Wellington, FL (June 23, 2021) — Kelsi O’Hara has a host of fine attributes as the barn manager of Three Acres Farm located in South Florida, but the most amazing one is being a lifesaver. When Candy Platz’ Grand Prix Lusitano stallion, Don Juan, presented with a case of mild but atypical enteritis, the horse’s veterinarian suggested a wait-and-see approach. Platz, also a veterinarian, believed her horse had eaten something toxic in the paddock and suggested he needed immediate and aggressive antitoxin therapy. Her veterinarian disagreed but O’Hara thought the owner was on to something.
She searched every inch of Don Juan’s paddock for anything unusual and found three tiny orange beans with a black dot at one end. O’Hara’s online research identified the seeds as an invasive vine called Abrus Precatorius, also known as Rosary Pea, Buddha’s Beans and Wild Licorice. All parts of Abrus Precatorius contain abrin, a toxic plant protein. Even one tenth of a milligram of abrin can pose harm to a 150-pound human and horses are uniquely susceptible to the toxins abrin has, for which there is no antidote. The diagnosis may only be made by post mortem examination.
Don Juan’s vet was not convinced as he had never dealt with an Abrus Precatorius case in his years of experience and, until there was proof, the stallion would be managed for mild enteritis. That was all O’Hara needed to know to spring into action.
She painstakingly dissected 20 pounds of Don Juan’s manure and found a sprig of the toxic plant the stallion had eaten. Her bulldog-like dedication unearthed the evidence to convince the veterinarian to start a prompt and aggressive antitoxin therapy, augmented by Omega Alpha’s Biotic 8™ Plus, Liver Flush® and Kidney Flush®.
“We used Omega Alpha Products for Don Juan when he came home from the clinic,” O’Hara said. “He ended up getting colitis from the damage of the toxicity of the plant and we used all Omega Alpha products for his recovery.”
Eight days later, Don Juan was alive but still not eating and O’Hara tempted him with horsey treats from Whole Foods® and Fresh Market®. His recovery was so swift, he resumed training in two weeks.
According to Platz, “Don Juan owes his life, and the honor of being the first documented case of a horse surviving Abrus Precatorius toxicity,to Kelsi’s determination, dedication, and sleuthing skills.” It was for this reason, as well as her “attention to detail, devotion to each horse as an individual, rock-solid work ethic, stoic courage that refuses to let her chronic medical condition dominate her life, keen intelligence, a desire to learn” that Platz nominated O’Hara for the Omega Alpha® 2021 Barn Manager of the Winter Season award.
Omega Alpha® heartily agreed with the nomination and recognized her devotion and hard work with the 2021 award. They also appreciate the use of Omega Alpha® products Biotic 8™ Plus, Liver Flush® and Kidney Flush® to help return Don Juan to health. As a reward for a job well done, Omega Alpha® is gifting O’Hara with a bit box she can fill with the Omega Alpha® products of her choice.
O’Hara believes the key to success for any barn manager is to get to know your horses and having that level of knowledge is akin to having your horses speak to you without words. “You can tell when an animal is sick but when you really know your horses, you can tell whether you’re treating them properly or not,” she said.
Omega Alpha® recognizes her dedication to keeping horses healthy and happy from the inside out and congratulates her on being named Barn Manager of the 2021 Season with a commemorative Bit Box which O’Hara can fill with the Omega Alpha® products of her choice. In addition to recognizing horses in optimum health, Omega Alpha®, a Canadian-based company, offers an extensive line of all-natural products for humans and other animals as well. Clients everywhere have experienced the benefits of Omega Alpha® to help improve and maintain respiration, digestion, joint health, hormonal balance, immune health, detoxification, muscle rehabilitation, endurance and performance. To learn more about the company, visit www.OmegaAlpha.com or call 1-800-651-3172.