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Gold Bead Implants (aka permanent acupunture) in horses? Any info on this?

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  • Gold Bead Implants (aka permanent acupunture) in horses? Any info on this?

    Anyone familiar with this in horses or dogs? I can't find all that much via google.
    Seems it has been used succesfully in treating dogs with wobblers or other neurological conditions.
    Is it actually used in horses and only for neurological conditions are also for other conditions?

    I'm assuming this to be rather pricey, but again can't find any details, let alone practitioners.

    Would like to know more. Thanks!

  • #2
    I know a DVM who did implants on a navicular QH baarrel horse with some success.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


    • #3
      I have a dog with them, and he is getting his back feet a bit higher when he walks, I think.
      I believe that the cost might have been equal to maybe about 2 acupuncture treatments for him, so it wasn't crazy. He wasn't under any anesthesia - they put his in with a needle I think.


      • #4
        We had a TB mare (chestnut wouldn't ya know) who had a gold bead placed in her forehead... like right at the bottom of her forelock area. They were using it to hopefully calm and reduce b*tchy mare syndrome. Not sure how well it worked but owner seemed pleased with it. She'd occasionally give it a good rub when she thought the mare might be extra pissy lol. They just drugged her for it, don't think it was too expensive.
        Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com


        • #5
          Yes, we had this done very sucessfully for one of our German Shepherds with severe hip dysplasia. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

          Dr. Michelle Tilghman did the implants and we also saw Dr. Pat Zook for some of the follow-ups. They were also very helpful in finding us a local certified veterinary acupuncturist to continue our dog's care more locally. Their office may be able to help you find someone local to you. Dr. Tilghman is also an IVAS instructor.


          Good luck!


          • Original Poster

            Thanks all! I will look into it further. If I get the required result once more from regular acupuncture (which I believe I did in the past), seems it may well be worth it.

            I'm just surprised it's not heard of more often in horses, probably coz there's not that many vet that do the implants.


            • #7
              Well, keep in mind that, depending on where the implants are placed, they may show up on radiographs, and that can have repercussions on a PPE...
              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

              ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


              • Original Poster

                Thx Ghazzu, you are right I have some questions left.
                Questions like any reason this could be cause of future concern and need to come out at all (if even possible) etc.
                Or if placement could interfere with other treatments (such as blistering a ligament if beads are present or shockwave in that area and so on, never know what else I may end up trying in the future ).

                I have no worries about PPE's, horse not intended to be sold any day soon or in very far future (as long as I'm alive & well, he's supposed to in his forever home ).


                • #9
                  If you do it, no MRI's for your horse either. Keep in mind that there is always the risk for rejection whenever you introduced any foreign matter into the body.

                  You'll also have a lot of fun taking him/her through airport security : ).


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by In_
                    You'll also have a lot of fun taking him/her through airport security : ).
                    Haha, that was something that passed my mind already, I wonder what happens to people that had this done & travel a lot.
                    Whilst there is the odd small chance we may take him back overseas, I didn't think they bodscan horses, just yet .

                    Wow, thx for the warning regarding MRI, didn't realize that.


                    • #11
                      If the implants are gold, and not gold-plated stainless steel, would there still be an MRI issue?
                      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                        I know a DVM who did implants on a navicular QH baarrel horse with some success.
                        How interesting! Was there a write-up done on that?
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JB View Post
                          How interesting! Was there a write-up done on that?
                          Not that I know of--it was presented in a round table discussion at an AAVA meeting.

                          There was a bit of humor involved--apparently mare was a retired barrel horse, and owners asked DVM to see if he could help her.
                          Swore up down and sideways they only wanted her comfortable in the pasture, no intention of putting her back to work.
                          DVM did implants, and they started running barrels again (just local, Doc, she loves it, just for old times' sake).

                          Then DVM got an irate phone call from owners--you just cost us $$$$$$ (don't recall price, but it was in the 5 figures.) We had mare sold, and those damn implants showed up on the PPE xrays!

                          DVM reminded owners that they had sworn mare was just a retiree that was not going to be sold or shown.

                          And he hasn't done any since then.
                          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                          • #14
                            I had the gold bead implants done on my horse when I moved from FL to SC and wasn't sure I would be able to find another good vet to do acupuncture up here. He was an upper level dressage horse with navicular - I found acupuncture to be very helpful in treating his navicular - was having it done every 8 weeks or so - after doing the gold bead implants I had regular acupuncture done once in two years and he stayed totally sound until he colicked and had to be put down. I would defintiely reccomend it!


                            • #15
                              I found this interesting article about gold bead use in animals:



                              • #16
                                Originally posted by FatPalomino View Post
                                I found this interesting article about gold bead use in animals:

                                Narda has axes to grind.
                                Many axes.
                                Which may be why she compares apples to oranges there.

                                Gold implants are not a miracle cure, but they are effective in many cases.
                                "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                                • #17
                                  Hi All:
                                  I am going to start recruiting horses for a "clinical trial" in which we implant very small gold beads (about 2 "mills" or 50 um in diameter) into the joint capsules of arthritic joints. The treatment (and one very much like it) has been used in Europe for 8 years or so, in 50 vet clinics, mostly on dogs. The Goldtreat company has done about 2000 dogs and many horses. We plan to start a trial on horses in 6 months or so, and we are interested to find owners in the US and Canada. So far as we can tell, this is a very effective and long- lasting treatment. Chris Frederickson.


                                  • #18
                                    I'd be a leetle nervous to be putting anything like that *in* a joint capsule.
                                    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                                    • #19
                                      I have seen these things migrate down fascial planes in dogs--it was a mess. I can only imagine what would happen if they migrated in a joint.
                                      Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                                      • #20
                                        Lieslot, is this for your gorgeous gray guy with the mysterious issues?

                                        Hope this works out for you.