementation and free choice offerings of the mineral. In that short time, his symptoms disappeared and he returned to work with a good attitude.


 Horse Hair Analysis® is an emerging practice and cutting edge science that allows greater insight into unsolved equine health and nutritional problems. By working with an veterinarian experienced in interpreting hair testing and by using state of the art laboratory technology, it is now possible to find causes for puzzling health problems and precisely address them through custom nutritional supplementation.

We want you to experience HHA success and get your unanswered questions resolved today! We are offering $15 off the Horse Hair Analysis® test and report this week (through May 31st).  Purchase HHA in online store and enter HHA15 at check out.

For further information on Horse Hair Analysis® please visit the HHA section on our website.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brenda scarlett
    Apr 17 2013

    I have 7 mth thoroughbred colt that has developed a stiff rear side. He has no marks on him. But is very unbalanced when trying to move along? Have him in small round yard now? Can you forward address for me to send sample? Thanks Brenda.

    • Hi Brenda,

      Are you wanting to send a hair sample in? Did you purchase the kit on our website? It might be a chiropractic issue or a neurologic case. If you do choose to purchase Horse Hair Analysis from our website you will get a phone consultation with Dr. DePaolo and he can go over your horse’s symptoms with you.

      Thank you for your inquiry.


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