ECIR Group Policy - Wed, 09/02/2020 #cal-notice Calendar <noreply@...>

ECIR Group Policy

Wednesday, 2 September 2020


Accuracy of Information

We take the importance of accurate information very seriously. The information in our posts and case histories is of tremendous value to all our members and is also used for formal studies. It is extremely important that it be factual. To protect the integrity and veracity of the group's data, a member may be asked at times to produce documentation, such as a copy of a report. These requests will be rare. Most of you will never receive one. 


Solicitation is Against the ECIR Group's Policy:

Whether directly selling a product or service or not, if you are contacted privately by someone, be suspicious. These communications frequently target new members or those in a crisis.  They almost universally push a position, product or service that the sender knows will not be upheld under close examination.


We welcome questions, suggestions and individual experiences from every member, but the bottom line is the welfare of the horse. ECIR Group approval is always based on provable facts and scientific methods, not opinions and belief.


Anyone who tries to bypass being challenged to support their position with properly assembled facts by sending unsolicited private e-mails rather than posting in the messages is, in our opinion, risking the welfare of horses and will be banned.


If you receive an unsolicited e-mail either ask the group about it, or forward the mail to 

Thank you for your cooperation.


The Owners and Support Team of the ECIR Group


Magnesium sensitivity?


I switched  from teff to meadow grass.
For the first time I dont have to add Magnesium. I have to add Calcium.  Abe has gotten a lot more sensitive and flinchy to touch and sounds. His total mineral a day is: Ca.36, P17, Mg23.(ratios ca to p is 2:1) (CatoMg 1.5 to 1)  
Adding more Mg seems to help the  sensitivey but I don't know if it is wise to do so, throws my ratios off.  I read also it could be thyroid? He gets Cal trace witch has 3.5 mg. Should I bump it up to 4.5 to see if that helps?
This hay also came in with adequate sodium, at daily intake of 30g. Does this mean I dont gave to add salt? What about the cloride needs?
Sorry if I am posting this on the wrong site. Just trying to figure out the change in Ab with this new hay. He has gotten really flinchy and sensitive to touch.
Lori  Able & Bodie




Redding,CA,,,50,2,0,0 .

Re: Turnout and rehab post laminitis for the IR horse

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Christine,

IR is a type of metabolism that needs to be managed for the horse's entire life, rather than a disease that is "cured". Grass will always be a game of Russian Roulette with an IR horse because the sugar+starch levels change constantly. Your intuition is correct that resuming her previous diet would increase the risk of your girl's insulin rising again, which would also increase her risk of becoming laminitic again.

Regarding the exercise question: it depends. While it's a good thing that there was no apparent change from the first set of rads to the second, that doesn't mean that there was no damage done - just that any damage done wasn't severe enough to show on the rads. Until the insulin drops into the low teens, there is still microscopic damage occurring.
In order to give you the best advice, we need to see pictures of your girl's feet and the radiographs that were done. Specifics of what is needed are in the TRIM section of the Welcome message Candice posted earlier.

Lavinia, George Too, Calvin (PPID) and Dinky (PPID/IR)
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
Moderator ECIR

Re: Thrush again

ferne fedeli

I have been a No Thrush fan for years.  Only use it in the winter here...

Ferne Fedeli  Magic & Jack   2007

No. California
Case History



Re: Turnout and rehab post laminitis for the IR horse

Candice Piraino

Hello Christine,

Welcome to the group! 

It all depends on the individual horse. I personally have 2 uncompensated IR & PPID horses who will never be able to be turned out on pasture again for the rest of their lives IF I want to keep them around for as long as I can. When you complete your CH with the specifics, we can best guide you on these answers. In regards to exercise, it is definitely better to be more cautious because the internal structures of the hoof are damaged and trying to repair themselves if possible. It takes 9-12 months for a new hoof capsule to grow, so its best to not add any more stress on the hoof when possible, to allow for a tight hoof capsule. If there is damage, which there is currently, and you ad exercise on top of it, that is not a good combination. MOVEMENT is good though! Only if the horse is comfortable and and proper mechanics working for them (correct trim and heel first landings). Movement is the best medicine for an IR horse along with diet. I hope this helps a little while we wait for the others to chime in.

The ECIR Group provides the best, most up to date information on Cushing's (PPID) and Insulin Resistance (IR). Please explore our website where you'll find tons of great information that will help you to quickly understand the main things you need to know to start helping your horse. Also open any of the links below (in blue font) for more information/instructions that will save you time.

