Re: Use of Palmitoylethanolamide(PEA) for pain management

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Thank you, Jean. That's very encouraging. Glory is about the  most difficult test case we could find, with significant bone loss, rotation and sinking,,,20,2,0,0 .

Many things about PEA are very appealing. It's tasteless, naturally occurring in the body and has been virtually free of any side effects in human studies.

Keep the reports coming everyone.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Re: Phyto Quench

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

I would order it with - the pellets.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Re: Use of Palmitoylethanolamide(PEA) for pain management

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

No one really knows.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Re: Invokana urine trsting

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

 Hi Terri,

Strips should be kept at room temperature but the most likely thing going on here is psyllium interfering with medication absorption.  To avoid this, give the Invokana 2 hours before the psyllium or at least 2 hours after. The further apart they are, the better.

Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Message Posting Etiquette - Keeping ECIR User Friendly - Tue, 12/15/2020 #cal-notice Calendar <noreply@...>

Message Posting Etiquette - Keeping ECIR User Friendly

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Message Posting Etiquette

This is a high volume group that can be difficult to follow. Help make it easier for everyone by following the Message Posting Guidelines below:
1) Sign your posts. This is a very large group.  Whenever posting a message, identify yourself and your equine by using your full ECIR Signature with your first name, location, the date you joined and the links to your Case History folder and Photo Album. The volunteers need all this information to provide quality responses and suggestions for local support, vendors, vets and hoof care. 
2) Be clear in your posts. If you need to quote a line this is most easily done using the web to reply (not from email). Once you have the message you want to reply to on your screen, copy the text you want quoted, then paste it into the reply message composer.  Highlight the text you are quoting and then click on the quotation marks in the toolbar.  
3) Be considerate of the Support Team. They volunteer to help members in their spare time. Many have full time jobs. Unless you are in an emergency read the Start Here Files and check the archives to see if your question has been answered before.  Many new member's questions are answered there.
4) Discussion should always take place on the forums so all members can learn from the conversation and the support team can help clear up confusion.  
5)  Try not to hijack threads.  Start a New Message or change the subject line to discuss issues not covered by the subject line.
6) Don't immediately re-post.  Give “missing” posts a few hours before reposting. For unanswered messages, be patient. A lack of response is not personal or a reflection on you in any way. With so many posts some do get missed. Unless in an emergency situation, wait roughly 48 hours before re-posting and edit the subject line with "2nd Try". 
7) Off-topic but horse-related discussions: ECIR Horsekeeping Forum provides a place to discuss issues involving non-PPID/EMS horses, general horse keeping practices, other equine health issues, alternative therapies and any equine related philosophical debates.
8) All discussion about horses with PPID and EMS takes place in the ECIR Forum. Hoof related discussion for horses that do not have PPID/EMS takes place in the ECIR Hoof Forum
 Thank you for your cooperation.
- The ECIR Group support Team

Re: The ECIR Group —THE RESEARCH 2020

Tori Cullins

Where can we find the Oregon Hay Database? Thank you, for all you do!
Tori and Orion

April 2015, Eagle Point, Oregon

Case History:

Photo Album:


Invokana urine trsting


For the first time since we began Invokana both Finn and Elliott’s glucose readings on the urine strips were not very high. I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that psyllium can reduce glucose readings. Is this a possibility?  I just started their 7 days of psyllium. I was initially wondering if they missed a dose of meds, the meds were problematic or if my urine strips had been affected by the cold weather. I’ve ordered new strips just in case.  

Terri Jennings with Teeny, Finn and Elliott
Arcata, CA
Joined 2019

Re: Shrinking eye - what can help to preserve eye health


Thank you, Dr Kellon. I will make an appointment. It may take a couple of months though, so in the meantime would it be helpful to have bloodwork for inflammatory markers ie.... fibrinogen or C reactive protein?  Katie has not had any pain issues since March 2019 when she had an abscess. 

I have phots of her eyes I will get posted in her photo file. 

