Vibra VM® Treatment Improves Quality of Life For Moonshine

By: Nikki Alvin-Smith

Life takes it toll on horses and horse owners alike. As we age, our ability to move freely without pain from arthritis can be compromised. Vital organs become less efficient with the heart and lungs often weakening as the years’ pass, and their capacity to provide oxygen lessens.

Allergens in our environment can cause excessive inflammatory respiratory responses and asthma, or heaves as it is commonly known in horses, and this can become a significant health issue in a horse of any age.

Kim Anderson, from Kansas, owner of Moonshine, a horse she has owned for 7 years and who has been a source of great pleasure as a 4-H partner to kids of all ages, was left with few choices when he came down with severe heaves a year ago.

Consultation with her vets yielded help in the form of administration of Ventipulmin, and routines of wetting down his hay, acupuncture treatments were enacted and attempts made to limit his exposure to heat and hot weather.

Anderson turned her focus to Matrix Therapy’s VibraVM machine in the hope that it would provide respite for her horse from his suffering and this is her diary account of how its use benefited Moonshine. She initially reached out with this email to Deborah Powell at Matrix Therapy at the end of the summer, when her horse’s difficulty breathing became more severe due to the humidity and her palliative treatments appeared to be failing:

“Good Day,

I have been looking at your VibraVM product for months, almost a year now. I remember using one of these at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, NE, while I was attending there almost 10 years ago as a donated unit. If I remember correctly we used it on a horse that had heaves there as well. I have a horse that has also developed a severe case of heaves and continues to get worse. 

However, I’m not sure if this tool will help him as the stage that he’s at. It hurts my heart to see him everyday in the condition that he is in where he struggles to breath, so much so that I’m getting to the point where I’m considering putting him down.  His breathing is so heavy and he’s on a strict diet, as much grass time as possible considering his moon blindness and not being able to leave him out at night, and on as much Rx meds for it as I can give. He’s such a good boy and still has a bright eye and super attentive and he tries everyday and I just don’t know what else to do. My vets have never heard or seen any treatments on anything like your device so they’re hesitant to suggest that I try it. The cost to just purchase this unit on a whim to see if will maybe work is huge. Could you please give me some feedback on what my options are?

Thank you. Desperate for help

Kim Anderson

After talking with Powell, Anderson decided to give the VibraVM a try. As the treatment progressed they kept in touch and Anderson shared her experience with the product via emails:

Update September 20th

My horse is doing much better! He’s back to breathing normally, he’s down to meds once a day, and has started back on some extremely watered down hay since we’re getting ready to move into fall and no grass season. It also helps that we are into low humidity weather too, but with harvest starting the dust in the air and everywhere is getting bad already.This has been a blessed tool.

Update October 19th

My horse’s progression keeps continuing. We are down on treatments and meds 2-3 times a week. We are in full harvest swing now with lots of dust in the air. By using the Vibra VM I’m able to get that dust out of all the horses systems, not just the one with heaves. It took longer than expected for my horse to want the treatments but now I don’t have to make him stay on the device, he mostly stays on it himself.

It took almost 8 weeks before he really accepted it. By reducing the meds (Ventipulmin) that he’s on, the machine will eventually pay for itself. I was going through a bottle of meds almost every 23 days. My current bottle has last 4 weeks so far and it’s just over half gone. To top it off we had our first hard freeze last week, so my horse is off pasture and on straight pitched hay watered down. 

Thank you so much for the unit. You and this machine have given me hope for another couple of years with my precious boy Moonshine. 

From the bottom of my heart thank you,

Kim Anderson

October 29th, 2019

The reason I say a couple more years with this boy is for multiple reasons. He’s always been a good boy for me and I haven’t had any serious situations yet with him. However, he came with a lot of problems when I finally got him, injuries and such. I would hate to say these were from lack of care, because he was cared for but it was more of a “strongest/smartest will survive” situation.

The horses at that facility were loved by students like myself, but are not allowed to be pampered and cared for based on their individual levels of need, due to the number of horses at the facility. I know his arthritis meds and periodic pain meds can only hold back the pain in his feet and legs so long before it will become unbearable for him. Due to this pain, he’s already spending more time lying down than a horse normally does. I knew when I brought him home 7 years ago that I’d be lucky if I could get him to the age of 18. Then last year to have this heaves situation thrown in on top of everything else was a lot to take. I thought we had the heaves under control this year until about the end of June into July when the humidity hits 95%+ and doesn’t really let up overnight and he just couldn’t breath at all standing in his pen no matter how much of his meds and acupuncture I gave him. But no matter what I’ve been blessed to know this boy’s life story since he was a weanling and he will live out his days with me doing what he loves.  Giving small children pony rides, being a 4-H on site lease horse, showing at local shows, and playing with his furry farm friends.

You are welcome to use our story and his picture as this tool {VibraVM} provided a better than I expected result. 

Kim Anderson

The positive experience that horse owner Anderson has kindly shared, showcases the benefit that VibraVM provided to her horse Moonshine, and gives hope to others that are dealing with respiratory issues with their equine partners.

Please don’t hesitate contact us to ask questions from our team at Matrix Therapy. We are happy to help in whatever way possible to help you solve and/or remediate health issues with your horse.