Re: Frequent abscessing and new coughing issue...

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Kelly,

Regarding the abscessing, it would be really helpful to see current pictures of his feet. No, he shouldn't keep abscessing forever - that it has been occurring this frequently and regularly is a sign that something isn't quite right.

Could you please make a photo album for him here on the new Case History sub-group Photos section:

If you haven't joined since we switched over, you'll need to do that first.

All the instructions you need can be found in the Wiki here on the main group:

J-herb will help with mobilizing abscesses because it helps increase circulation. Are you using any NSAIDs when he abscesse? If so, that will slow down the process. Soaking and poulticing tend to help, as will light movement, so no need to confine him when these nasty things are brewing.

If the hay is being stored overhead it is a huge negative for respiratory issues as it creates constant dust hanging in the air. Know that you may not be able to do anything about that, just pointing out the connection. Need others with more experience with lung isuues to jump in here with suggestions.
Lavinia, Dante and George Too

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team

Re: ACTH and Insulin Testing Help/Questions

Lorna Cane

Hi Stephanie,

Can you update King's CH ?


Lorna in Eastern Ontario, Canada
ECIR Moderator 2002

Frequent abscessing and new coughing issue...

Kelly <sincere121@...>


My apologies is this post belongs more in the hoof and/or horse-keeping section.  Buddy had a mild laminitic event about 4 years ago.  Since then, I have tightly controlled his diet and mineral supps as per your recommendations.  We found a different farrier in July 2015 and I think his feet are looking better than ever.  Unfortunately, he continues to have frequent episodes of abscesses - I would say 5-6 per year.  They are almost always a long, drawn-out 2 week long affair of leg swelling and alternating between 3 legged lame to barely lame before finally resolving at the heel bulb.  I began rasping his toes back weekly a couple of months ago and switched to a 5 week trim schedule.  Farrier said this is helping a lot and there is very minimal separation at the quarters where he tends to flare.

Our new issue is the cough.  Last summer, he had a couple of days where he coughed a few times when I started riding, then he quickly worked out of it.  This winter, he started coughing while just standing in the barn.  Vet thought virus at first, but now thinks likely allergies.  I have been wetting down his hay and this does help.  I can go a week without hearing a cough, but every once and awhile he lowers his head and hacks.  He did it yesterday after getting scared and running around his dry lot and putting the grazing muzzle on him causes him to start coughing.

My questions:  Any ideas on what more we can do to prevent these abscesses?  Why do they continue to happen?  Does he have some kind of permanent damage and it will just always be this way?  Should we try spirulina and/or j-herb?  I am more concerned about the cough right now as I will start riding him (dressage) again when the weather improves (he has winters off - no indoor arena) and I am afraid this problem will only get worse.  He is on low dust bedding and has an open barn with access to a small dry lot.  Yes, the hay is in the barn as I have no where else to put it.  Will the j-herb cause his abscess issue to get even worse?  Dosing on the spirulina and j-herb for 1100lb Paint?  Is this coughing only going to get worse?  I  can't put him out in the pasture as recommended for allergies because of his laminitis history...???


Kelly & Buddy (10 yr old reg Paint gelding, dressage when the weather cooperates)

2014 Illinois

Re: trailer laminitic horse


I don't think you would gain much by putting thick bedding on the trailer floor as long as his boots have good pads. But you do want enough good absorbent bedding down, especially under his hindquarters to prevent the rubber mats becoming slippery from manure/urine. Make it a slow cautious trip, you never know when some goofus will do something stupid right in front of you!

- Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

Charles County, Maryland

Mouse Case History, Photo Album

Re: Help with feeding supplements


I found using peppermint OIL (diluted with water) worked to get my horse eating his minerals. I used the Triple Crown "Natural" Timothy cubes as a carrier. Lightly soaked with small amount of hot water they expand out and are slightly damp, so they do not turn mushy or soggy. My horse dislikes wet feed. I mix a dram (1/2 tsp?) of Loran Peppermint Oil into water in a plastic sports bottle with a squeeze top. This is enough to last for a week of 2xday use. Get the horse hooked on the peppermint then start adding the mins a bit at a time. Increase a little each week. 