Stephanie Thomson August 2, 2016


Liberty, Missouri

Katie Case History

Katie Photo Album

Katie Lab Values Folder 

Re: Use of Palmitoylethanolamide(PEA) for pain management

LJ Friedman

Slightly off-topic, for a friends horse . Does anyone know if we could use this for pain management for horse with kissing spine. No known Cushing’s but  probable Cushing’s will be tested soon .
currently using gabapentin  
LJ Friedman  Nov 2014 Vista,   Northern  San Diego, CA

Jesse and majestic ‘s Case History 
Jesse's Photos


Phyto Quench

Patti SoCal 2020

for my IR PPID horse, should I order the Phyto Quench without Devils Claw?
Patti SoCal 2020

Re: Lavinia is there ever a right time for corrective shoes?

Jeanne Q

Thanks Lavinia for your reply! 
Thanks for the good vibrations Brenda!
To answer your question Lavinia...yes, she can stand down in her heels but it is not her normal stance.  After the last rads were done I started taking the slivers off her heel myself.  I was only ever able to use the rasp as her hoof is like rock.  Thus the no definition in the bottom of her hoof.  The heels seem to be growing fast but contracted.  I also had some massage and Masterson done with her.  I still do very easy stretching with her front end to keep the tendons in good shape.

I had already mentioned a composite shoe to my farrier.  With what he has in his head he doesnt feel like glue and composite will get the job done.  I know nothing about that.  He knows I dont want to put nails in her.  Ive been very adamant about that.  I will mention it again and see if he will compromise.  Not sure how he will get a nail in her with her hooves as hard as rock though!

I will be keeping a close watch on the heel height and will definitely speak up if the shoes dont work for her.
Thanks again 
Jeanne Q MN 2020

Re: Request for mark ups from Lavinia

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Great to hear that Bugsy has been doing so well. You and your farrier also deserve the kudos for making everything work.

When's the farrier coming?

Will get those mark-ups for you.

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

Re: Safe feed


Hello and welcome to the ECIR group Janet. I am also a resident of Michigan. FYI, you can begin your posts on a blank line above your signature. These pages are pretty easy to type within, similar to a word document. The bar at the top of all message bocks gives you some basic formatting options.

From your question about safe feed I assume you must have a horse that is confirmed Insulin Resistant. We do require that members provide a health history for horses that are IR, EMS, Cushings or PSSM. Providing a case history for your horse will give our moderators the info they need to be able to give you safe advice for your horse.

Finding a safe diet for your IR horse can be complicated. Most manufactured feeds are not safe for IR horses as the sugars and starches are typically too high. One option is the Ontario Dehy Balance Timothy cubes (also sold under the Triple Crown name). Stabul 1 is a safe balanced pelleted feed. I found that I can use soyhull pellets as a safe carrier feed and they can be purchased at a very LOW price in Clare MI, at the Johnston Elevator (feed mill). Cost is around $8 for 50 lbs. They do need additional minerals and vitamins added to balance the complete diet. Most of our members have their hay analyzed with an emphasis on safe levels of sugars and starch. Once a safe hay is found  the analysis can be used to balance the mineral needs. We do have a folder in our Main group files that can give you more info about safe feeds and diet balancing:
Within that folder is an file about hay balancing. It contains a list of people who offer hay balancing services. Yes, most people charge for this service as it takes numerous hours to work up a good diet plan. DO NOT feed alfalfa as a large % of IR horses cannot tolerate it and it may trigger laminitis. 

Please post "new" messages with your questions. We encourage you to read other members posts because you will learn a lot by doing that but be sure to NOT "Hijack" their thread by asking unrelated questions with their post.

DO use the search box at the top of every page. It is very easy to search the messages by entering a few words or a term and definitely search the FILES which are in the column on the left side.

I have a hay corer which I am willing to loan out to local members if you decided to core and test your horse's hay.

Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Group Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

The ECIR Group provides the best, most up to date information on Cushing's (PPID) and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)/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 Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)/Insulin Resistance (IR). These are two separate issues that share some overlapping symptoms. An equine may be either PPID or EMS/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 EMS/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: EMS 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 EMS/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 EMS/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 EMS/IR individuals.

We do not recommend feeding alfalfa hay to EMS/IR 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. 


Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Group Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

Mouse Case History, Photo Album

Request for mark ups from Lavinia

Judy and Bugsy

We've been diligently following Lavinia's mark ups and recommendations and I'm so happy to say that Bugsy's feet along with his comfort have improved dramatically.  This is usually the time of year in which he gets sore but so far he's been doing well.  A few weeks ago, I changed his feeding a bit.  He now has access to a big round bale with 2 nets on, from around 9:00 am - 6:00 pm.  Then he gets about 8 lbs of his hay in a double netted small hay net and his supplements for the night.  The big rounds are off of the same field as the small squares so I should be good for the custom mineral supplement that he gets.  However the big round bales were baled at a different time of day than the small square bales and the ESC+ Starch  for the big rounds comes in a bit higher (8.91).  Exercise has been reduced due to the extremely cold temperatures that we are having here.  It's becoming a bit of a dance/gamble and I'm watching him closely for weight gain, ouchiness etc.   

I would like Lavinia to have a look at Bugsy's pictures and provide mark ups please.  


Judy and Bugsy

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Feb. 25, 2020


Re: Use of Palmitoylethanolamide(PEA) for pain management

Frances C.

Oh Glory Be - thanks for the update Jeanne. Such welcome good news. Am anticipating trying PEA in the New Year
- Frances C.
December 2017, Washington & California
Case history:
Phoenix's Photo Album:

Re: Help for laminitis

Lorna Cane

Hi Jeri,

Here are the links to your case history, and photo album.

You can make them automatically attach to your signature.
Go here.....

Click on the boxes for web posting and email posting

     Use Signature For Web Posting
Use Signature For Email Posting

Go into the signature box near the bottom of the page. If your signature is already there,just add these 2 links to it,scroll down a bit more and hit SAVE.
If your signature has not already been typed into the box,do that,now.

Then you'll never have to think about your signature again.

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
Check out FAQ :

Re: Help for laminitis

Sherry Morse

Hi Jeri

At 1070 do you feel she's still overweight/just right or thin?  You can use plain beet pulp and rinse/soak/rinse it if you need a carrier for flax and vitamin E.  Have you read your welcome letter ( and the diet information on the ECIR website? 

Do you have pictures of Roxie that you could post in your photo folder?  Being able to see her body and her feet will help us help you with her trim as well as diet recommendations.  For horses that have persistently high insulin in spite of diet changes some of our members have had success with using Metformin or Insulin to bring insulin down but there are considerations for both of those and they both would require a prescription from your vet. 

To update your signature:

1) Go to this link:

2) Look at the bottom of that page for the window that has your name and join date

3) Add the links I shared earlier for your Case History and Photo Album. Adding a space after your link or hitting enter on your keyboard will turn it blue.

4) IMPORTANT: Scroll to the bottom and hit SAVE!

Re: Help for laminitis


-- I thought I had photo linked with signature but I can’t seem to up date ha file.
Roxie is 19 and per tape weight check 1070 lbs.  we weigh hay 15 lbs per 24 hrs.  I did have Dumor shredded beet pulp but bag says it has molasses so I discontinued use.   Other then flax and hay what else would help lower insulin.   My farrier specializes in theraputic trims and shoes. He feels her feet are basically still sound and is making special composite shoes for her.
I don’t feel I will get much help from my vet as he has suggested putting her down based on her cushings and elevated insulin.  She recovered from laminitis two years ago and I feel I must do whatever to give her a chance again.  I understand she is not curable but hopefully manageable.  
Once again thank you.  Maybe a neighbor can help me get hay info to a balancer.

Durango CO
Check out FAQ :

Re: Lavinia is there ever a right time for corrective shoes?

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Jeanne,

Agree there is significant bone loss/remodeling present. Really glad to hear she has been feeling more comfortable of late.

Has it been possible to lower her heels any and still have her actually stand down on them? That is one of the biggest issues at this point, as her frog will not expand if she doesn't use the back half of her foot. Is her frog in ground contact? In the 9/2020 sole shot, there has been a lot of frog trimmed away - that may also be contributing to her inability to stand on her heels as too much frog trimming will make the frog sensitive. If she can't stand down onto her heels then don't lower them further than she CAN stand on them. Lowering her heels may be something that needs to be done by removing slivers from the heels every week, rather than trying to drop them on a regular trim cycle. She may also benefit from rehab therapy to help her lengthen the muscles/tendons in that leg to allow for more heel weight bearing.

