Join Date: May 2008
Location: Jersey girl in Northern California
Hmmm...cruelty, I'm not sure of. I'm more prone to say that there is questionable veterinarian service available to this woman.
Although rare, equine systematic lupus is an auto immune disease that can first surface by affecting a horse's skin. This is the first thing I thought of when I read this article just because my dog was diagnosed with this disease a few months ago. His symptoms are loss of pigment on his nose, mouth, eyelids, and lips and sores develop in these areas, and they spread when he's out in the sun. We use a steroid ointment on these areas, give him fatty acids, pure Vitamin E extract, a multi-vitamin, and we keep him out of the sun as much as possible.
If a horse has this disease, and is out in the sun a lot (which horses usually are) the sores can spread, and get worse. It is not contagious, but if the horses have the same genes then it is very possible they have the same thing.
It is incurable, but can be made less painful. The disease usually ends up affecting the bones (as in the "human" lupus), but doesn't progress to that stage very quickly.
The more I think of it, I would think this woman would get a second opinion. Maybe it is cruelty, then.
Horse whisperers don't whisper to the horse....they listen to the horses' whispers.