Re: First time Cushing's, blood levels

Mandy Woods

Hi Rachel,
You said Morgan.   They could be the poster children of the ECIR list!   Its not how big or thin they get,  it’s the quality of the food that they can process.  Skinny horses can founder just like fat ones.  Ask me how I know...........
Did you get an invite to join ECH8?   I’ll send you one.   It may also be as easy as deleting  the word NEO in the link you are joining. 
You can ask the barn manager where most of their hay is grown.  You may be able to get an ‘average’ from several fields.   This could mean a visit to several hay farms to core some samples to submit to   Its also possible you could arrange to ‘rent’ a corner of the barn to keep enough hay for your mare so you wouldn’t have to test so often.   The test we like is the Trainer # 603 for $54.  
I live in VA but I use California Trace as the base of my supplements. It fits!    The volunteers who help people balance their hays might recommend Horse Tech  custom mixes once they see a copy of your hay analysis.  There are too many premixed supplements out there to balance your hay.  That’s your goal ~ to feed her the best, correct diet for her needs.  Her insulin was really high last summer.   Soak/drain her hay and start the Temporary Emergency DIET.   You can get the minerals for that diet at Walmart or any drugstore.   The diet recipe is in the Start Here file or at    You need a muzzle on her taped shut if she goes back out with her buddies.  We really need to see a new set of labs on her.   We have a saying here,  “avoid laminitis at all cost”.  You should worry that she will founder.   That is unbearably painful for the horse.   Not only do we read the lab number,  we figure the ratio by using the calculator.  A few hours of grass a day could be deadly.   Its not worth the risk.   Again,  its not the total weight of your mare,  it is the proper diet she is fed.   She needs a low sugar/starch forage with low fat of 4-5% a day.  Soaking hay for one hour  reduces sugar up to 30%.  You should feed her at least 4 small meals a day.   Both Cushings and IR are progressive conditions.  If you don’t manage them now they will get worse.  PPID/Cushings requires pergolide.   IR is managed by diet.
I would say on a scale of 10 these are serious conditions coming in at “9”.     Yes,  Lyme or cancer are other  possiblities especially if the horse is generally not doing well.   Founder takes at least a year to grow out a new hoof.  Some take longer.  I know ~ you have a lot to think about!  But the good news is pergolide is affordable  and your mare with a tight diet can have many more years.
Mandy in VA
EC Primary Response
OCT 2003

Join to automatically receive all group messages.