Re: Aloe vera as a supplement carrier
Welcome to the group! Happy that you are enjoying all of the great information! Sounds like you are off to a good start with the supplements (Arizona copper complete, Vitamin E and flax), but I'll go into more detail below (in the Diet section).
To get the very best answers to your questions, we ask that all members fill out a case history on their horse. To do that you need to join the case history subgroup here: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory
and then all of the information you'll need to fill out the CH is in the wiki here: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/wiki
If you have any trouble, just ask and help is available. It can be a bit daunting at the start, but the better we understand your horse’s situation, the better advice we can provide.
Meanwhile, I will give you some details about our philosophy called DDT/E, short for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise. Once you get your CH filled out, we'll be able to be much more specific with answers to any questions you have. Our website is also a great source of concise information: https://www.ecirhorse.org/
DIAGNOSIS: The 4 tests that we recommend are ACTH, insulin, glucose and leptin. A horse can be both PPID and/or insulin resistant. Please include any lab results that you already have. There is a place in the CH form for you to list them. If you don't have the actual results, ask your vet for a copy. The ACTH is for diagnosing PPID; the insulin and glucose for diagnosing IR, and the leptin helps to differentiate if the horse is IR at baseline or if an elevated ACTH is driving the insulin up.
PPID is treated with the medication pergolide and a mineral balanced diet. IR is managed with a low sugar/starch (under 10%) mineral balanced diet and exercise. If a horse has both PPID and IR, he will need both medication and a mineral balanced low sugar starch diet and exercise.
DIET: The diet that we use is a low carb, (less than 10% sugar+starch) low fat (4% or less), mineral balanced diet. We use grass hay, tested to be under 10% sugar + starch, with minerals added to balance the excesses and deficiencies in the hay, plus salt, and to replace the fragile ingredients that are lost when grass is cured into hay, we add ground flax seed and Vitamin E. This diet is crucial for an IR horse, but also supports the delicate immune system of a PPID horse.
More details in the "start here" file here:
There is lots of other helpful information in the start here file so recommend that you read the entire file.
What you don't feed on the IR diet is every bit as, if not more important, as what you do feed! No pasture. No grain. No sugary treats, including apples and carrots. No brown/red salt blocks which contain iron and sometimes molasses, and interfere with mineral balancing, so white salt blocks only. No products containing molasses. No bagged feeds with a combined sugar and starch of over 10% or starch over about 4%, fat over about 4%. Unfortunately, even bagged feeds that say they are designed for IR and/or PPID horses are usually too high in sugar and/or starch (usually starch), or fat. It’s really important to know the actual analysis and not be fooled by a name that says it is suitable for IR/PPID horses.
I'm not quite sure I understand your question about the aloe vera, but are you looking for a carrier to syringe the supplements in or something to sprinkle your supplements over for your horse to eat out of a bucket? If you are syringing the supplements in you could use aloe vera juice as a carrier but it would not help with the absorption of the vitamin E, since aloe vera does not naturally create an oil. To make aloe vera oil, the constituents of aloe are actually added to a carrier oil, which may or may not be safe for consumption. We do recommend aloe vera juice to help with treating ulcers, but since it's not an oil, it won't help with the absorption of the Vitamin E powder. A teaspoon or so of olive oil or cocosoya will help with the absorption of the vitamin E. Lots of us use Vitamin E soft gel caps (human form) with oil (usually soy) already in the caps. The oil in the ground flax seed is not enough since the oil and vitamin E have to "find each other", but flax seed oil would work. See Dr Clougher's very detailed message for amounts of flax seed/oil to use to provide the proper amount of Omega 3's: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/message/203051
If you are looking for a safe carrier to sprinkle the supplements over for your horse to eat, the list is pretty short. Rinsed/soaked/rinsed non-molasses beet pulp, Soy hull pellets, Nuzu Stabul 1, Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance cubes (called Triple Crown Naturals Timothy Balance Cubes in the US):
There are a few others, but those are the ones we use most frequently. Again, close scrutinization of the label on any product for amount of sugar and starch (usually not provided), fat, and "no-no" ingredients would be necessary.
Trim: A proper trim is toes backed and heels lowered so that the hoof capsule closely hugs and supports the internal structures of the foot. Though important for all horses, it's essential for an IR and/or PPID horse to have a proper trim in place since they are at increased risk for laminitis. Look on the following pages of our website for more information about a proper trim.
After any potential triggers are removed from the diet (and in PPID horses, the ACTH is under control), the trim is often the missing link in getting a laminitic horse comfortable. Sometimes horses with subclinical laminitis can be misdiagnosed as having arthritis, navicular, or a host of other problems as the horse attempts to compensate for sore feet.
Boots and pads are an important part of getting the horse comfortable while they grow out new hooves. Some good choices are Soft Rides and Easy Boot clouds, and Easy Boot Rx's. There are others, but members here have had good luck with these.
You are encouraged to post hoof pictures and any radiographs you have in the PHOTOS section of the case history group so our hoof guru can help you to determine if you have an optimal trim in place. Go to this section of the wiki to read about how to get a hoof evaluation, what photos are needed and how to get the best hoof shots:
Exercise: The best IR buster there is, but only if the horse is comfortable and non-laminitic. A horse that has had lamintis needs 6-9 months after a correct realigning trim is in place before any serious exercise should begin. No exercise should begin while the horse is on NSAIDS as they can mask the pain and allow the horse to do more than he should, damaging the fragile new laminae. Allowing him to move around at liberty in a safe environment where there is no grass and he won't get chased by other horses is a safe place to start. When he is more comfortable, hand walking in long straight lines with no tight turns can begin. Never force a foot sore horse to move.
That gives you the basics of our DDT/E philosophy Lacelynn. Happy to hear that you are searching the files/messages for the answers to your questions! Read in the wiki here for tips on how to best search: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/wiki/How-to-Search-the-Archives
We ask everyone to sign each time they post with their name (first if fine--thanks for that!) date of joining, and general location. See my signature below for example. Once you get your CH done, please add a link to that in your signature as well. It really helps us to find it faster and answer your questions faster. You can set up your signature to attach automatically through the "subscription" tab on the groups.io site.
Don't hesitate to ask any further questions you have!
Maggie, Chancey and Spiral in VA