Animal PsychAromatica and Laminitis: A student’s case study with essential oils

How Essential Oils Work

Animal PsychAromatica is a powerfully effective wellness system, based on reducing the stresses in an animal’s life, so that he/she can return to health. Allowing an animal to self-select their own medicine is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress, and an integral part of our system. Essential oils give animals the secondary metabolites that are essential for their well-being, but which they are often deprived of in a domestic environment.

This case study demonstrates how well this works. Reduce stress by providing a species specific lifestyle, and offer essential oils to rebalance the body and let them know, “I am listening to you and respecting your choices”.

This is a case study from Joanna. It was one of the one’s she submitted on the way to achieving her Level 1 certificate. She is now working towards her Level 2, so will soon be available to help more animals in Canada. I love how my students are spreading the healing power of aromatics around the world. Learn more about the courses I offer online here

I have left the case study exactly as it came to me, except for changing names for privacy sake.

Case study Tina

Animal type & name:
Tina, 13 year old Tennessee Walking mare

Presenting problem and any other treatment:
Founder, treated by veterinarian, and farrier

Animal’s details (including character and your first impressions)
She is beautiful with a very kind soft eye. Tina appears sad and withdrawn. She is not interested in interacting with other horses or with humans. She is walking sound at this point with reverse shoes and pads.

Life History:
Broke as a two year old and used as a trail horse in the mountains.
Imported to Canada at 5 years old by a dealer and sold as a trail horse. Tina remained in this home for 5 years and was than sold again as a trail horse.

Medical history:
It was suspected that Tina had foundered at some point during her 5 years at her previous home but not confirmed.
It was confirmed that she foundered at her new home within a couple months and again the following year and twice the year after that. She was treated each time, by a veterinarian for pain and discomfort. She was also seen by a farrier for trims and special shoes.

Food and lifestyle:
Since coming to Canada, Tina has been at a boarding facility, where she was under strict vaccination and worming schedule. She was stalled at night, fed concentrated feed twice a day with limited hay at night. During the day turned out and given free choice hay. She was used as a trail horse.

About the Owner:
Shirley has owned Tina for the last 3 years. She is a very kind and giving person who loves animals dearly. She has 7 dogs she rescued over the past few years. Tina is her first horse. When she purchased her, Tina was very overweight and had shoes on due to a “club foot”. She had a vet check done before purchase and was told that the horse may have foundered in the past. She went through with the sale anyway, as she felt bad for the horse. Many thousand dollars were spent on Tina’s care after she foundered multiple times. Sheila was heart broken and was searching for more natural ways to help Tia. I met Sheila through a mutual friend and agreed to bring Tina to my farm.

Your analysis:
I believe Tina has been under a lot of physical stress as well as emotional. I don’t believe she is happy with her life and living conditions. Sadly she is not interested in companionship of any sort. It’s like she is just putting in time. Her laminitis attacks and potential cushing’s conditions are concerning.

Past and present stressors:
Possibly Tina’s system is overloaded with toxins and stress that she can no longer keep illness at bay.

Is there a specific trigger for the problem now (what broke the Stress Bank)?
I believe her lifestyle, vaccinations and rich feeds have caught up to Tina and she is worn out.

Lifestyle adjustments that can be made to reduce stress:
Tina would benefit from a more natural life style, left outside in a large area with shelter and other horses 24/7. Remove shoes, trim feet to a natural bare foot trim, stop all vaccinations and wormers.

Nutrition suggestions:
Stop concentrated feed, provide access to free choice hay or pasture, with a variety of grasses and plants. Access to natural mineral and salt.

Which element do you think this animal is, why?
I have put Tina as a water type. She has a beautiful elegant head and neck, has bright deep eyes and a will to survive. She is very often alone and doesn’t stress to be taken away form the herd.

Which oils, hydrolats or base oil you are thinking of and why, a short list of oils for the animal to choose between
Essential oils:
Angelica root: is a water oil and is good for laminitis, immune stimulant and Cushing’s syndrome
Carrot seed: poor skin and hooves, and emotional neglect or abandonment
Seaweed: Cushing’s and laminitis
Vetiver: another water oil, and good for the physical rundown
Helichrysum: deeply bruised emotions, and past abuse

Base oil:
Hemp: for grounding and relaxing
Sunflower: natural and supportive

Which oils the animal chose
Carrot, seaweed and vetiver
Base oil
Dilution:  1 drop essential oil to 5 ml base oil

A daily record of the animal’s responses (print this chart again if interest lasts beyond 14 days, DO NOT finish after 14 days just because the chart does, finish when the animal loses interest or you see no further change in the condition)

Treatment record for: Tina Date: June 25 2018

How to fill out the chart: fill in the box each time you offer the oils according to the codes below. In the comments box write anything unusual or interesting that you notice, or any changes in behaviour. Keen interest = a. Moderate interest = b. No interest = c Oral interaction = o. inhalation = I. Topical = t          E.g. if your animal has a keen interest and wants to lick the oil you will write “a/o” in the appropriate box.

Observations of changes in behaviour or health:
From the first day of treatment I felt Tina knew her life was going to change for the better. I saw a new light in her eyes and she showed an interest in what was going on. She willingly came up to the barn for her treatment and stuck around after. She took an interest in where the rest of the herd was, even calling out to them on occasion. Tina’s coat was coarse and thick on her neck and back, after the week of treatment she started to shed in those areas.

Final assessment of changes in the animal
I am amazed with the changes in Tina in such a short period of time. It is so wonderful to see her starting to act like a normal horse.
She is sticking closer to the herd. I caught her mutual grooming with another horse and it was an incredible sight. I do feel that I will need to keep a close eye on her and make sure she keeps her health up.

What you feel you have learnt from this particular case study
I had thought that Tina had a lot of issues both mental and physical that was needing to be addressed. I also thought she was going to take weeks of treatment. But she showed an improvement right away in her behaviour and out look, maybe that was what was most important to her.
I have made the changes to her life style and feed. I have also turned her out to pasture with the rest of the herd and so far she has not shown any sign of laminitis.

It is such a thrill to see these animals choose with such confidence what they need and see them improve because of it.

Related Articles

Essential Oils & Animal Behavior

I have always had a special interest in animal behavior and helping animals adapt happily to domestication. Essential oils make my work a whole lot easier. But still it is important that we understand the root cause of behaviors that are problematic for the animal, and the humans that care for them. That root is stress.