Eating fir and aspen, alright?

skogshast <skogshast@...>

My 17 yo draft got laminitis about a month ago. After medication and diet
changes he is now fine, though he still needs to lose weight (we're getting
there!). His current diet consists of hay, some straw and a mineral
supplement; I board and have not been able to analyse the hay. I have also
ordered some Kwikbeet, intending to substitute that for some of his hay.

He has less turnout than I would wish (before he fell ill he was out 24/7).
The woods paddock available has some grass in it; certainly not much, and I
put out extra hay, thinking that should be a lesser evil than grazing, but
still I do not dare keep him there more than a few hours a day.

To give him something to do when stabled, I'm letting him have some aspen
and fir branches. He chews the bark off the aspen and eats the fir
wholesale. Does anyone know if there's any reason to be cautious with this?
So far there has been no ill effects, as far as I can see.

Lottie, in Sweden

Re: ACTH test time frame

Joan and Dazzle

Cornell runs these tests daiy (according to their posted schedule).

In the beginning, my vet didn't always send it right out, so it was
over a week to get it back. Now, I get it back in 2 days. The vet's
office overnights it. Cornell receives it the day after it's pulled.
The vet receives the results via fax the next day. Voila. 48 hours
later I have a result.

--- In EquineCushings@..., "horsecorrect"
<horsecorrect@...> wrote:

Would someone share the usual length of time for Cushing's tests
at Cornell?

Did not sign my post -- sorry!

minesafety <MineSafety@...>

The beet pulp plea was written by Ellen Smith, Pittsford, NY. sorry --
I forgot to sign it as requested a couple of days ago.

Plea to Nutrena /Blue Seal for Beet Pulp pellets - no molassas added

minesafety <MineSafety@...>

Dear Cushings Group Members: We have all seen the rise in the price of
beet pulp pellets, and the difficulty in obtaining this most-important
feed for our compromised horses. Nutrena sent out a newsletter this
fall to the dealers here in upstate NY stating that after January,
there would not be any more beet pulp pellets available through them,
because many of their farmers were switching to corn for ethanol
production. This morning I signed onto the Nutrena web site, and made a
plea for Nutrena to contract with farmers for beet pulp pellet
production -- no molassas added. I honestly find it difficult to
believe that farmers cannot make money off of this product. We have
seen beet pulp up here go from $6.85/50 lbs in the summer of 2006 (I
looked at my old bills) to $14.99/50 lbs this fall -- and this is when
you can find it. Our local Country Max was limiting sales to 100 lbs/
week per customer. So, my thought is for all of us cushings Yahoo group
members to contact Nutrena and /or Blue Seal with our plea. Obviously
there has been break-throughs in the best diet for
cushings /IR /laminitic compromomised horses and this consists of beet
pulp. Strength in numbers! This just may work to keep the beet pulp

Re: ACTH test time frame


I've gotten results back in three days from one vet, 2 weeks from another - go figure...

Re: I am in need of desperate help for my horse that is suffering with laminitis.

Harvest Moon <collieherd@...>

Blackeyedarabian, I was wondering where you live? If you post where you are located, maybe someone from the list is nearby and can help you figure all this stuff out first-hand. You sound like you're in quite a panic about this, and it's just been going on for so long. We all feel for you.

Getting your mare on the emergency diet is your first step in the right direction, and something you can do right now while figuring out the rest of this stuff.

If you can please not use all caps when you type, that would help a lot. It's very hard to read a post like that, I had to read it several times before I could understand what you were trying to say. Thanks!

Best of luck to you, I hope you will get the testing done to determine whether or not your mare is IR and/or Cushings, as then the folks here will be able to help you with the diet and management stuff. I struggled with my Shetland's severe founder problems for 7 months before someone finally pointed me in the right direction, and the folks and info here saved his life. Today, 10 months since his last founder, he's a healthy little guy with great feet and a strict feeding program.

--Shelley & Butterscotch (and Lacy & Annie, too)

Re: Symptoms of Chronic Laminitis

Eleanor Kellon, VMD


The signs of chronic laminitis are basically the same as chronic foot
pain from any cause. Most of the things you listed are pointing to
pain, but not why there is pain. Poor hoof quality isn't necessarily
seen in laminitis. Rings in the feet and a stretched white line would
be most suspicious *but* rings can occur for many different causes and
white lines can be stretched by poor trimming/hoof form.

A thoroughbred would be highly unlikely to have chronic laminitis as a
result of metabolic issues (unless the horse has PPID/Cushing's), but
she may very well be dealing with nutritional and trim issues.