I was considering switching to Stabul 1 as a carrier then realized that the pellets would likely fall apart with water. I stuck with the cubes which still  good "chew" factor as long as you don't put too much water on the cubes. 

The reason I suggest Loran peppermint oil is the extracts made by other companies are much MUCH weaker. Oils are stronger in taste requiring a lot less qty for flavoring. Walmart sell the tiny 1 dram bottles in a 2-pack, found in the cake decorating area of their stores. Or you can buy bigger bottles on

- Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

Charles County, Maryland

Mouse Case History, Photo Album

Re: ACTH and Insulin Testing Help/Questions


Hi Stephanie,

I think the first thing I would want to know is what was the issue with the blood.  Was there a mix up, ie was the sample really King's?  Could there have been a mix up anywhere along the line from your vet through to Cornell?  Everyone makes mistakes, but you have a right to know if the blood you sent is actually giving you accurate results.  At the very least, I would ask both your vet and Cornell to repeat the lab work on a fresh sample, free of charge.

That said, if the the sample was spun and frozen within 4 hours, and stayed frozen, the sample should be accurate.  Since ACTH degrades quickly, the problem with blood not properly handled is that it gives a false low ACTH, not a false high ACTH.  So if the blood was not properly handled, you would expect to see the ACTH too low, not too high.  Really need one of the vets to comment, but based on King's symptoms, I would increase his pergolide.  Did you see any decrease in symptoms when you increased after the August results?  

Yes, there is a place where you can check the potency of your pergolide. 

You might also be interested int his recent conversation: 

Please update King's CH so we can see everything in one place.  It's not just helpful for us, but for you as well, to see everything in chronological order.  Here's a recent post from LeeAnne with important details about how to update your CH:   And filling out a CH on the other horse that came back with an elevated ACTH would help us to help you sort things out there as well.

Deep breaths Stephanie!  And the wine--that's good too :)  Hang in there while we help you get this sorted out.

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

Re: Top Foda Hay - "low sugar"

Maxine McArthur

Hi Dianne

I spoke to a friend of mine today who bought a load of the same Top Foda November 2016 hay a couple of weeks ago. She has a horse who is very sensitive to too much sugar in his feed--he gets sore feet--and he also can't eat lucerne. She reports she's had no problems feeding the Top Foda hay to this horse. 

I realise this is only one hearsay report, but thought it was worth mentioning. 

I hope Phoenix is feeling better on the increased pergolide. FWIW, I recently raised my PPID horse's dose also, hoping to get through the rise safely. 
Maxine and Indy

Canberra, Australia 2010

Re: Halflinger in Crisis


Hi, Joy- You have gotten some great information from Lavinia- just wanted to toss in my two cents worth.  For now, your mission is to feed nothing else except the Temporary Emergency Diet. Stop the Biostar. Which one is she on, by the way? Aside from all the hype, the actual mineral content of the ones I looked at are pathetic: eg, the Optimum EQ Multvitamin and Mineral Supplement has 15 ppm of copper, which would provide exactly 0.56 mg of copper in each dose, which isn't enough to keep a gnat alive (the NRC recommendation for the average horse is 130 mg, but most of us need to feed at least 200-400 mg of copper to balance out the excess iron in the diet)

There are three more things besides plain IR which could be causing the issue:  Cushing's (need to see which tests were done, and the numbers); Lyme disease; and mare issues, which can be handled with estradiol (see Dr. Kellon's info here:  (Ovarian Abnormalities in Mares with Refractory Insulin Resistance).

