Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service

Murray Ohms
by: Sharon Adrian, Chilliwack, British Columbia July 1998

Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service Dawne in February 1998I first talked to Murray and Bev Ohms in February of 1998 in a last ditch effort to avoid putting my old mare down. I had purchased her from them as a three year old and had kept in touch over the years so they knew her history.

In April of 1997 Dawne had taken a fall in her paddock when the edge of the hog fuel fill gave away underneath her. In the fall she somersaulted and when she landed her head and neck were bent completely under her body. Her muzzle was under her at the girth line. We had to resort to pushing and yelling to get her to rise to her feet again. She was disoriented and very unsteady on her feet. She appeared to have nearly suffocated while her head was trapped under her body. I called the veterinarian and he said to put her in a quiet area alone and let her rest. She drank a little water at first but didn't eat. It took 4 to 5 days for her to start eating properly. She developed lumps in front of her shoulder on the right side. We rubbed her with liniment regularly and didn't ride her for 3 months. After this she seemed to be fine until late autumn.

In November Dawne started to slowly lose condition. Her hair grew quite long and shaggy. She started to get thin in the flank area. She had always carried her age very well and most people who saw her thought she was in her teens not twenties. I had always been regular in her wormings and inoculations.

By January the mare was getting worse and losing condition more rapidly. I had my veterinarian out and he floated her teeth. By February Dawne was getting very thin with scabby lesions developing on her skin. Her eyes were dull and lifeless, her hair was long, dry and brittle. She had a large scabby sore on her tail. She would stand with a hunched back and her legs spread very wide in the back when urinating. Her joints seemed to snap and pop when she walked. She also seemed to have difficulty chewing her grain and much of it would fall out of her mouth while she chewed. I again called my veterinarian out. He again floated her teeth, prescribed a course of antibiotics and said that I had an old horse.

I was desperate. I didn't want to put Dawne down unless absolutely necessary but I also didn't want her suffering. I knew that Murray had taken an equine massage therapy course so I phoned him to see if they would come and look at Dawne. To rule out cancer or a tumor Murray asked me to have my vet do an internal. It was clear so I arranged for Murray to visit.

On Murrays' initial examination he found: 4 of the 7 cervical vertebrae were held in restriction, 2 thoracic vertebra were restricted. She had major muscle restrictions in the deep muscles of the hindquarters and her jaw had become miss- aligned due to restrictions in the masseter muscle (caused by pain induced teeth clenching). Visually she was carrying most of her weight on her ride side when walking. Her muscles on the left side and hip had started to waste away.

Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service Dawne in JulyMurray felt that she was about 250 pounds under her normal weight (she's only 14.2 hands) and confirmed that she was too weak to ride. He worked on Dawn for two and a half hours until the mare showed that she had had enough. We gave her a feed of grain before turning her out and she no longer spilled any. She walked out to the pasture with her weight evenly distributed on all four legs. Murray worked on her three more times at monthly intervals and her condition and movement gradually improved and she gained her weight back. On his fourth visit Murray said that she was ready for light riding again. Thanks Murray.

As a final note: Dawne lived to the age of 33 before advanced arthritis finally claimed her.