Re: Considering getting my mare tested - some questions

Nancy C

Hi Jessi

If you vet uses "lab normals" as his or her way to review results he is correct in his assertion. The so-called "normal reading" does not mean the horse is not IR.  That is why we use the IR calculator as outlined in the diagnosis page on

Leptin can be more exact but can be influenced by outside factors such as age, exercise, pergnancy.

You want one blood draw, non-fasting but eating a low ESC and Starch diet preferably hay or  something like ODTB Cubes all night. If they go longer than a few hours you will hvae a break int eh fast when you serve breakfast and need to hold off testing  for about four hours to avoid the spike in glucose and insulin once they resume eating in the morning.

I would not put her on pasture.

The question about karo syrup safety has been brought up here many times.  Yhe original researchers and others did say/have said there was minor risk.  It would be too much for my horse.

Speaking strictly on a personal level, I've not heard a good answer as to why using tests from human medicine is preferble to those derived through research on horses and their physiology, which is what ECIR recommends. 

by using a nonfasting blood draw after eating low esc and starch hay and using what is called "the proxies" developed by Va Poly Tech, you are mirror the most intensive testing available, called Minimal Model.

I referenced the 2013 NO Laminitis! Proceedings earlier.  Please take a look at the complete doc on Diagnosing IR and PPID. it reviews all the tests, why they are used, why ECIR Recommends what it does. Your vet can also find these proceedings on IVIS (International Veterinary Information Service)

Therefore, the ECIR Group recommends a simple blood draw for serum insulin, glucose and leptin. The horse should not be fasted prior to testing, but fed hay only the night before and day of testing. Understanding the conditions of the test and the use of proxies will determine IR status. To calculate the proxies, the ECIR Group Calculator is available to do the math: IR Calculator


Help us out too, Jessi when you post by giving us your name as you have done, but also adding your general location and when you joined the ECIR yahoo.

Many thanks.

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
FACT:  The fall seasonal ACTH rise was first documented by an ECIR Group member and her veterinarian after noticing her horse had repeated bouts of fall laminitis. Fall laminitis is now recognized as an early sign of PPID.  See  E. M. Kellon, VMD, The Internet as an Epidemiological Tool, 2013 NO Laminitis! Proceedings, Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Group Inc.


---In EquineCushings@..., <insidiousglamour@...> wrote :

I have read up on the karo syrup method and it says that it's safe and out of all of the studies they've conducted they haven't had issues. I haven't  read the actual papers as of yet, but it sounded like the vets who promoted this method and felt it was more accurate do not feel it imposes any risk of significance.




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