As I mentioned in a post below, I've been a member for years and had Dr.Kellon work one on one with me on a difficult situation I had with a mare I owned several years ago. I've taken several of her nutritional courses, and other courses and follow the protocol for diet and management here.
Currently I have 5 Morgans. I treat all as if they are IR due to their breed . 3 of them (2- 14 yr. old mares and a 20 yr old stallion) are extremely easy keepers. I have not had any testing done on the 3 as I just assumed they are IR.
I have a ten year history of hay testing, on fields that I get my hay from year after year. I have normally had 1st cut and occasional second cut. I have never had any of my hay test over 8% ESC and starch. I did not test it in 2014 or the 1st cut of 2015. I have tested the second cut of 2015 due to issues that started with the 2 IR mares that I began feeding it to in January. It tested out 7.3 % ESC and .3 % starch via Equi Analytical, so 7.6% total. I did not do a custom mix for last year, since I did not test my hay, and had been getting excellent results with using Uckele U balance Foundation. No crests, puffy eyes, no fat pads, on any of the horses. My custom mixes normally require the addition of virtually everything that is in U balance, as my hay is low in S/S but is also terribly low in trace minerals, magnesium, etc. Iron is around 140.
However, last fall they started refusing to eat their beet pulp with the U balance added. So I ended up switching the stallion to Uckele's Senior supplement and added a small amount of TC Equine Senior for taste.
The mares would eat the TC Senior, but don't need the fat. So I started using TC lite with Uckele grass balancer added to it.
About a month ago, I began to get concerned over the mares, who had started to have heavy crests develop, puffy eyes, fat pads. Both had sore feet over hard surfaces. I have a concrete aisle in their barn and they began walking gingerly on it, and when outside on frozen ground, were very uncomfortable. I immediately went back to using the U balance in a small amount of timothy pellets and beet pulp, soaked hay until I got my test back, and really moved their toes back, they were long and had started to flare and grow tall heels. Treated for thrush, rasped every few days, etc. Our weather here has been bizarre, since January, we will have 70 degrees for a day, then 40, then a snowstorm, 20 degrees for several days, then back into the 50s's. The ground will go from snow covered to mud, to frozen pocked moonscape, to mud, etc.
In a three week period of time, both mares have lost their crests, eye puffs reduced, fat pads nearly gone. Feet much more comfortable, continuing to tweak trim every few days. Thrushy frogs much improved.
Two weeks ago I noticed my stallion, who is at our second property with his half brother, was doing the same thing as my mares Cresty, fat pads on back, puffy eyes, and feet that were starting to flare out. This stallion experienced a first time episode of heaves this past fall which my vet treated with Dexamethazone and Ventipulmin. No issues at that time, and he has had a couple more episodes(you are always trying to stay ahead of triggers) in which I have followed vet protocol and gave oral Dex dose, next dose three days later which is half original dose, then a final dose three days later. .Have never had a problem with his feet.
At the beginning of the same two weeks in which he was showing IR symptoms, he had another heave attack and I gave him his first dose. Three days later he was wheezing again and I gave him his second dose. During this time I also switched him back to U balance. I was afraid of the Dex and decided to start him on Jiaogulan for his breathing and Spirulina.
Dex dose was 6 cc in a plastic syringe(1000# horse) , then three days later 3 ccs. He didn't get the third dose.
In the two weeks since switching to U balance, his crest is softening, fat pads on back greatly reduced.
Trimmed him, he was long and flared. Pushed his toes back again a couple of days later. He was sore during the trim and has been getting a little worse each day. He lives in a 12x24 stall that opens to a pasture, which has been completely covered in snow for the past few days. He went out gingerly this morning to eat his soaked hay(hay is either soaked or steamed for his heaves), and this afternoon, he had heat in both fronts and a slow pulse in his LF. He is eating well, drinking, manure. He is moving around the stall somewhat as evidenced by the scattered piles. He is shifting weight back and forth between his front feet though. I'm not sure if he hasjust laminitis, abcesses due to the Jiaogulan, cold induced rebound pain from standing in the snow most of the day then into a stall , laminitis from the Dex. or a combination of all of it.
My question is , should I stop the Jiaogulan? If not, should I add AAKG? He also is getting ALCAR, should I stop that? He is closed into the stall from 5pm until 8 am. He isn't standing in a founder stance, but his feet are hurting. Is it possible that the Jiaogulan is moving old abcesses or is two weeks too soon?
Saline, MI 2003