Take a deep breath, and hang in there. Once you get a diagnosis (Cushing's, Lyme, mare issues), and ensure that the diet and trim are in place, there is hope for recovery.  For some inspiration, read Druid's story here:  

Jaini Clougher (BSc,BVSc)

Merlin (over the bridge) ,Maggie,Gypsy, Ranger

BC 09
ECIR mod/support

Help with feeding supplements


I have been trying to feed my horse his daily mineral mix.  He is so picky. I have tried water but he hates the mush.  I've tried baby food, he hates the mush.  With just the minerals  and his Stablul 1, he can pick out the feed and probably eats some of the minerals but not all.  He seems to get the Vit E pills mostly.  I've read the information on how to get them eating the supplements.   I'll keep trying, but if anyone has any other ideas, I'll listen. I haven't updated my CH as  he is barely getting a portion.  He is oh so picky. But he oh so needs to work with me. Lol

He will link the baby food out of my hand once or twice then he's done. If I try to put the mineral mix in my hand, he will snub me. 

Any ideas that aren't on the list?  Maybe someone has found something that will make sense to him?!?!  Thanks for your thoughts. 

Otherwise, I'll keep on trying and trucking. 

- Amy 10-2016

Mooresville, Indiana 

Stormy, Case History, Photo Album

Re: Top Foda Hay - "low sugar"

Di Pascoe <dianne@...>

Thanks Maggie. She prides herself on keeping up to date with the research in this country so I will forward her the links.
Dianne Pascoe

December 2016, Woodend, Vic, Australia

Case History:

Photo Album:,,,20,1,0,0

ACTH and Insulin Testing Help/Questions

Stephanie Stout

Hi Everyone,

I have a couple questions regarding ACTH and Insulin testing through Cornell(using EDTA Plasma). My vet(bless her dearly, but she's not the most organized) drew the blood samples on January 31st. Supposedly she did spin and freeze the samples within 4 hours, however the samples were not tested/finalized at Cornell until February 14th. 

I ran the blood work because King is extremely skinny and lethargic so I'm thinking his ACTH might be high - he's at 20mg Pergolide. The results came back at: 

ACTH 330 pg/mL (reference 9 - 35)
Insulin 81.04 iIU/mL (reference 10 - 40)

His last test was in August 2016 at 51 pg/mL ACTH. So, could he have actually risen that much? I bumped him up from 16mg to 20mg for the seasonal rise after that the August result came back. 

Is it possible the blood was too old and not accurate? Can the blood stay that long and still be accurate/good? I know that Cornell had confusion/trouble with the blood(but they wouldn't give me the exact issue). Is there a way to test the potency of the capsules from Pet Health? If he did shoot up from 51 pg/mL to 330, why would it go so high? Nothing has changed besides upping his Pergolide from 16 to 20mg for the rise.

The vet also did the same ACTH and Insulin test for a couple other of my horses(they don't have a Case History) and another one also came back super high compared to their August test.

Thank you for your help. I think I need some wine now. Panic attack on these numbers!


Stephanie & King
October 2014
Case History 

Re: Does Rinsing hay lower any nutrients besides IRON?


Sharon, I have a Haygain steamer and it does not reduce the mineral content of the hay. It also doesn't reduce sugar or starch content, it simply kills mold spores and "freshens" the hay, reduces dust, etc. Good for respiratory problems, but not the solution for high iron, or Sugar/Starch.  Their literature states the above.
Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Re: Does Rinsing hay lower any nutrients besides IRON?


I believe the purpose of steaming is to dampen the hay placed into the steamer so that dusts and fine mold particle/spors are not inhaled by the horse eating the hay. Rinsing achieves removing suface dust/particles and evidently surface iron and dampens the hay. Lot cheaper for me to do then $1000 for a steamer. If I lived in a colder climate I might think differently.
- Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

Charles County, Maryland

Mouse Case History, Photo Album

Re: Does Rinsing hay lower any nutrients besides IRON?

Sharon Manning

Do you think the same happens in steamed hay? I am steaming hay but did not change my copper or zinc, so I may be giving too much.
Thanks sharon

Sent from my iPhone
Please forgive any errors

Re: Does Rinsing hay lower any nutrients besides IRON?


