Re: Quality of flax seeds?

Frances C.

Hmmmm, the first thing that jumped into my mind is that the flax from Whole Foods was quite fresh and the 50 lb bag from the feed store was old. So the fresher the seed, the higher the water content? If so, then this could cause a difference to be seen in the grinding process as you are dealing with more moisture.  Probably there is not much difference in the quantity of the oil content. If it smells ok and the horses like it then it is probably beneficial. Cutting down on the grinding process I do 10 days worth at a time and immediately seal and refrigerate and never had a problem. Pretty particular on how I grind using the same amount, grinding speed and time for each little batch - about 4 oz to get very consistent results with about 90% cracked and about 10% still whole. You can also just give them the flax unground, just double the amount.
- Frances C.
December 2017, Washington & California
Case history:
Phoenix's Photo Album:

Re: Quality of flax seeds?

Lorna Cane


Give the producers of the seeds a call.


Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
Check out FAQ :

Promising new labs after starting Invokana but even higher triglycerides


After a month of Invokana, Cayuse's insulin dropped from 113.49 to 24.91 ulu/ml with normal glucose at 80 mg/dl. The liver panel was better than expected, everything normal except for triglycerides, which are elevated over the previous high triglycerides. The full report is:
 I calculated Invokana dose at 0.6 mg/kg -> 267 mg using body weight of 445 kg. I have been cutting off one rounded end off the tablet. Based on the weight of the tablet, the dose is probably closer to 250 mg of Invokana.

Is there any way to address the elevated triglycerides? Slightly reduce Invokana dose? Exercise? I ordered some vegan EPA and DHA soft gels to try to boost Omega-3's. 

I believe exercise might help, but Cayuse doesn't act like she feels as good as her labs. Is there any reason I shouldn't use Devil's Claw for pain relief while using Invokana? She looks depressed and lethargic. She's on TendonEQ twice a day because I noticed her fetlocks really dropped in late January. Then she developed serious swelling of both hinds from fetlocks up the cannon bones, warranting a vet call. They were hot, she was miserable. After a physical exam, two vets and I watched her move in the round pen and we all agree her RH hock is really bothering her. We think she's over-compensating on the LH. We did a very short course of bute, and the swelling is resolved. The fetlocks look almost normal. My vet has seen her twice since the swelling. No unusual pulses. No heat in the feet. No response to hoof testers that he uses carefully and thoughtfully. She stabs with the RH when first moving out. I had been treating her with DC after I stopped bute, but when she seemed so comfortable about two weeks into Invokana, I discontinued DC.

2017 hock X-rays are in Photos.,,,50,2,0,0  

Thanks for any ideas.

Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse and Diamond Case History Folder                
Cayuse Photos                Diamond Photos

Re: CVS vitamin E capsules -- bad smell?

ferne fedeli

I checked out the Vit E capsules on PipingRock, but they didn't seem to have oil in them.  I saw Vitamin E oil sold separately.  Did I not look in the right place?  I usually get my Vit E capsules from MyBestHorse or sometimes Costco.  You need to be sure there is some oil in them.

Ferne Fedeli  Magic & Jack   2007

No. California
Case History



Re: IR + Arthritis help


Okay thank you for your help. I looked through some of the files and searched "arthritis" in the messages to do further research.
I will try the Mov-Ease as a supplement. I think Adequan injections look promising.

I read some information about Noltrex injections, from my understanding it is a newer course of treatment. According to their website it is safe for ECIR horses. Anyone have any experience with Noltrex?

Kinsey in GA 2020

Re: Quality of flax seeds?

S Kauffmann

I realize they must be a different grade/kind, Lorna. However, what I want to know is if there is worthwhile nutritional value in this seemingly non-oily, mostly husk (from what I can see) flax seed. I don't want to feed something next to useless to my horses, especially when it is something that requires fresh grinding daily. 

The expensive seeds left more that I needed to scrape off with a finger on the grinder. The new seeds leave virtually nothing. This is why I think they may not be very valuable from a nutritional standpoint.

Susan K in NV

Re: Aragon's hoofs

Myriam Desrosiers

It was a different farrier... I think he did a better job since he trimed Aragon with much less toe than the other farrier does it usually and did'nt took off any sole... So yeah, he took off the shoe and trimed him... I'm curious to know what you think :) Next visit is in 7 weeks... or maybe 4 for my usual farrier. But i think i'm gonna do it myself....very little by little with the rasp and probably change farrier... 

I also had hay correctly analysed this time! And sent i-mail to hay balancer. I see incredible improvements from the begining, He is wearing the soft ride boots, soxes and his legs are wrap, and now moves around normally without too much pain. He even tryed to play my mare today. loll. 

Thank you

MyriamD, Qc, Canada

Re: Quality of flax seeds?

