anhidrosis with PPID, IR, panting, metformin, antihistamines and weather changes

Katherine Frazier

I'm new to the group and have learned a lot here.  Dr. Kellon's consult on our IR/PPID pony probably saved his life.  

He is a 24 year old welsh/arab cross gelding who is controlled Cushings/almost controlled IR. Dr. Kellon's dietary analysis saved him.  He can't get as much exercise as he needs because he has a history of laminitic episodes.  He is doing great now and we think he will be back on more free turnout in a dry lot and get more exercise soon.  Expert and frequent trims and Soft Rides along with diet and supplement management have gotten him to this point.  His weight is perfect, and he tolerates the Prascend well.  Just this morning his trim results suggest we may be able to begin testing him barefoot.

He doesn't sweat, and sometimes pants.  We live in Ocala so hot, humid weather is around over half the year.  If we do a full body clip on him this time of year, he will have days which are cold (down to freezing and below not uncommon here) ending up with highs in the 70s or even 80s.  Are PPID horses unable to regulate their body temperatures when the weather is cold, or just when it is hot?  It's hard to control it with sheets and blankets since the range from high to low can change quickly and even conscientious owners like us might miss the exact timing of going from unblanketed to blanketed and back.  So is full body clip in climates which can experience large temperature changes quickly, particularly considering if PPID horses non sweaters have similar body temp control issues with cold as well as with heat?

He has been on metformin for about a year.  It is part of an aggressive dietary program (with Dr. Kellon's analysis, which was a lifesaver).  IR isn't ideal, but just a bit over the limit and way, way down.  I've had it suggested that metformin only helps in the short term, but am afraid to take him off of it since even our most aggressive, knowledgeable, and serious dietary management along with metformin doesn't have it totally under controlled.  He is a really complicated case of metabolic issues which caused multiple laminitic episodes.  

We also have a 24 year old retired DWB jumper whose coat is very heavy, though not curly.  He pants when it gets above the low 70s and there is even moderate humidity.  Same question for him in terms of tradeoff of full body clip at this time of year.  His chest and under portion of neck, around the belly are clipped and when he starts to pant a quick cold hose and move him indoors in front of the fan takes care of it.  I don't know if full body clip puts him at danger of not being able to regulate his body temperature during the cold, wet part of the year coming up here in Ocala.

Finally, most of ours get Zyrtec for the ever present mosquitoes and no-see-ums.  It had cut down substantially on skin irritations and vet calls, but I have read in some posts there may be a connection between antihistamines and anhidrosis. Should non-sweaters avoid antihistamines altogether? 

Thanks in advance.


Re: low sugar/starch hay

Barbara Vincent

Thanks, Maggie.

  I gather one should test hay in two steps, first to find the sugar / starch content, and if that's good, the more complete analysis of minerals.  Is that right?

 I've been hoping that one of the last three batches posted on Lily's CH would be OK (I'm not sure the report on some 3rd cutting grass done by Cumberland Analytical posted on the CH; but am afraid to check lest I erase this message; will send this and then check, and try to re-post if it's not up).   Now I'm back to square one.  I'm getting desperate to find some good hay that is safe for all three animals here.  I wonder which is the best of these and might work for us.

Re: low sugar/starch hay

Barbara Vincent

Yes.  I have it saved in a Word doc., but can't make it paste in the message,

Re: Do fat Cushing's Horses Transition To Thin?

Lorna Cane

>> I haven't uploaded the new October test results yet.

Here is a clickable link to Inky's CH:

Does his diet consist of pasture and TC30 supplement, as noted in CH ?

I'd go with the calculator results for IR.

Can you update the CH with recent lab numbers?

Lorna in Ontario,Canada

ECIR Moderator 2002

Re: low sugar/starch hay

Lorna Cane

 > I copied my CH form address onto a Word Doc., but when I try to paste it here, it won't let me and I lose my message. 

Barbara,do you type out your name,location etc. each time you post a message ?

Re: Do fat Cushing's Horses Transition To Thin?

Lorna Cane


>>Assuming the farm owner interpreted the vet properly, my question is::


Karin,if I were you 'd make a point of talking to the vet myself,and leave nothing to assumptions.

Lorna in Ontario,Canada

ECIR Moderator 2002

Do fat Cushing's Horses Transition To Thin?



A chiropractic vet adjusted my horse Tuesday; I wasn't there but the farm owner told me the vet said that Inky willl transition from being a fat Cushing's horse to a thin one soon.


The vet also advised phasing out use of the grazing muzzle, at least during the winter, so Inky doesn't lose any more weight. He is now down to his proper weight.


Assuming the farm owner interpreted the vet properly, my question is::


1. Is there such a thing as overweight Cushing's horses changing their metabolism over time so they are then naturally thinner, i.e., without use of grazing muzzle?


This horse has had problems with weight gain for years. According to the Cornell parameters, he is not IR. According to the Calculator, he is, if that makes a difference in the answer.


BTW, Inky's ACTH level is now within normal range with 1 mg of pergolide daily, but his glucose/insulin figures haven't changed. I haven't uploaded the new October test results yet.


Karin & Inky

Forest, VA


July 27, 2015

Re: low sugar/starch hay


Hi Barbara,

I looked at your hay analysis (this one right?--alfalfa/orchard grass Frank 2nd Lab sample # 22214020), and like the one from Cumberland Valley, it only shows the major minerals, not the trace minerals, so you wouldn't have enough information to balance it.  As far as ESC (4.1) + starch (1.5) = 5.6, it does come in under 10%.  But alfalfa does cause some horses to be footsore.  Many posts about this in the archived mesages.  I'd avoid the alfalfa, especially in light of the laminitis listed in your CH on 11/8/2015.

