Re: Newly diagnosed

Joan and Dazzle

Hi Jamie,

Welcome to the group. You've certainly come to the right place. There
are tons of people to help. And this list is cutting edge with regards
to metabolic issues in horses - both Cushings and Insulin Resistance.

As you probably realized by now, insulin resistance is controlled by
diet. Some horses are more likely to be insulin resistant than others.

Our list philosophy are the DDTEs - diagnosis, low sugar/starch/fat
diet, hoof trim, and exercise if your horse is able.

We're glad you're here. It sounds like your vet is really on the ball
to get the diagnosis of insulin resistance. Did you have blood work
done to confirm this diagnosis? The bloodwork that we recommend is a
glucose and insulin test from the same blood draw. This will tell you
where you are and when you test periodically, it tells you how
successful you are with the diet plan that you are using.

Is your boy currently laminitic? I'm assuming not. If he is, you'll
have to jump straight to the emergency diet that was emailed to you
when you joined.

Let's jump straight into dietary concerns. We suggest a diet low in
sugar, starch, and fat. This means that you need to review every
single thing that goes into his mouth.

First, you have to know how much hay you're feeding him. Is he a
little overweight? On an orchard alfalfa mix, you probably do not want
to free feed him. How tall is he? How much does he weigh? You will
want to feed 1.5-2% of his ideal weight. If he's overweight, you will
want to feed 1.5% of his current weight or 2% of his ideal weight,
whichever is greater.

You will need to get a scale to weigh his hay. Walmart sells fish
scales that will work. We can help you determine the amount that he
should be eating every day. You don't ever want to put your horse on a
starvation diet to lose weight. Fat will be mobilized from the cells
for energy, resulting in hyperlipemia. This is very dangerous for a

It's good that you soak the hay. You need to be sure that you soak it
for either 1/2 hour in hot water, or 1 hour in cold water. That can
reduce the sugars up to 30%. Do you also pour out the water someplace
where he can't get to it? The water will have a lot of sugar in it,
which some horses think tastes great. But if they drink the water with
the sugar, you've defeated the whole purpose for soaking.

Can you get your hay tested to know exactly what's in it? That way,
you will know the sugar and starch content of the hay. We recommend
hay that is less than 10% sugar and starch. That's low, but we've
found that horses usually do better on the lower sugar/starch hay.

Beet pulp. We like beet pulp here. But it has to be the kind without
molasses. Then, you need to rinse/soak/rinse until the beet pulp water
comes out clean. Otherwise, you will have too much sugar still in it.

The senior feed usually isn't appropriate for insulin resistant
horses. The sugar and starch content is just too high. I'd eliminate
this from his diet.

Whole oats. Is he at work? What's his body condition score? Oats are
also high in sugar and starch. I would eliminate this until you have
his insulin resistance under control.

Rice bran. You will want to eliminate this and add ground flax seed to
his diet instead. Flax seed is high in omega 3s, which are very anti-
inflammatory. You will want to feed 2 oz daily. High levels of fat
tend to make the insulin resistance not come under control. Rice bran
has high fat levels.

Clovite. Clovite is also high in fats. You will want to eliminate this

I don't know what weight builder you're using. So I can't comment on

Additionally, you will want to eliminate all treats that are over 10%
sugar/starch. This means no carrots, no cookies, no Mrs. Pastures. Dr.
Kellon has said many times, horses don't need treats. That one is a
hard one for me. I've been very lucky to find a couple of places that
have low sugar starch treats. Skodes is one of them. I also found an
alfalfa treat that I've tested that is fairly low. Most treats are not.

You will want to be sure to feed him iodized salt, and add vitamin e
gel caps. The liquid is better utilized by the body. The powder is not
as effective.

So, that would be my suggestions until you get your hay tested. Then,
you can add minerals that are necessary.

Help yourself to the files. There is a ton of information. Once you
get used to a new routine, it's really not that hard.

Just ask if you have more questions.

Joan and Dazzle

--- In EquineCushings@..., "lloydequestrian"
<lloydequestrian@...> wrote:

The last 6 months his daily diet has been grass/alfalfa hay
(soaked) and a mash of beet pulp, senior feed, whole oats, rice
clovite and a weight builder. Any suggestions on a new diet??

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