Re: Front Runner Cool Command feed

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

--- In EquineCushings@..., "stormieqh" <brheikki@...> wrote:

My feed mill guy gave me a copy of "The Front Runner" Newsletter
today. It's the Nov 2007. It talks about the Glycemic Index and
it's not the best way to deal with horse grain but it also talks
their feed Cool Command.
That newsletter isn't on their web site yet. What did it say?

Looks like a pretty standard feed company web site. You're right that
without the detailed analysis, not to mention a complete list of
ingredients, can't really tell much. Too much fat for me.


Re: I am in need of desperate help for my horse that is suffering with laminitis.

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Mandy forwarded me the mail with all your details. You have a vet visit
scheduled. From the sounds of it the issues to be addressed during that
visit are:

1. The hind leg infection/granulation tissue problem.
2. Get X-rays of all 4 feet to make sure they are properly trimmed and
3. Blood work to try to get to the root of the laminitis - CBC, blood
chemistry, insulin level.

She's a bit young to be running into problems with severe insulin
resistance but it's not impossible by any means so until you know more
it would be wise to read the file on the emergency diet you were sent
when you joined and get her on that.

Hang in there.


Re: Balanced diet and worsening symptoms

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

I agree that hay likely needs to be soaked for a horse that is
symptomatic. Without blood work it's hard to tell if the diet is
involved. Can you get beet pulp? No question properly rinsed, soaked,
rinsed BP is safe. 1/2 to 1 pound of TCSS is *probably* not the
problem but stopping it is the easiest way to tell. If he won't eat
his minerals otherwise, syringe them in for a few days. If this
doesn't result in improvement, start soaking the hay if you're not
doing that.

On the cold issue, it doesn't have to be very cold to get the pain.
40 degrees will do it. Are you giving him bute or any other pain med?
That will interfere with the J + AAKG. How long has he been on the J
+ AAKG? Has he ever abscessed? If not, that could very well be where
the pain is coming from - i.e. mobilization of abscesses. Any hoof
photos available? Is his trim good, done according to X-rays? You
could try hot soaks or hot packing his feet to see if that makes him
more comfortable. To hot pack his feet without mess, put the hoof
into a plastic bag and put a ball of poltice heated up in the
microwave (be careful, doesn't take too long to get it hot) into
another plastic bag. Put the protected hoof inside the bag with the
heated poltice and the entire assembly inside his boot.


Re: Front Runner Cool Command feed


That was pretty much what I was thinking. I'm trying to get more info
from the company but that doesn't always work!

I think I'm driving the feed guy nuts. It's to the point where places
know me as the "diabetic horse" woman and I'm afraid they are calling
me the "nutty woman with the diabetic horse" behind my back! lol
He is trying. I guess one other suppiers picked this line up or
something and he got the newsletter and copied it for me.

I'll work on the testing for it if I can.
I didn't care for how much they said to feed. Jazz would go nuts
getting that much of this feed and so little hay. She may like pellets
and grains but a mare needs her hay! I think she is asking santa to
bring her a round bale a day for the rest of her life. lol Just don't
tell her she is more then likely getting a new halter or saddle pad.

Re: Balanced diet and worsening symptoms


--- In EquineCushings@..., "dee howe" <deebo1718@...> wrote:

His feet are just sore all the time even
when he has boots on. I have taken the boots off because he never
leaves his barn, he has a huge run-in barn with lots of soft
He is always worse the colder it gets, but it's not been that cold
the last few days.


Before the diet changes you were feeding 10 pounds of soaked hay a day
plus flax, MagOx, salt and vitamin E. Are you still soaking the hay?
How is his weight and appetite now? It could be the TCSS is too much
for him with the higher fat and 10% NSC. If you're not soaking his hay
now, you should probably start again, especially if you know he was
doing better on soaked hay.

Other than the little bit copper and zinc we added, the biggest diet
change was the TCSS and if you stopped soaking, so I'd look there
first. For now, go back to soaked hay, drop the TCSS (use soaked and
rinsed beet pulp instead), continue with the flax, salt, vitamin E and

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)

Re: Front Runner Cool Command feed


Not in Texas but Michigan. Dang I'm swimming in snow I would LOVE to
be in texas. I so do not do winter.

I did email the company but of course no word back yet. I think I'm
going to ask the feed guy to get me more info about what's in it and
see if maybe he could get a sample or something. I hate to buy a whole
bag or having him order just one bag if chances are I'm not going to be
using it at all. Then it could be tested to be sure. I'm not just
feeding C/IR horses but it really won't fit in with the other three

Re: Picky eater on low carb feed...

