Dear Editor,
The West Nile Virus is a very real threat for horses this year and possibly in more years to come. I had been thinking of what I could use to boost up my immune system to beat the odds of getting the West Nile Virus when I thought of my horse, Melodie’s Gold Coin out back in the field, and my Karelian Bear Dog, named Uta Bear Dog. What about them? There is no scientific data stating that the West Nile Virus Vaccine works, it is in temporary experimental stage at this time. There is no cure. So, I am looking to make my horse and my dog and myself as protected as I can without spraying chemicals on us day after after day that may cause other problems for us. I thought of giving my horse Vitamin C and Echinacea to help their immune system and then I remembered my mom having her garlic every day to keep the doctor away, but could I use garlic on horses and dogs?

I decided to ask experts for preventative treatment that people can do at home to lower the risk of the West Nile Virus infection in horses. Some experts also had tips for other pets and humans as well. These are some tips I came up with:

I found out that the use of herbal treatments, vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as essential oils as immune-stimulants can be highly effective in treatment protocols for therapeutic as well as prevention in assisting the immune system. The immune system fights against infection or harm during contact with unhealthy viruses, bacteria, toxins, protozoans, chemicals, illness, disease and more. The immune systems response in optimal condition also aids in recuperation from illness, disease, injury, and trauma. The horses own natural defense can be raised by using feed supplements and other prevention against exposure.

The higher the stress is on the animal, the higher the risk can be for immune break-down. And with summer trail riding, horse shows, trailering and other stressors involved in both protective measures are then called for. Supplementary treatment along with other precautions to minimize your horses exposure can create an upward boost in your horses ability to fight off and also lower the risk of your horse stock being a viable host for the West Nile Virus to infect.

Some of the ideas that Patti Salmon, an equine herbalist, owner, manufacturer and supplier of Meadowsweet Acres Herbs for Horses, Inc., had for minimizing exposure from mosquito to horse are to keep the horses away from ponds, keeping them stalled during mosquito attack periods, empty unused buckets of water - let no water stand, and to use a fly sheet on the horse. I learned from talking with Patti that herbs can treat and be used in managing various long-term illnesses and diseases of the immune system, such as HIV, CFS and Lupus and hopefully, EPM in horses, too. She continues to sell her Supper Immune as an all over balancing tonic and Viral-Aid, herbal blend, that “will work wonders during an outbreak of illness and helps during a Strangles outbreak” Her General Tonic as an herbal blend that “is similar to a multi-vitamin”. Her product called Fly Be Gone repels all external parasites/mosquitoes and is made from garlic and brewers yeast. Meadowsweet Acres Herbs for Horses, Inc. is located in Shelbyville, TN, and can be reached at (931) 684-8838. Her web page is informative and is an online catalog. It is

In getting to the source, Patti reminded me, birds such as Martins and Chimney Sweeps and bats eat mosquitoes and should be welcomed and housed. I have seen bat boxes (houses) sold at Craft Festivals, recently. I learned that bats are very safe around humans and make the environment safer for us, as well, by eating the mosquitoes.

Herbs such as Echinacea have been used traditionally since ancient time in treating colds, coughs, viruses and their infections. “Echi-Fend, tm, has acted as an Immune System Stimulant”, according to their web site, The Echi-Fend product is a blend and is backed by scientific study and is standardized, meaning you will get the exact same amount of product in each and every dosing. They can be called at (877) 856-0569, or for U.S. ordering call (888) 549-4503.

Dr. Dan Moore, CVCp, DVM, known as The Natural Horse Veterinarian, can be seen on the RFTV channel on cable answering the most commonly asked horse questions and his products can be viewed and ordered on the internet at or by phone, toll free at (877) 873-8838, his internet logo is Tender Love and Net Care. Dr. Moore also carries pet and human products also, please see his web site and protect your pets and yourself too. For natural biting insect control please check out his Bug Check. Dr. Moore said it is an aid in fly problem reduction and is oral, chemical free, and used as a feed supplement. Bug Check has four components, garlic, Grape Seed, which is the greatest antioxidant in humans, horses, and pets and gives a great show coat, Diatomaceous Earth is an internal and external parasite deterrent, and Thiamine enhances capillary function. Another product named Vim and Vigor Daily Anti-Oxidant is a multi-herbal feed supplement to boost the immune system. Dr. Moore believes that by providing the best nutrition you can prevent it or heal it. The Natural Horse Veterinarian puts his products out there for the public to used to promote and enable a trigger for the body to heal itself. Dr. Moore also spoke of the benefits that chiropractic therapy, massage therapy, and energy therapy treatments can bring also as treatment modalities to aid in preventing ill health and in helping to maintain optimal health.

Another essential oil product I use as an insect repellent is made for humans by Prairie Rose mail order. It’s ingredients are Fine Vegetable Oil, Citronella, Lavender, Vitamin E, and Fine Beeswax, and it is safe for any age. The toll free number is (866) 214-7673.

Michelle P. Craig

Editor’s Note:
Michelle P. Craig is a Professional Tennessee Walking Horse Trainer, an Instructor and Consultant in Horse Care, her business name is Helping Hand; she is an Energy Therapist assisting horses, pets and humans Bio-field, her business name is Healing Hand; she is also a Professional Writer and Speaker. Her phone number is (615) 417-0905.