Lorna Cane

Hi Susan,

What does the blade part of the grinder look like after each type of seeds is used?
I'm wondering about the amount of ground material left on the blade lid,around edges. IME the feed store seeds leave super ground material,which needs to be scraped off(with finger),leading me to think the oil helps cause this.
If something non-oily is ground ( dried peas), it can be a way of cleaning off the blade lid,container.
Just a guess about how to tell if your brown seeds don't contain oil.
And also,are you comparing apples to apples? Are the expensive seeds the same colour to begin with as the feed store seeds? Could they be different kind,or different grade?
Have you Googled?

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
Check out FAQ :

Re: Aragon's hoofs

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Myriam,

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll get those mark-ups for you in the next couple of days. There is no fee for the first set.

Did the farrier do a trim when the shoes were pulled or just pull the shoes?

When is the next trim appointment?

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

Re: Quality of flax seeds?

Sherry Morse

Hi Susan,

Quite a few people are using Triple Crown flax: I'm not sure what to tell you about the whole flax seeds but somebody else may have some insights for you.

Re: Aragon's hoofs

Myriam Desrosiers

Hi Lavinia, i have posted Aragon's hoof picture in his album. I waited on the farrier to come to take off his horse shoes.... Can i get the pictures marked up please? And please tell me if there is fees for the service. Thank you so much!
MyriamD, Qc, Canada

Quality of flax seeds?

S Kauffmann

I hadn't been keeping up on fresh ground flax for my horses for a while, but decided to get back on that recently. As I couldn't get to the feed store (where I used to buy it in bulk), I bought some 1 pound bags from Whole Foods just to tide me over. I noticed when grinding that stuff that it was very moist and there would be a lot of the yellowish color of the inside of the seed in proportion to the brown husk bits. Then, I went to the feed store and they didn't have bulk bins anymore, so I had to buy a whole 50 lb. bag. No problem, I thought -- I'll use it up in about two months and it is less than $1 a pound, whereas the fancy Whole Foods stuff is $2.99 a lb. Well, the new seeds from the feed store are quite flat, not so moist when ground up, and look mostly brown when ground up. I'm therefore thinking that the new seeds just don't have much oil in them, and I'm wondering if it is even worth feeding at all. I have started using a bit more than the other one, but I don't know if that will be enough to compensate. And now I'm stuck with 50 pounds of the stuff! 

My questions for you wonderful folks are: a) Is this flat, dryish flax worth bothering with? b) If it is, do I need to massively increase the amount? c) Does anyone have a recommendation for a source of high-quality flax that doesn't cost $3 a pound and that I can order online? 

Thank you!

Susan K in NV

Re: IR + Arthritis help

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Intravenous hyaluronic acid is fine. However, it won't help pain from eroded  cartilage or joints with extensive bone spurs.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Re: CVS vitamin E capsules -- bad smell?

Starshine Ranch

Hi Susan,
Sorry about the smell... nasty!  A good online source and the best price I've found for Vit E caps is   I'm in N Cal and also use CA Trace.  I get the 1000 IU caps and feed two each day... they are pretty big but the horses seem to love them and gobble them right up.  Delivery usually takes almost a week but the price is worth it.  Hope this works for you.
Linda in CA  2020  Midnight and Ostara

Re: IR + Arthritis help

Joy V

Hi Kinsey,

I also have a horse with both PPID & IR.  He was on Equioxx for 2 1/2 years prior to being diagnosed with the PPID/IR.  After about 8 months, the Equioxx was causing mouth and throat ulcers, and he was going off his feed every few months.  He has TMJ (and possible THO but that has not be confirmed) as well as pretty bad arthritis in his hocks.  I took him off the Equioxx pretty soon after his metabolic diagnosis and started him on CBD.  CBD has worked very well for him.  Initially I bought a prepared CBD product for horses by Neurogan and it was good, but there were issues with shipping beginning in 2020 (something with the state of California and the dept of agriculture) so I switched to raw CBD shake and have had him on that since.  The raw CBD works very, very well for him, and there have been zero noticeable side effects.  (CBD is legal in all 50 states)

I would think that hyaluronic acid injections would also be safe to have done for your horse's hocks (i.e. Legend for example).  **Dr. Kellon would need to confirm this though. 

You should probably search the files/messages for safe joint supplements, many on the market aren't safe for horses with IR.

Joy and Willie (PPID/IR)
Nevada County, CA - 2019

Case history:
Willie's photo album:

Re: New case history posted

Sherry Morse

New case history posted


I feel like I am always playing catch up with my pinto mare who had her first episode of laminitis in spring of 2011.  I have learned a lot since then.  With that first episode, I took her off spring pasture, and kept her in a dry lot on grass hay and that seemed to resolve the problem until 2015 when she was showing evidence of laminitis in the fall on grass hay.  I was not testing my hay at that time.  I now test my hay every year and make sure I have <10% NSC, feeding mainly Teff hay +California Trace +iodized salt.  Aspen is only on dry lot.  She is given exercise when she is not lame.  She has developed a pattern the last 3 years of having a laminitis flare every January.  January 2019 she was started on Prascend for TRH stim test with an equivocal ACTH level.  Each fall and winter her Prascend dose has been increased and she is now taking Prascend 4mg per day.  She is symptomatically improving as evidenced by laying down less and is moving from hay pile to hay pile in the dry lot, but she is still stiff and stilted in her movement.  She also shows more features of PPID such as not shedding her coat, long hair, and sweating.
-I would like help with how often to adjust the Prascend and how high the dose can go?
-How are people monitoring response to medication?  Should I be hoping that her hair coat sheds normally and that her regional adiposity reverses?  How else to measure response to Prascend?
-Gabapentin was also started in January with the thought that maybe she is having neuropathic pain; it has helped modestly.
Jennifer C in WA 2021

