Re: Laura & Hope - 22 yr old TB mare

Laura Cull

Hi Lorna & Maggie,

Thank you both for your replies. It is such a tough diagnosis to come to terms with and there is so much information to sift through to try and figure out what is right for you and your horse. It is easy to get frustrated, disappointed and overwhelmed. I've really tried really hard to do a lot of research before posting to this group so that I would not waste anyone's time and avoid a lot of back and forth. I also waited until I had my horse on her new diet for at least a month so I could update her CH (she gained 50 lbs which I was very pleased about) and at the same time I included the hay analysis and guaranteed analysis on the Equi-Cal as I knew it was important in order to get an informed response.

I apologize if I seem impatient but this has been an emotional roller coaster as I'm sure you can imagine. The news of the diagnosis was devastating to me. It has been made more stressful trying to sort fact from opinion, old research from new research findings. So, please allow me to be more clear on a few points to help us move forward.

1) I did not want to put my horse on pergolide until the seasonal fall spike was over so we could base the dosage on more accurate results. I will have her retested in late Dec / early Jan and based on those results I will start her on pergolide. I am aware of the peroglide veil so I will start with a low dosage and work our way from there. The one concern I have is whether there is value to keeping her on the Cushing's Care. Is it contraindicated? If it is ok to keep her on it then how much should I be giving her? Would it depend on the pergolide dosage?

2) I have a very open and trusting relationship with my farrier and it is important to me to keep it that way. I am very thankful to know that I can post photos and seek additional assistance from this group. I now realize that tripping could be caused by low grade laminitis but I am wondering if there are other possible reasons for it, either cushings related or not. I keep my horse barefoot all year and when we ride she wears Cavallo simple boots on her front hooves. I would say that the only thing I'm not very open to is putting shoes on her.

3) Why do you recommend white salt?

4) As for diet, I changed her feed program over a month ago to reduce sugar and starch and get her weight up. Otter Coop recommends that horses are fed 2% of their body weight. I've been giving Hope 12 lbs of their Equi-Cal (based on their directions for use) and 4 lbs of their FibreMax a day in addition to access to grass pasture and hay. She has done quite well on this diet, even gaining a much needed 50 lbs, but now I am thinking the concentrate to forage ratio is off. I am considering reducing the Equi-Cal so it only consists of about 25% of her total feed program. This will likely mean that I will have to compensate with added vitamins and minerals which is fine by me. I have uploaded the guaranteed analysis of the Equi-Cal and additionally I phoned them and obtained the following data:
       NSC 16%
       WSC 8.2%
       ESC 6.4%
       Starch 8.4%
When reviewing her overall feed program, please realize that I am likely going to reduce the Equi-Cal to 5 lbs a day and increase her hay to 15 lbs a day as we go into the winter months. She lives on grass pasture 24/7 and that is not going to change given her living arrangements. My wish when someone reviews this feed program is that they will identify (a) potential problem areas, (b) any nutritional gaps and (c) make recommendations based on the whole feed program and what is available in feed stores here in BC. For example, in case you aren't aware, it is not possible to buy beet pulp without added molasses. I've looked into this and it just isn't sold here.

Thanks again,

Laura & Hope
Kelowna, BC, Canada
Oct 2014

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