Have you started your Case History? If you haven't done so yet, please join our case history sub-group. We appreciate you following the uploading instructions so your folder is properly set up with the documents inside. Go to this CH message with info on how to use various devices and forms. If you have any trouble, just post a message to let us know where you are stuck. 

Orienting information, such as how the different ECIR sections relate to each other, message etiquettewhat goes where and many how-to pages are in the Wiki. There is also an FAQs on our website that will help answer the most common and important questions new members have. 

Below is a general summary of our DDT/E philosophy which is short for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise.


DIAGNOSIS: There are two conditions dealt with here: Cushings (PPID) and Insulin Resistance (IR). These are two separate issues that share some overlapping symptoms. An equine may be either PPID or IR, neither or both. While increasing age is the greatest risk factor for developing PPID, IR can appear at any age and may have a genetic component. Blood work is used for diagnosis as well as monitoring the level of control of each.

PPID is diagnosed using the Endogenous ACTH test, while IR is diagnosed by testing non-fasting insulin and glucose.

The fat-derived hormone leptin is also usually abnormally elevated in insulin resistance but because there are many other things which can lower or increase leptin ECIR is not recommending routine testing for this hormone. Leptin is the hormone that says "stop eating". 

In Europe, adiponectin is tested instead of leptin. Adiponectin helps regulate glucose and fat burning, and maintain insulin sensitivity. Low levels are associated with EMS. It has come to be preferred over leptin because it is not influenced by things like weight or exercise, and also because it was the only factor other than insulin levels that predicted laminitis risk

*Before calling your vet to draw blood for tests, we suggest saving time and wasted money by reading these details and then sharing them with your vet so that everyone is on the same page regarding correct testing and protocols.

*Please remember to request copies of the results of all the tests done rather than just relying on verbal information. Your vet should be able to email these to you. If you have previous test results, please include those as well. All should go in your CH, but if you are having any trouble with the CH, just post in the messages for now. 

Treatment: IR is a metabolic type - not a disease - that is managed with a low sugar+starch diet and exercise (as able). The super-efficient easy keeper type breeds such as minis, ponies, Morgans, Arabs, Rockies are some of the classic examples. PPID is a progressive disease that is treated with the medication pergolide. Some, but not all, individuals may experience a temporary loss of appetite, lethargy and/or depression when first starting the medication. To avoid this "pergolide veil" (scroll down for side effects), we recommend weaning onto the drug slowly and the use of the product APF. The best long term results are seen when the ACTH is maintained in the middle of the normal range at all times, including during the annual seasonal rise. To accomplish this, the amount of medication may need to increase over time. Neither condition is ever "cured", only properly controlled for the remainder of the equine's life. If your partner is both PPID and IR then both medication and diet management will be needed. 

DIET: Almost all commercial feeds are not suitable - no matter what it says on the bag. Please see the International Safe Feeds List for the safest suggestions.

No hay is "safe" until proven so by chemical analysis. The diet that works for IR is:

  • low carb (less than 10% sugar+starch)
  • low fat (4% or less) 
  • mineral balanced  

We use grass hay, tested to be under 10% ESC + 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. 

*Until you can get your hay tested and balanced we recommend that you soak your hay and use the emergency diet (scroll down for it).  The emergency diet is not intended for long term use, but addresses some of the most common major deficiencies. Testing your hay and getting the minerals balanced to its excesses and deficiencies is the best way to feed any equine. If you absolutely cannot test your hay and balance the minerals to it, or would like to use a "stop gap" product until you get your hay balanced, here's a list of "acceptable" ration balancers

There is a lot of helpful information in the start here folder so it is important you read all the documents found there. The emergency diet involves soaking your untested hay for an hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water. This removes up to 30% of the sugar content, but no starch. Starch is worse than sugar since it converts 100% to glucose while sugar only converts 50%, so starch causes a bigger insulin spike. Make sure you dump the soaking water where the equine(s) can't get to it. 

What you don't feed on the IR diet is every bit as, if not more important than, what you do feed! No grass. No grain. No sugary treats, including apples and carrots. No brown/red salt blocks which contain iron (and sometimes molasses) which interferes 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%, or fat over about 4%. Unfortunately, even bagged feeds that say they are designed for IR and/or PPID equines are usually too high in sugar, starch and/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 individuals.