That there isn't any definition to the structures on the bottom of her foot is not surprising. Everything has melded in the foot's efforts to provide support in any way that it can. It does appear as if the medial side may be taller, or it may be that the bone loss and compromised hoof integrity on the lateral side is allowing the foot to tilt laterally, thereby compressing the bony column on the medial side.

A banana shoe doesn't make her stand on her heel (or any other part of her foot) - it allows the horse to choose where it is most comfortable and provides for easy breakover both fore and aft..

Sometimes, shoes are the best solution. Sometimes they make a bad situation worse. I don't think it is unreasonable to give it a try here. Just be ready to make changes if she tells you that it's not working for her.
Given how compromised her hoof capsule is, gluing rather than nailing seems like it would make more sense. Has a composite shoe, rather than steel, been considered? That might allow for more tailoring of the shoe to her specific needs.

With a shoe, you'll need to monitor the heel height closely to be sure it doesn't outgrow the trim and tip her even more forward onto the toe.

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


Nancy C

Dear ECIR Group Members ~

We’ve found over the years that you love to hear about the research and studies that affect our equines. Here is a look at some of what the ECIR Group — including all of you — has been busy working on in 2020.

Iron Overload: Drs. Kellon and Gustafson reviewed the case histories provided by ECIR members and reported their findings in, “Possible Dysmetabolic Hyperferritinemia in Hyperinsulinemic Horses.” They concluded that there is potential for iron overload in hyperinsulinemic horses, a feature documented in other species, which should stimulate further study into the relationship between insulin and iron dysregulation in the horse.

Reports on InsulinWise: As a public service by members for members, self-reported experiences, including repeated blood draws, found that using InsulinWise was generally not helpful for the majority of our members

Collecting Laboratory Data: ECIR Group Inc. supported blood work for approximately a dozen members to understand discrepancies between labs. Further exploration needed.

Eliminated General Leptin Testing Recommendation: An example of changing protocols based on scientific evidence. The ECIR group dropped leptin testing from the routine diagnostic protocol because it does not offer significant valuable information in most cases, compared to insulin and glucose alone.

Biotin Supplementation and Hormonal Assay: ECIR Group members were alerted to confounds of biotin supplementation on hormonal assays. The FDA has also issued several warnings.

Fasting Insulin Guidelines and the Upper Limit of Normal Limits for Insulin: This published work supports the ECIR Group’s recommendations made since 2003: Olley RB, et al. Comparison of fasted basal insulin with the combined glucose-insulin test in horses and ponies with suspected insulin dysregulation. Vet J 2019 Oct;252:105351. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2019.105351. Epub 2019 Aug 5. More background can be found on the ecirhorse website:

Continued Hay Database Development: ECIR members Jannalee Smithey and Kathleen Gustafson have continued to develop the Oregon Hay database, which now has over 250 samples. In addition, Dr. Gustafson has a database with hays from western Missouri and eastern Kansas and is also working to develop a Texas Bermuda database.

Development of Case Histories: The case history project is nearing completion. Kudos to Nancy Collins for her determined efforts. This will provide a searchable database to further our research mission and relies on the input of ECIR Group’s members.

Potential Collaboration: We are actively exploring avenues for collaborations with universities to explore the roots of PPID, EMS, and laminitis.

Collecting Data on Invokana with the Intent to Publish: Manuscript detailing case reports of response to Invokana will be submitted by the end of first quarter 2021.

As ECIR Group Director Fran has previously written, despite 2020 being a tough year for everyone, you can see that the ECIR Group does have a lot of good news to report.

Our eye is on the future and our goal is NO Laminitis!

We can do this. If you are in a position to help and are willing to make a donation to the ECIR Group, please go here and choose how you’d like to support this collective work.

With gratitude,

Kathleen Gustafson, PhD (KFG in KCMO)
Director and Research Advisor, ECIR Group Inc.
Missouri, USA, 2005
For Kathleen,
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

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