Equine massage and chemical exposure?

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Elliemare
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Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by Elliemare » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:53 am

This is a genuine concern for me. I live a pretty chemical free, organic lifestyle and I've done years and years of "detoxing" and working toward good health.

Since I've been working on horses, I have a concern. Almost every grooming product and medication on the market for horses is labled "Not for use on animals meant for human consumption". In my house, if you can't eat it, don't put it on your body!

Its pretty much a given that most horses will have been recently doused with fly spray this time of year, and most fly sprays that actually work are loaded with pesticides. Then there are the grooming sprays and show sheens and the bath in a bottle products, as well as shampoos.

My hands are in constant contact with these chemicals the entire time I'm working on the horses. I'm sure I'm absorbing a lot of toxins that way. I'm not sure what to do about it? I fear that wearing latex gloves will make me a laughing stock? I guess my only option is suck it up (no pun intended) and just hope I don't get cancer some day and wonder if it was all that chemical exposure?

JaeMarie
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by JaeMarie » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:52 pm

Having spent about half my life in regular contact with horses and various fly/bug repellent and grooming products, honestly, I'd just wash up afterwards and probably not give it a second thought.

Everyone has differing levels of what they consider acceptable to expose themselves to. While I've used fly spray on my clothing before (because sometimes dog-gone-it those bugs will drive you CRAZY and they sure don't care that you've still got work to do) the next person may not be comfortable with that type of proximity to the product. I don't judge one way or the other, so really, it's a matter of you deciding what you're comfortable dealing with.

If you're not comfortable coming into contact with these products, it's well within your right to request that the horse be bathed or be free of such products when you work on them. While that is your right, you may come across some resistance by people who won't want to be bothered with the extra cleaning... which is their right as well. There is no right or wrong to the situation, just a matter of you deciding what your comfort zone is and working within it.





...and for what it's worth (just a pet peeve of mine) water even in its purest form is a chemical, so that something is referred to as a "chemical" doesn't automatically make it a horrible, terrible, negative, toxic thing in my book ;). I really think those two words (chemical and toxic) are WAY overused these days to scare people. :smt102

Elliemare
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by Elliemare » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:33 am

My concern is that the majority of these products state on the label that they can't be used on animals that are going to be eaten. If the toxins are that readily absorbed by the animal, that eating an animal which has had these products applied can be potentially dangerous... well, that's just a bit scary.

JaeMarie
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by JaeMarie » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:44 am

Well, it doesn't necessarily mean that if used on horses that they suddenly become "toxic meat."

Many medications and other products meant for human use are labeled "not to be used if pregnant or breastfeeding" or something to that effect. It doesn't necessarily mean that the product is toxic the user and then on to the babies, but it could just mean that there's not enough information/studies available to know if there may or may not be an issue/transfer, or the amount that may or may not be transferred, or what amount is safe for the baby to be exposed to.

I've kept aquarium fish before, and early on had a couple occasions where I had to use antibiotics on the tank. I can tell you that the package of ampicillin (which is a medication people can take) was labeled "not for use on fish intended for consumption." So, it's ok for me to take it in much higher doses, but I can't expose an animal to a fraction of it then consume the meat some months/years down the road? Should we assume that that exposure made the fish "toxic"?

I think it's just a legal safeguard for the most part, but partially also because no one has taken the time, money, and effort to find out whether it may or may not even create an issue.

Elliemare
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by Elliemare » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:43 am

I did just read that some of these products lable this stuff thusly for legal purposes. Also they just haven't invested the time and money into finding out if their product is safe for animals intended for consumption.

That makes me feel a bit better, but its still a concern. I think may have to ramp up my daily detox routine just to be on the safe side.

Timedess
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by Timedess » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:27 pm

I understand your concern, Ellie.

Honestly, in all the years my hubby has worked on horses, I never thought of it quite THAT way (him becoming contaminated from touching chemicals put on the horses). I know that neither of us ever wanted to BREATHE it ourselves, and whenever a horse owner offers to spray the horse because of flies, he typically declines-- but that it mostly because the spray makes their hair more slippery and he can't get the traction he wants. He also usually comes away from horse massages VERY grimy, especially on the hands and forearms. I told him he ought to charge more for "grooming" along with the massage, LOL!

I, too, have thought that it would be *nice* for the horses to be freshly bathed prior to their massages. However, at least in our world, that is not a reality. Most of our owners are working people who schedule their horses' massages around their work schedules, and are too busy to bathe the horses just prior to the appointment. Perhaps if we had some high-class show barns with oodles of bored grooms, it could happen. But that is not *our* reality, at least not at this point in time.
~Renee

Elliemare
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by Elliemare » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:46 am

The majority of the horses I work on are performance horses and they are all regularly clipped and groomed, so I don't typcially get all that dirty. However I do have some recreational riders who don't keep their horses quite so meticulously groomed. Those horses are dirty and their barn areas typically attract a lot of flies, so the fly spray is used a lot

Those overhead fly spray systems in the bigger barns are horrible! And the big show horses are usually doused with detanglers and show sheens and grooming sprays if not fly spray as well.

Its such a tough call since I worked so hard to "detox" myself and in the past had hair analysis and such done to detect what I was absorbing into my body. I've done really well at getting those toxin levels down and have done so many cleanses over the years that I'm known as the "detox queen"!

It was suggested to me that I might just ramp up my detox program to a daily or weekly routine now that I'm working on horses? I may try taking chlorella every night and do some bentonite clay once a week and see how that goes? Also someone else mentioned a product that coats your skin so that your hands don't absorb junk? I'll have to find out what that might be?

Timedess
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by Timedess » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:17 am

Ellie,

Yeah, I understand, and personally would be in the same place, if it were me. I can't advise you regarding the "daily detox" thing.... It does come with trade-offs, I know that.
~Renee

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pueppi
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Re: Equine massage and chemical exposure?

Post by pueppi » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:35 am

Elliemare wrote: Also someone else mentioned a product that coats your skin so that your hands don't absorb junk? I'll have to find out what that might be?
You may be talking about Theraseal. However, if you are concerned about chemicals, you'll have a to make a judgement call, because putting a layer of something on your hands to keep out something else, may also be a "chemical" of some sort.

Here's some more info on it: http://www.corialabs.com/theraseal.html

I keep a tube in my office for needed instances. I have my local pharmacist (at CVS or Sam's) order it for me, and just go pick it up when it comes in. It is not "by prescription", but you won't find it just sitting on a shelf.

Hope this helps.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

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