To Kathy, Dr. Kellon and others,
No one is saying the balanced hay cubes are a problem for most IR horses. They are a very valuable option for IR horse care. If your horse is doing well on them, great!
The point is that as Dr. Kellon has said, keep the hay under 10% ESC + starch, but some IR horses need lower. How much lower?
In February 2014, when I asked Ontario Dehy, I was told the ODTB lot number I bought was ~9%. That fulfills their guarantee of being less than 10% and safe for most IR horses, but I suspected it was not low enough for Cory (then 5 YO Morgan gelding).
(insulin tested at Cornell, hay analysis by EquiAnalytical) (Note: by RISQI, any insulin over 20 indicates uncontrolled IR)
Hay 10.3% ESC + starch insulin 83
Hay 6% insulin 18
Hay 6% insulin 15
Hay 8% insulin 25.5
Hay 6 and 8% mixed insulin 9.9
Hay 6 and 8% not mixed insulin 27.3
I had the same thought Kerry did about soaked hay instead of hay cubes for Corrine’s Jasper based on my experience. My Cory’s behavior and symptoms have correlated very well with his insulin level. Once Jasper’s PPID is under control, Corrine will probably have a much easier time of managing him. When a horse is in crisis, I would soak hay.
If an IR horse is doing well and his test results indicate that he is under good control, keep doing what you are doing and thank your lucky stars and this group. If not, leave no stone unturned, get the tests you need to determine what your horse’s status is and do what you need to do to get him and keep him healthy.
Best regards and all due respect,
--Paula with Cory IR and Onyx IR
NRC plus 2010