We do not recommend feeding alfalfa hay to IR/PPID equines as it makes many of them laminitic. Although it tends to be low in sugar, many times the starch is higher and does not soak out. Additionally, protein and calcium are quite high, which can contribute to sore footedness and make mineral balancing very difficult.

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 equines, it's essential for IR and/or PPID equines to have a proper trim in place since they are at increased risk for laminitis. After any potential triggers are removed from the diet, and in PPID individuals, the ACTH is under control, the realigning trim is often the missing link in getting a laminitic equine comfortable. In general, laminitic hooves require more frequent trim adjustments to maintain the proper alignment so we recommend the use of padded boots rather than fixed appliances (i.e. shoes, clogs), at least during the initial phases of treatment.

Sometimes subclinical laminitis can be misdiagnosed as arthritis, navicular, or a host of other problems as the animal attempts to compensate for sore feet. 

You are encouraged to make an album and post hoof pictures and any radiographs you might have so we can to look to see if you have an optimal trim in place. Read this section of the wiki for how to get a hoof evaluation, what photos are needed, and how to get the best hoof shots and radiographs.

EXERCISEThe best IR buster there is, but only if the equine is comfortable and non-laminitic. An individual that has had laminitis needs 6-9 months of correct realigning trims before any serious exercise can begin. Once the equine is moving around comfortably at liberty, hand walking can begin in long straight lines with no tight turns. Do not force a laminitic individual to move, or allow its other companions to do so. It will begin to move once the pain begins to subside. Resting its fragile feet is needed for healing to take place so if the animal wants to lay down, do not encourage it to get up. Place feed and water where it can be reached easily without having to move any more than necessary. Be extremely careful about movement while using NSAIDs (bute, banamine, previcox, etc.) as it masks pain and encourages more movement than these fragile feet are actually able to withstand. Additionally, NSAIDs (and icing) do not work on metabolic laminitis and long term NSAID use interferes with healing. Therefore, we recommend tapering off NSAIDs after the first week or so of use. If after a week's time your equine's comfort level has not increased, then the cause of the laminitis has not been removed and keeping up the NSAIDs isn't the answer - you need to address the underlying cause.


There is lots more information in our files and archived messages and also on our website. It is a lot of information, so take some time to go over it and feel free to ask any questions. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't worry, you will catch on, and we are always here to help you! Once you have your case history uploaded, we can help you help your equine partner even better.

For members outside North America, there are country specific folders in the files and many international lists in the wiki to help you find local resources.

If you have any technical difficulties, please let us know so we can help you. 


~ Candice 

Primary Response Team

September 2018, Summerfield, FL

Shark's Case History:

Shark's Photo Album: 


Re: Thrush again

Nancy C

Hi Bonnie

Is the central sulcus open or closed as in the sited study?

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2019-2020
Join us at the 2021 NO Laminitis! Conference, August 12-15, Harrisburg, PA

Re: Thrush again


Pete's Goo gets used on several species in this household, including people!
Bonnie and Lad
North Ontario
Dec 2008

Re: fleas on horses

Maxine McArthur

If it is lice you’ll need to treat all the horses, their gear and sometimes the surroundings. We had one horse bring lice into 30-horse herd and everyone had to treat. Fortunately there were no stables to clean,  but as the horses were treated we moved them to a fresh paddock and also washed and disinfected common areas with tie-up rails. It was a mammoth task. I hope for your sake it’s not lice! 
Maxine and Indy (PPID) and Dangles (PPID)

Canberra, Australia 2010
ECIR Primary Response


Re: Thrush again


Thank you for the link to this valuable study. It's good to see how treatment was recorded and the photos are very helpful.
I hope this is in our files somewhere!
Bonnie and Lad
North Ontario
Dec 2008

Re: New hay


So thankfully I’ve been in touch with another member who is close to me and has helped with a couple options. Ultimately, I am torn...

One option is a Bermuda grass hay with very low ESC + starch at about 4% and starch is at 0.7% which would be good for my gelding who is very sensitive to starch. However it has very high iron at 335ppm as fed.

The other option is an orchard/brome grass hay with ESC of 8% and starch of 1.7%. The iron is better at 148ppm. I’m going to see if I can get a few bales to try.

Any thoughts on which might be a better educated gamble?