I have to borrow a hay probe to core hay for testing. Lavinia told me she always saves some cored hay when she is testing her hays in case she wants to have an additional test done at a later time. Good Idea! I sent my hay test off  and didn't say a sample. So for the 2nd test of "rinsed" hay I decided to  send a sample of hay rinsed exactly as I actually rinse my hays. I took a hay sample from multiple bales, not cored, packed it into one of my "Mini" hay nets and rinsed. I use cold water from our well. I have a nice deep tub that allows he to imerse hay nets fully. (The tub is scrubbed 1-2xday) I use a manual clothes plunger/wand on each hay net and REALLY vigorusly work each net of hay up and down. Here is a link to the manual washer I use. They work really well to wash and rinse anything including hay! It also works for washing horse bandages and saddle pads. I used an old metal version of this kind of plunger back when I groomed race horses at the tracks. Much easier and more efficient for hay rinsing than other method I tried early on and it aloows you to keep you hands out of the water.

I dried the hay over a few days then reduced it in size for shipping to the lab. We'll see what the new iron test shows. 

I have found that rinsing my horse's hay for dust and mold spores works fine. He is heavey and reacts to inhaling dust and spores. Just rinsing has been working REALLY WELL. If I have a hay that isn't tested low ECS/starch I soak it for an hour in cold water then give it a quick plunging before draining.


- Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

Charles County, Maryland

Mouse Case History, Photo Album

Re: Case History Update Doofus

LeeAnne Bloye <ecir.archives@...>

Could some kind soul please give me dummy step by step instructions on how to upload all my blood results to my Case History?

Hi Tori,

Your blood work results should be added to the Blood Work Table in Floss' case history document. Only CBCs should be uploaded into her case history folder.  

Add all the information into her case history document then, save it to your computer.  Next go to your case history folder, and delete the old version so that the new version can be uploaded.  You must delete the old version first because computers will not allow two documents with the same name in the same folder and because only one version of a case history is allowed in the files.  

Step by step instructions: How to Make a Case History* 

Is this the help you were looking for?


Newmarket, Ontario. ECIR Archivist March, 2004

Email Me (If link doesn't work use ECIR.Archives at gmail dot com)


Are you in the Pergolide Dosage DatabaseView the Database Stats


Dawn's 10 Year Case History
Taken For Granite Art - Lightweight Cement Sculpture and Memorials

Re: Halflinger in Crisis

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Joy,

Welcome to the group!  So sorry to hear that your girl is suffering.  You have definitely come to the right place for help!  We've seen thousands of laminitic horses through to a full recovery.  To get the very best help from us we need some more details about your Halflinger.  To get those details we ask that all members fill out a case history on their horse.  In order to do that, you need to join the case history subgroup here: 

and then all of the information you'll need to fill out the CH is in the wiki here: 

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. And I will try to answer your questions as best I can and I also have some questions for further clarification.  Once you get your CH filled out, we'll be able to be much more specific with answers to any questions you have.


DIAGNOSIS:  So you have a diagnosis of IR (insulin resistance).  Please share with us the results of any lab work that you have already done.  There is a place in the case history (CH) form for you to list all of your lab work with the dates it was done and the reference ranges.  Once we see those numbers, we can help you better.

The 4 tests that we recommend to diagnose PPID and/or IR are ACTH, insulin, glucose and leptin.  The ACTH is for diagnosing PPID, the insulin, glucose are to diagnose IR  and the leptin helps to determine if the horse is IR at baseline or if an elevated ACTH is driving the insulin up.  Leptin is the hormone that says "stop eating"  and many IR horses are also leptin resistant, which causes them to be forever hungry.  Read more about Leptin resistance here:  It's the 4th file up from the bottom in that folder.

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. 

Metformin can be useful to help lower insulin levels but it doesn't work in every horse. When it does work, the effects do not last long term so we advise only using it in emergency situations to help get things under control while you are getting the diet organized.