Cindy McGinley

"Sandra Su" <ssu@...> asked:

Do you get that from a feed store in Victor, NY?
No, I get it in Herkimer, NY. Where are you, Sandy? Sounds like you're closer to Rochester than I am. I'm a bit east of Syracuse.

So this is not lack of appetite from pergolide, it's just
Picky Penny.
Yeah, Alf too. It isn't pergolide with him, either. I think sometimes that these horses were so used to eating sweetfeed their entire lives...well, they miss it sometimes. Just like I would miss cookies -- and *should* miss them more often, actually. :-)

Hmm. Maybe I should do away w/ flax, too?
I wouldn't. Alf still eats flax seed. He hates it ground, but doesn't mind it whole at all, so that's how he gets it. It's better than nothing. It really is a texture thing with him rather than a taste thing.

still isn't up to the full amounts of the stuff Dr. K recommended
when she got my hay analysis and told me what to add. Even so, w/o
the supplements being perfect, Penny is doing well.
Yes, you and Penny might benefit from the custom from Uckele without the flax base, from the sound of it. But then you'd have to get her to eat the flax another way. (Unless Dr. Kellon okays something else for Penny.)

I'm glad to hear she is doing well even on her partial suppliments.

Before her diagnosis, when she was out in
acres of good grass, I nearly always found her grazing (and getting
Alf goes out without his muzzle in the winter because there is no grass left in my turnout paddocks with four horses on it -- and the mud!! No grass could live out there under winter conditions here. I'm glad for the freeze.

(Although Alf *used* to be an equine vaccuum before his Cushings and
IR were controlled!)
Really? Penny has always been a picky eater.
Yes. He would eat anything that didn't move first. :-) And he was always ravenous.

She has never balked at sweet feed, though.
Also a thing of the past.
I hear ya there, and I understand.

I think perhaps we've begun to stray off topic for the list, and will be getting sent to ECPhotos soon if we aren't careful. ;-)

- Cindy and Alf (and entourage) in NY

Re: Balanced diet and worsening symptoms


--- In EquineCushings@..., "dee howe" <deebo1718@...> wrote:

-He is 10. He is strongly suspected IR but not tested. I had my hay
tested it 9.80 ESC and .40 starch so it comes in at 10.2 NSC. Sorry, I
wanted to update all his info but the server won't let me. I really
think the problem is going to be the TCSS, I may have to stop feeding
it. Anyone else have trouble feeding as little as a pound of the stuff?
I have a very sensitive mare. We can't even get near TCSS yet. If I
gave her a pound of it, she'd get very symptomatic too. I have 8.7 %
hay & it has to be soaked. So yes, it's possible that your mare's
still getting too much starch & sugar.

Hopefully those with more experience can guide you out of the situation.

Julie & Josie

Re: high iron in water

Erin R. <figure1789@...>

My husband is looking into a filtration system to help remove the iron.
(What kind do you have?)

What are the symptoms and signs of an iron overload? How does this
complicate a Cushings Horse? Thanks.

Re: New e-mail address

Cindy McGinley

"Eleanor Kellon, VMD" <drkellon@...> wrote:

Being thoroughly fed up with AOL, I'm changing my e-mail address. New mail is:
drkellon "at"

Would it be rude to cheer and carry on joyously at this news? ;-)

- Cindy and Alf (and entourage) in NY

Re: Prevention

Sandra Su

At 9:52 PM +0000 12/10/07, Nikita wrote:
Why is Omega-3 better than 6?
It's because the omega-3 is antiinflammatory, and the 6 is inflammatory. I think they need both, but more 3 than 6. Flaxseed supplies this, so that's why it's included in the emergency diet. If horses get grass, they get this from grass. But most horses here don't get grass, since it's too high in sugar. So the flax supplies what they miss from the grass.
What I've been thinking, since Penny gets some grass in summer, is that the flax may not be so important in summer as in winter, when her diet consists mostly of hay.

Sandy Su

Re: Front Runner Cool Command feed

5 Pine Ranch

It's gonna get kinda pricey to feed with recommendations at 0.5% - 1% of the horse's body weight fed as Front Runner. They're suggesting 5 - 10 lbs for an average 1000 lb horse - yikes! Ingredients of alfalfa and soybean indicate high protein and 13% is too high for easy keepers and unnecessary for most horses in general. It's not intended to balance a diet, it's intended to target some main deficiencies and will probably achieve that in most minerals at higher rates of feeding - may barely skim the surface at 2 lbs per day. It's not as high in Vitamin E as we recommend. Crude fat is 7%. Overall, this is going to be a calorie dense product, even if the sugar/starch is "safe". Triple Crown products for the most part provide more bang for you buck and better research for nutrient levels in there.

