Q: My horse is being treated for degenerative joint disease (DJD) in both his front legs. However, I am thinking about treating him with magnotherapy or copper wraps. Can you advise?

Holistic vet Nick Thompson replies: In my experience, magnetic boots and rugs for horses are very useful.

We and our horses are electromagnetic beings and the principle is not as wacky it sounds. It is thought that the magnet affects the erythrocytes, which contain iron, and transport oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. It causes these erythrocytes to move towards the magnet, dilating the blood vessels.

Some companies offer a four- to eight-week trial on magnetic products, so shop around: you can’t tell in advance which horses will benefit. There is no harm in trying, and we have seen dramatic results using magnotherapy.

Copper bracelets or wraps can work for people with rheumatic-type pains. Copper may work on horses, too, but I suggest you try the magnets first and see how you get on.

For more about alternative therapies, and to locate your nearest homeopathic vet, contact the British Homeopathic Association, (tel 020) 7566 7800.