DIET:  Diet is supremely important, in some ways more for what is not fed: no pasture, sweet feeds, oats/grain, carrots, apples, iron-containing supplements.  Diet consists of grass hay or haylage, with ESC (soluble sugars) and starch of less than 10%, plus minerals balanced to the forage, plus vitamin E, salt, and flaxseed or flaxseed oil.  One can use a carrier of beet pulp (rinsed, soaked, and rinsed) as a safe feed to get the supplements in. Other safe alternatives include any one of the following:  Nuzu Stabul 1 (available from Tractor Supply), soy hull pellets, Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance Cubes, Triple Crown TC Lite (very small amounts), TC 30, LMF Low NSC Stage 1, LMF Low NSC Complete,

The Temporary Emergency Diet uses hay soaked for 1 hour in cold water, or 30 minutes in hot water, with the water drained where the horses can't get at it; plus vitamin E, salt, and ground flaxseed in a safe carrier such as beet pulp (rinsed, soaked, rinsed). Given that she is currently footsore, starting the Temporary Emergency Diet seems prudent.

You may or may not need to soak your hay, depending on the ESC and starch values.  Soaking your hay for an hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water can remove about 30% of the sugar content but no starch.  Hay soaking can be a challenge in the winter, for sure!  And not too much fun either!  Lots of folks use a cooler to soak their hay--keeps it from freezing, and then wheel it to a safe place to drain the water.  Make sure you dump the water where it won't make a skating rink in the winter and in the summer where the horses can't get to it.

The ultimate goal is to find hay that is under 10% sugar + starch as the basis of your diet.    

There is lots of other helpful information in the start here file so recommend that you read the entire file.

You can use either ground flax or chia to provide the omega 3's. Flax has the better omega 3 to 6 profile at 4:1 (which is similar to fresh grass), while chia's is about 3:1. Ground flax is also more economical.

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, 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.  There are others, but members here have had good luck with these. 

The Easycare Rx's are another good option.

Bute and other NSAIDS are not recommended after the first few days of laminitis as they interfere with healing. They also do not actually help with the pain from laminitis because they do not address the cause. For more info on this, please read Dr. Kellon's presentation from the 2013 NO! Laminitis Conference:

The proceedings are free to download.

The trick to weaning them off and avoiding rebound pain is to increase the time between doses first.  Here's a good but looooong post about weaning NSAIDS.  Down towards the very bottom is an example schedule for weaning.

You are encouraged to post hoof pictures and any radiographs you have in the PHOTOS section of the case history group so we can help you 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.

OK Joy, that gives you the basics of our DDT/E philosophy, and I think I've either answered your questions along the way, or asked for more information. There is lots more information in our files and archived messages and also on our website.   Read here in the wiki for the best way to search the files and messages: 

We ask everyone to sign each time they post with their name (first if fine)  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 site.

Hang in there Joy!  Don't hesitate to ask any further questions you have!

Lavinia, Dante and George Too

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team

Re: Case History Update Doofus

Pauline <takarri@...>

 Hi Tori,

Does this help?


Geelong. Vic

Australia Aug 07

ECIR Mod/Primary Response

 Harry, Jack and Spur's Case Histories   

Case History Update Doofus

Tori & Floss

Could some kind soul please give me dummy step by step instructions on how to upload all my blood results to my Case History?

I am having lots of challenges atm and spend ages entering data to have it all disappear :-( I do not know what I am doing wrong.

Thank you!!

December, 2016

Adelaide Australia

Case History

Halflinger in Crisis

Joy Latzko

Once I joined, I wasn't sure where to message with a horse in crisis. I have a 21-year old halflinger mare that was diagnosed IR 3 years ago and is on Metformin. She is also navicular. She had a severe founder 1-1/2 years ago that we have been recovering from. In the last 2 months, she has been getting progressively worse. Today, she could barely move (with her Rx boots with pads) on. Also keep in mind the temperature hit 67 and she has a lot of hair. She was recently tested for Cushings. It was negative. I soak her hay. She gets no grain, only a supplement by BioStar and Chia seeds (I was told they were better than Flax seed). I have her on 1/2 gram of Bute twice a day. I'm ready to put her down unless someone has a suggestion. She's miserable.

Joy Latzko

79721 - 79740 of 282327