As for commenting on what the company is like - I just don't know!? They seem to spring up all over the place. What to tell the feed guy? Geesh, tell him to close his eyes, look at his shelves and say "eenie - meenie - minie moe" <just kidding!> LOL. That it's an average feed, no better or worse than many from what I can see at first glance.

The devil may be in the details. Sugar & Starch levels, types of minerals added, would love to see an actual batch analysis.

Please Visit Our Site!

Re: Prevention

Sandra Su

At 9:52 PM +0000 12/10/07, Nikita wrote:
They are both driving ponies and weather permitting they work hard.
Good! That really seems to help. In bad weather, is there a
way to give them at least a little exercise? I think it needs to be
consistent, not a week off, for instance. I've found that with Penny.
I ride her about 3 times a week, not really hard, but consistently.
I'm lucky that this winter, I'm boarding at a place with a really
nice indoor ring. Today, the driveway at the farm was a sheet of ice,
but I could ride at all 3 gaits in the indoor. Of course, the big
sliding door was frozen shut, so I had to take Penny in through the
people door. Luckily, she's good about walking into small openings.

Over the last six months Mr.Thelwell (9H Shetland) has lost 50 lbs
gradually, he has another 25lbs to go. My vet wants me to go slowly
to avoid trouble with his liver.
Yes, definitely a starvation diet is not the way to go. There
have been some horses reported here that were on a starvation diet
and got a kind of anemia. Sorry, I forget the specifics, except that
supplementing with iron will not cure this, only make the horse iron
overloaded. Added iron is bad for all horses. They make their own and
don't need it added. I think the only exception is when a horse has
had severe blood loss.

He has some mild allergies (sinus) and has responded well to Cough
Free but it is high in iron so I don't think I should use that long
Definitely not. Try spirulina, which I think has helped a
great deal with some allergies here. Search old messages for more
info. Also, Penny has/had allergies, also breathing-related, I think,
that would manifest as headshaking in the spring. Last spring, after
being on the emergency diet (not even the real, balanced one), she
didn't headshake! Now, it was a cool, damp spring, which means less
than when it's hot, but still, I'm thinking that getting everything
else under control might have had something to do with it. You may
find that when you get your horses on the emergency diet and then
balance supplements to your hay, that the allergies clear up.
Something to do with improving the immune system, I think. Dr. Kellon
has said something about this in the past. Search old messages, maybe
the same ones that discuss sprirulina.

Loki rides and drive, he was rescued as a starvation case and has
finally a normal weight, he is not an easy keeper.
When I got Penny, she was very, very thin. She slowly gained
weight over time, and recently had been getting a bit zaftig. I
mentioned it to the barn owner, who didn't think so. But now she's
thinner and fitter, and I think she looks much better. Sometimes the
barn owners want horses to look a bit fat. They think that's healthy,
when really, it's not. I think Penny is at a very good weight now.
She's 16 h, and just under 1,000 lbs by a weight tape a couple of
months ago. See
for how she looks recently.

In a few months I should have them at home and will be able to
analyse the hay.
If you are going to be buying new hay, a really good thing,
if you can manage it, is to test it for sugar and starch before
buying it. I think that just costs about $20, and it's a worthwhile
investment, if you are going to buy a year's worth of hay. Then you
won't wind up with a loft full of hay that you have to soak. Get
grass hay, if possible, since alfalfa and other kinds can cause
problems in some horses.
The hay test I used and which is most often recommended is
the Trainer #603 from Equi-Analytical. They have a great Web site
about hay and how to test it, etc. See Also,
if you have sent in hay for just the sugar/starch testing (that'd be
ESC and starch) I hear you can tell them to test for the other stuff
in the #603, and it won't cost as much as doing it all over again.
Also, when you test your hay, you'll need a hay probe and a
cordless electric drill. Sometimes you can borrow a hay probe, but I
couldn't find a place, so I bought one from Equi-Analytical/Dairy
One. Later, I learned here that if I bought a hay probe from them, I
could have gotten some sort of discount on the hay test. No one told
me this, so be sure to ask about it if you buy a hay probe from them.
Good luck with getting your horses' diet in balance. I think
you'll see lots of improvement over a few months.

Sandy Su

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