Re: Please help. New to all of this.


Hi Tiffany,
Great!!  I'm glad that helped.  I found your CH.  Great job on the timeline!! That's fine to add the exact numbers and the lab's normal ranges from Maggie's test results later.  Just remember to make any changes in your CH on your hard drive and then upload them rather than trying to do it directly online, as the changes will not go through that way. It would be really helpful for us to see the actual numbers.  Do you know what lab was used?  And were the tests done on a NON fasting horse?
It's great that you have her off of grass and treats, etc.  And great that you are using a hay net--is it a small mesh one?  The holes are much smaller than regular hay nets and it makes the allotted hay amount last longer.  Although we do think of the typical IR horse as being an easy keeper with regional fat pads, cresty neck, etc, not all IR horses are fat. 
All hays contain varying amounts of sugar and starch.  Unless you get your hay tested, you don't know how much sugar and starch your hay contains.  Over the years, through trial and error, this group has learned that IR horses do best on a combined sugar/starch diet of no more than 10%, and some horses require that number to be even less.  You can send a sample of your hay to be tested and then you will know for sure.  In the meantime, the safest thing to do is to soak it. Lots of us use this lab:  You want the #603 Trainers package for $54.  This will tell you the sugar and starch content of your hay as well as the mineral profile.  Then you will know:
1) if you need to continue to soak or find safer hay for Maggie, and
2) the excesses and deficiencies in the mineral content of your hay so that you can build a custom mineral balanced diet for her. 
Once you get your hay analysis back, one of our balancing folks can help you figure out what needs to be added to correct the mineral imbalances.  You can often borrow a hay probe from your local extension office or coop.  We also have a lot of members in NC.  Maybe someone who already has a hay probe can come and help you to collect your sample.  Here's a link to our member database, tho in no way is it comprehensive, since we have ~12,000 members.  Check out line #322 in NC who is willing to lend a hay probe.  I don't know if she is close to you, but maybe?  Or maybe another NC member will chime in here.
About the Nutrena Safe Choice Special Care.  We have found that most bagged feeds, even the ones specifically designed for IR horses are too high in sugar and/or starch and/or fat, or have added iron (which we don't want since most IR horses are already iron overloaded and already get plenty of iron in their hay).  Triple Crown Lite in small amounts as a carrier, ODTB's, Stabul1 are feeds that we are familiar with and know what the guaranteed analysis shows.  You will learn to be a label reader too and will be able to know immediately if a feed is suitable or not.  Anyone who carries Triple Crown products can also get ODTB's.  They are tested to be under 10% sugar+starch, and each batch is balanced to Dr Kellon's specifications.  They can actually be used as a complete feed, with the need to add only Iodized salt, Vitamin E and ground flax seed.
From looking at your xrays and one hoof photo, agree the toes need to come back.  The proper trim for a laminitic foot does not look like a *normal* trim for some time.  The sooner you get those hoof photos posted, the sooner one of our hoof folks can give you guidance on the proper way to trim Maggie.  if you have to, take them with her lying down.  It's better than no pictures at this point.  The trim may be the key in helping to get her comfortable again.  A proper trim is often the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place.  Also, more frequent trims are necessary as the old hoof grows out and new healthier hoof with tight laminar connections grows in.  Is she is a deeply bedded stall?  In soft rides 24/7?
Hang in there Tiffany.  We know how hard this is.  Many, many of us on this list have been where you are now.  It does get better.  But it's a lot of work and commitment to getting Maggie over this and as you have already found out, a fundamental change in your horse keeping practices.  It's especially hard to know who and what to believe, but I can tell you that many on this list, including me, have tried it all before.  The DDT/E works!  Many have also been through several vets and/or farriers in their journey to their horses health.  Once you wrap your head around it all,  it does just become a new way of life.  You may want to take a look at some of the posts from Deb Funderburk about her pony Cory.  She's actually in NC too, so may be able to offer you some support.  This is part of the reason that we ask people to give their general location when signing their posts.  It helps us to source appropriate products for your area and also can put you in touch with other local members.  So don't forget (I know you're stressed!)  Name, date of joining, general location, and now a link to Maggie's CH each time you post.  Here's a link to Maggie's CH.  You can just copy and paste it into your signature.
Get us those lab results and hoof photos and we can help you sort through it all better!  And keep reading the files, website and archived messages!  Knowledge is empowerment!
Maggie, Chancey and Spiral in VA
March 2011
EC Primary Response


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