February 2018, Albuquerque, NM
Oliver --> 17 y/o Arab/Saddlebred, PPID
Case History:

Re: Thrush again


Pete’s Goo is wonderful. We have used the triple antibiotic and the athlete’s feet combo creams first. Then went with the copper and zinc to follow up, all via the syringe. It was a pretty yucky case, now gone.
Sondra in Maryland 2013

Turnout and rehab post laminitis for the IR horse

Christine Olsen Raphael

I have two questions for my newly diagnosed IR horse

Per this statement:

“ What you don't feed on the IR diet is every bit as, if not more important than, what you do feed! No grass. No grain. No sugary treats, including apples and carrots. No brown/red salt blocks which contain iron (and sometimes molasses) which interferes with mineral balancing, so white salt blocks only.“

Is the no grass forever, or just while the insulin levels are above 40?

My horse is currently on a dirt lot, her insulin level is currently 109, we are working on bringing it down.  My vet says she can go out in a grazing muzzle once she is under 40, however I am worried her insulin levels will go up once she is on grass again.  I board, and am trying to plan long term if she needs to be kept on a dirt lot forever.

She initially developed mild laminitis, no rotation per Xrays.  We xrayed her again after 30 days and it showed no changes.  My rehab after the 30 days has been 5 weeks of walking with slow progression into trot.  6th week I can canter.  Do I still need to be cautious what I do for the first 6-9 months, or am I good to proceed with full work since she had no changes?

Thank you,

Christine Raphael
Charlotte, NC
Joined 2020

Re: fleas on horses


I had lice on a llama once and the vet, who was very interested in the discovery, took some back to look at under the scope and pronounced them bird lice.  There was a swallow nest above her stall but I don’t know if that was related.
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo


Re: Clarification of risk posed by corticosteroids

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

No one has studied this so there's no solid answer to give you. I can tell you steroids will induce IR that lasts about 2 weeks even in a normal horse.  HA itself is a potent antiinflammatory, so is chondroitin but HA moreso.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Re: fleas on horses

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Could you post a close up photo? They could be lice.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Re: fleas on horses

Sherry Morse

Hey Trisha,

That's disturbing, but the Vectra 3D someone just asked about should work on fleas and a couple of the other topicals should control fleas as well.  I'm not sure about the goat as far as using one of the topicals, but I'd think you probably want to treat all of them, just in case.

Re: Thrush again

Deb Walker

In previous boarding situations Scotty had thrush in all 4 feet. It was horrible. I have tried every product known to man and horse, and I am with Dawn and HIGHLY RECOMMEND No Thrush. There is a purple product that works very well (White Lightening is highly irritant) but for the long haul, No Thrush is very good.
Deb and Scotty I/R, PPID
Pecatonica Illinois, May 13, 2019
Case History:

Re: Thrush again

Ruth Vale

You can use a mixture called "Pete's Goo" - all ingredients from a drug store.   Polysporin Antibiotic 3-1 creme, Zinc oxide (baby butt creme - original formulation) and vaginal creme (anti-fungal).   Pete Ramsey is a well known trimmer - he has various formulations on his page ( but the one above is the one I used to clear up persistent thrush.  Once I got the management under control, and the metabolic issues addressed, the thrush disappeared.

Ruth Vale
and Bounce
(haven't had to consult these pages for almost 10 years, but he's 24 now, and being watched)

fleas on horses

Trisha DePietro

Hi all. I found fleas on one of my horses last evening...while combing through her mane I noticed them slipping in and out of hairs and jumping around. They are definitely fleas...I have never seen fleas on horses before and I thought fleas are species dog fleas live on dogs and cat fleas live on cats....and they don't cross species. I do have a goat, but he is in a different area and away from the horses...and they usually get keds, not fleas. So, has anyone experienced this in the past? and what did you do for it? I still have to examine my other horse to see if she has them too. Their environment is really dry except for their wetspot in the dry lot. I did call my vet and he said its rare to see fleas on horses and usually its in the feathers of the draft breeds...or the mane of a draft breed- because there is so much hair to hide in. Any thoughts? Thanks. Trisha
Trisha DePietro
Aug 2018
Dolly and Hope's Case Histories
Dolly's Photos 
Hope's Photos 
Primary Responder

Re: Thrush again


I still use and recommend No Thrush applied daily after scrubbing clean the bottom of the foot.  Heike and Josephine Trott, PhD,  published work is still available on the web. Heike site is gone however. Here is a link to the free flip book of it.
Pages 12-15.

Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Juniper Case history: .

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