Maggie, Chancey and Spiral in VA
March 2011
EC moderator/Primary Response 

Re: low sugar/starch hay

Barbara Vincent

  First I'm trying to decide whether to buy this hay from this supplier.  He had it tested by Equi-Analytical,  sent me the results,  and I posted them on Lily's CH form.  Before I worry about mineral balancing I should find out if it is low sugar / starch enough for a Cushings / IR horse, no?
  I copied my CH form address onto a Word Doc., but when I try to paste it here, it won't let me and I lose my message.  Will post this so as not to lose it and try to post the CH address in next message.  If that doesn't work, the address can be found earlier in this conversation.
  Many thanks for any help.  I'm getting very anxious about finding hay for this winter.
Barbara and Lily
Malvern, PA
March 2015

Re: Praziquantel Reaction

Sharon Manning

Hi all,
It was Equimax.
Yes all my horses are on a deworm program.
Ivermectin every 4 to 6 weeks year round with two treatments being the Equimax combo in spring and fall.

Sent from my iPhone
Please forgive any errors

Re: APF and other herbs at the same time?

Kathy Brinkerhoff

Hi Stephanie,

I found posts that cautioned that combining J-Herb and APF would "dilute" the effects of both if given together.  I couldn't find any other cautions in the archives or files for APF.  My suggestion would be to contact your source....i..e.......Mov-Ease/MyBestHorse and Auburn Labs to ask for a list of possible contraindications.

Kathy Brinkerhoff

SE/WI  10/12

Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance


Re: low sugar/starch hay

Lorna Cane

Barb,if you'd like help balancing your hay,go here:

Scroll down to Help with Mineral Balancing.

Add your CH link to your signature,so that it is easy for volunteers to find.

Re: low sugar/strarch hay

Barbara Vincent

I'd like to get some feedback on the 2nd cutting mixed alfalfa and orchardgrass hay posted on Lily's CH befor it is all gone!

Barbara and Lily
Malvern, PA
March 2015.
Please scroll up in Conversation for CH link.

Re: Uploading files

Lorna Cane

Re: Uploading files

Vicki Bucy

Hi there, I did have some issue with my email during that time, so if you could resend it I would appreciate it. Not sure what happened but I think some mail might have been lost. 

Thank you so much I appreciate it.

Vicki and Jack
November 2015
Western KY

APF and other herbs at the same time?

Stephanie Stout

Hi Everyone! 

I searched in the old messages but couldn't find a specific message relating to giving APF and other herbs(Jherb, AAKG, ALCAR) together. Is it okay to give any/some/all of these at the same time? Is there a message or chart anywhere showing what I can give at the same time? What about Mov-Ease also? 

It is getting cold here and King is getting sore again(he was doing really well and was walking almost completely sound). His Pergolide was upped significantly for the seasonal rise, so I don't think that is a problem. So, trying to figure what I can give him in the winter for his comfort. 

Thanks so much! 
Stephanie & King


Oct 2014


Correction on relative strengths of praziquantel containing dewormers

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Equimax and Zimectrin Gold have the same dose of ivermectin but slight difference in Praziquantel.  Equimax is 1.5 mg/kg of Praziquantel and Zimectrin Gold is 1 mg/kg.  Quest Plus (moxidectin and praziquantel) is much higher at 2.5 mg/kg of Praziquantel.

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

Re: Praziquantel Reaction

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Greatly weakened or lost resistance to parasites is common in older horses, even if they don't have PPID.  The inflammatory response to a large parasite die-off can push IR out of control (or more out of control).  For this  reason it is often wise to keep senior horses (like very young horses) on an intensive deworming schedule of every 4 weeks.

Remember too that horses that might be teetering on being hyperglycemic could be pushed over the edge by praziquantel.  The hyperglycemic drug effect though is likely short-lived, estimate up to 12 hours.
Given the many ???? and lack of details re praziquantel effects in horses, you can always use double dose pyrantel pamoate, 2 doses at interval of 2 weeks, or a month of daily pyrantel tartrate instead.

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001


Re: Praziquantel Reaction


Wormed my IR/PPID horse with Equimaxx praziquantel in late April of this year and within two days, had the beginnings of laminitis.  His Insulin had been high the previous fall, hadn't checked it yet that spring, PPID in controlled range.  He stays steady around 100 for glucose, and when vet pulled after the equimax, it was sitting at ~130.
This horse is on odtbc's, one cup of carb guard, one cup of flax, vit E and dry lotted.  No other changes in management around this occurrence.
I usually dose with Zimectrin Gold about twice a year, so it didn't occur to me to worry.
Case history is below, but not fully updated.  I can update over the weekend, if it's helpful to anyone.
Still tender 6 months later.
First episode in 10 years, thanks to the list.

Kim & CG
New Hill, NC 
Winter 2005


Re: Uploading files


Hi Vicki
Lorna sent an email to your mediacom email address inviting you to ECHistory8 on Nov. 13.  Once you join ECHistory8 you will receive all the directions of how to upload your case history there.  

If it isn't in your inbox, try checking your spam folder.  Let us know if you need it to be re-sent  or want to use a different email address.  

- ​LeeAnne, Newmarket, Ontario

ECIR Archivist 03/2004


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