Educational Articles,  Health,  News,  Uncategorized

Q & A: Chronic Sinus – Equine

Q & A – Health – Chronic Sinus- Equine

Questions answered by

Cath McDowell – Herbalist at


Q:  My mare Lucy, is a 22 year old OTTB. She presented in October of 2012 with unilateral nasal drainage, light yellow in colour and very pungent.  I treated with 10 days of TMP/SMZ. It seemed to clear up the infection, but Lucy always had some small amount of nasal drainage. When she presented again in December with the same symptoms, only bilaterally, we treated again with TMP/SMZ. Both times it seemed to clear up the infection. In February 2013, she presented once again with similar symptoms, only now its bilateral drainage. At this point I had her swabbed and sent off to UGA for analysis. It came back with large and copious amounts of 3 different bacteria’s. Two were treatable with TMP/SMZ, the other bacteria came back antibiotic resistant and we treated with 30 days of Baytril. I had the second culture done last week, and it came back pretty much the same as the first. They told my Vet that they identified at least 4 pathogens and stopped the analysis.

My Vet was here yesterday to do x-rays, radiographs, and to tube Lucy’s sinus. He found nothing significant. No blockage and no mass. He’s ruled out a tooth problem and clearly thinks it’s all sinus issues. He is a very good Vet and I do trust his diagnosis skills.

I believe this has been going on for Lucy for some time since her previous owner stated she has always had some nasal drainage. My Vet is sending everything he has off to UGA for a second opinion, but he believes Lucy will need to have surgery to flush the sinus so that when we do use antibiotics again, they have a shot a working.  He believes she has so much infection going on that the antibiotics just can’t contain it, hence the surgery.

I’m looking for alternatives.

Can you recommend something? And can you tell me what I might expect while using what your recommend ?

P. Mumbower

Gainesville, GA


A. Hi, This mix has given consistent results in the practice. I have also included a diet sheet, and mainstay herbal support that should be given regularly.

An effective treatment therefore must include ingredients which genuinely rehabilitate and repair the mucous membranes because without this, there is no hope of restoring them to normal health and breaking the cycle of constant re-infection. You will require a min of 15 weeks ( 3 x 200ml bottles) to begin with, and then we reassess. Most likely though severe cases take at least 6 months to heal..

Chronic Sinus- Equine

The best approach is to start on a course of the Chronic Sinus Rehabilitation Mix, and to report back to me after about 15 weeks, so that I can provide further advice at that stage of the treatment.

My Chronic Sinus mixture contains 7 herbs, 4 of which are directed at rehabilitating the damage done. The others are to clear the current infection, the waste products of past infection, and to reduce over-sensitivity.

In cases where there has been a great deal of antibiotic therapy Colloidal silver may be required to deal with resistant infection created by the exposure to antibiotics.

The herbs used in this mix are Buchu, Fenugreek, Echinacea, Horseradish, Garlic, Golden Seal, and Comfrey as well as the Bach Flower Remedy Olive.

Chronic sinus infections are not a difficult problem to treat successfully with herbs but you need to follow a program for 6 months or more to heal such a case permanently.

We have about 70-80% success rate with our chronic sinus mix- ($125 200mls 5 weeks supply) . 

Maritime Pine Bark Extract: This specialist antioxidant is nearly 25 times more powerful than Vitamin C and as such clears free radicals generated by athletic exertion at a phenomenal rate. It also protects the circulatory system and is immediately obvious in reduced stiffness and soreness after strenuous exercise. Maritime Pine Bark Extract is also a mainstay of all my cancer support treatments and used in my skin creams as an anti-aging and skin cancer preventative for both animals and humans.

Using the Maritime Pine Bark alongside the Chronic Sinus is also a good idea if you can mange this as well ( $150 200mls 8 weeks supply)

You need find locally these items to feed if your not in Australia,

  • 1 cup of Millet and 1 cup of linseed per day (make sure its crushed)
  • 2 T of fenugreek powder, or seed , soaked in water, given 2 times a day.
  • 2-3 cloves a garlic can be added per day to his feed.

To order the program just follows the links

  • Chronic sinus mix- ($125 200mls 5 weeks supply). 
  • Colloidal Silver ( $30 500mls) 
  • Maritime Pine Bark L$150 200mls 8 weeks supply) 

You can get fresh garlic from the local greengrocer.

Diet is important with any recovery program  – As a general rule though, I like to feed: ( commensurate with  workload and weight gain)

  • Chamomile flowers ( ½ handful per feed) Nervous system support- P, K, mg in balance
  • Rosehips (2T in 500mls of hot water, divide over 2 feeds) Kidney /liver support, iron, vit c Cobalt.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic- sulphur, Vit A /E  and various other vitamins and minerals that are excellent for immunity and heart/circulation health.
  • ½ cup of Crushed millet per feed- silica- bone health /hair /connective tissue
  • ½ cup of Crushed Linseed per feed Omega 3, 6, 9 lignin’s for healthy joints and flexible ligaments.
  • 1 T of Kelp ( not required for horses that will be on the T&B or Performance blend) trace elements and iodine for thyroid function
  • Dolomite – Mg/trace minerals
  • Rice Bran – protein/fat/vit A
  • Copra Meal- Protein essential fatty acids
  • Soaked Barley or Oats
  • Oaten chaff

Hay- oaten or meadow 24/7 or pasture- Calcium

Extra supplements can be given in specific circumstances to address issues….but the above is very good as a basic. And gives a superb coat and muscle condition. You want the horses strong, good muscle mass, low fat – lean and strong. Most commercial feeds fatten the horses and make their metabolism heavy….can lead to insulin resistance, laminitis and Cushings disease.

Also, a Beet based feed is an excellent feed option, with added herbs to make up the balance…

I hope that this is helpful.  Cath McDowell –

_ _


Mare - Lucy
Mare – Lucy

Testimonial from P. Mumbower

“Lucy is a 23-year-old bay TB who is long retired from racing. She was used as a broodmare and had at least 5 babies. I got her from a horse trader via an intermediary.

I can’t say that Lucy was ever abused but she certainly wasn’t given the kind of veterinary care she deserved. When she came to our house she had a runny nose, and the girl who helped Lucy find me said that it had been that way for at least 2 years. She thought Lucy might have allergies. Things came to a head a year later when Lucy developed a full-on sinus infection that was antibiotic resistant. The Vet thought at the time that it had probably festered for a couple of years without intervention and would be hard to treat. He suggested sinus surgery. That wasn’t an option for a whole host of reasons and knew I needed to search for a cure someplace else. A search on Google got me to McDowell’s herbs ! I read the stories of healing and hope and found some that were similar to Lucy’s situation. I try and treat my horses with natural remedies’ first since I believe natural is best, when possible. I ordered the sinus mix, Maritime Pine bark extract and colloidal silver and followed Cath’s directions. I started seeing a decrease in drainage within 48 hours, and the awful smell of the sinus infection was gone within 10 days of being on her mixtures. I kept Lucy on the Sinus mixture / Maritime Pine for a year as a precautionary measure. Two years have gone by and Lucy continues to be sinus infection free ! Thank You Cath and McDowell’s herbs !”