Re: Help for my mini in IR battle


Hi Anne,
I think we could all use a mentor occasionally and we’re here to help.  I may be even closer than you could imagine.  I live in Vermont as well and I believe your name is familiar.  My job at this point is to send you our group welcome with lots of included information.  We’ll be expecting you to fill out a case history in as much detail as possible as we won’t be there in person and you need to provide the case history and photos as a ‘go between’.  If it seems a bit overwhelming, it did to me at first as well.  It will get easier.  Once you share more details, I’m sure there will be lots of suggestions to help you and the mini.

Not knowing where you are in your ‘IR battle’, we recommend the emergency diet to start.  Soaked hay (1 hr cold or 1/2 hour hot, then rinsed), fed in the appropriate amount for your mini in a small hole net and supplemented with flax, Mg, salt and Vitamin E.  This will continue until you have a hay test done by wet chemistry which will tell you whether or not the hay is safe in terms of sugars and starches to feed dry.  You will also be able to determine, with some help, what minerals are needed to balance the hay.  The hay I purchase locally has generally been safe and easy to balance so here’s hoping yours will be as well.

Our program revolves around Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise, which you will see referred to here as DDT/E.  The exercise comes much later, as dictated by your mini.  If you haven’t had bloodwork done as part of the diagnosis, you should plan to do that.  You’ll get the most accurate results for diagnostic purposes by NOT fasting and choosing a day such as the few warmer ones we’ve had recently.  The test should include insulin, glucose and most likely ACTH, unless we’re dealing with a youngster.  It should go to Cornell for analysis, which yours most likely will anyway.

The trim is often in need of attention in making the horse comfortable.  You can’t post photos here but you can on our Case History group and we have volunteers here who are very qualified to guide you in what changes might be most beneficial.

What follows in the Official ECIR Group Welcome with all the information I promised.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions after reading it as that’s where our help comes in.

Welcome to the group! 

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. 

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: Dr Kellon Invokana and Lipemia - urgent

Nancy & Vinnie & Summer

Hi everyone. Thanks for the healing thoughts and prayers.

Vinnie is stable. I wasn't able to see him this evening when I dropped off all his food and supps n stuff due to covid rules. But I did see an image of my boy looking a little pekid. 

I will post more tomorrow but in essence Vinnie presented as a gas colic yesterday evening and after being unable to stabilize him plus him acting just off, and in light of the chem we got back showing extremely high triglycerides we decided to haul to Davis.

They ruled out colic right away and were concerned that his lactate and triglycerides were so high and recommended hospitalization. I spent time going in depth about what we have been dealing with metabolically in the last two years and left for the night.

This morning I got word that with IV fluids lactate levels were back to normal and he was chipper and eating. The plan for the day was to add glucose by IV very slowly to reduce triglycerides. Obviously concerned because of metabolics.and there was no plan in place to monitor insulin. 🙄

I.won't go onto all the details as my mind is swirling a bit, but this evening i was told they had taken Vinnie off all his metabolic meds ( invokana, prascend, and thyrol) which was not what I agreed to and I am extremely worried about a laminitic event .  I had only agreed to stopping invokana temporarily and restarting at a lower dose; as we hypothesize that perhaps the higher dose was what put Vinnie into lipemia.  Dr Kellon can explain the latter more completely than I.

The Davis team feels that their main goal is to save Vinnies life by reducing triglycerides and send him home for us to deal with the metabolics.  I implored the doc to at least start prascend and he said that he may at. 50 which is half the dose he was getting. His reason is it can cause inappetance and this can negatively impact triglycerides. He was not willing to administer APF. Ugh! Worried!

That being said; There was some better news today,  we got the metabolics panel back that was taken 3/8 and Vinnie's insulin was 30 and acth 19  which is awesome and hopefully with this being in this range will take time to increase while not on meds.  

I am worried... but hopeful... more to come tomorrow.  Xx Nancy

Nancy and Vinnie and Summer
Oakley, Ca
Joined Nov 2018


Re: IR + Arthritis help

Mary T

Hi Kinsey,

My mare, Ally, has both PPID & EMS.  She was diagnosed with arthritis in both hocks December 2020.  Because of her PPID, steroids are contra-indicated as they will cause laminitis and founder—so my vet injected her hocks with platelet rich plasma (PRP), an autologous (horse’s own serum) product that is safe for PPID & EMS—it won’t cause laminitis.  Ally responded well to the PRP and is comfortable & sound when ridden lightly, which was our goal at age 25.
Mara & Ally
2006 PNW

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