Re: Repost: Metformin - For how long must it be given?

Tina Martin

I have had my horse on Metformin several times when his insulin was very
high (as a matter of fact he is on it now) and like Dr. Kellon mentioned
it's a short term fix. I usually keep him on it (6000mg twice a day)
for about 6 weeks and then retest. If insulin has come down, I will
taper the Metformin down, too. 4000mg twice/day for a week, 2000mg
twice/day for a week. Of course, you must have a correct diet in place
in the meantime. This has worked very well for my horse in the past and
he has responded to the 6000mg 2x/d dose very well.
TinaAtlanta, GAMay, 2011

--- In EquineCushings@..., "lisa2t" <tomslisa@...> wrote:

Hi all,

How long does Bonnie need to stay on the Metformin for? I have 1
of 300 x 850mg tablets which should last 17.5 days at 15000mg twice a
day. My vet suggested only three bottles, is this right?


Lisa & Bonnie | S.Africa | June 2012\;

Re: My vet told me....

Linda <PapBallou@...>

Hi Marianne -

I realize it's your pocketbook and your vets at your side, but would it be possible to have lateral views taken with Pauli bearing weight? The views that were taken last time might not show the true CB position since the hoof capsule was being supported in the toe block.

Hang in there!

EC Primary Response
West Coast
May 2004

Re: IR "clue"?


Hi Melinda. Although there doesn't seem to be any research in this area, I can share the following data with you. I too have seen a correlation with smegma build up, but not sure what the relationship is. I can tell you the common denominators I have seen in horses that have a) PPID and b) are senior in age. I had a very old horse +30 year old gelding who developed PPID and over the last 3 years he had continual sheath infections from overproduction of very thick smegma which would irritate his sheath. After many vet visits, I cannot tell you the exact cause, ie: the cushings or the old age, but I can share with you what stopped the infections and inflammation quickly. I used a water hose with warm water inside his sheath together with my hand manually removing all the smegma, a big job as you know and you may have developed better techniques. Once all the balled up smegma is cleaned and removed, I apply a very liberal application of Tea Tree Oil. It stops the inflammation and the acts like a lubricating barrier against the skin, and significantly repells the build up of smegma. The exact brand I use is called Tea Tree-ADE made by Animal Legends. It is a Tea Tree Oil Spray, enriched with Vitamins A, D, & E and made for horses. It comes in an 8 fl.oz (226 grams) spray bottle, is a clear liquid and you can apply directly by spraying inside the sheath and cupping it in your hands, then completely covering all internal areas of the sheath liberally. This seems to work long term, and I would recommend checking every month and re-cleaning and re-applying as necessary.

One other note: ALWAYS trust your gut instinct. No one knows your horse better than you. While you may not have all the answers, your eye and subconscience detects things far in advance of other care providers like vets, farriers, who only see your horse periodically and your feedback can be enormously valuable for professionals to help them in their assessment and evaluation.

Thank you for sharing your observations. Great feedback.
Regards and GOOD LUCK!
Sylvia Kornherr

--- In EquineCushings@..., "hinecedark" <hinecedark@...> wrote:

My horse, Cato, is PPID, currently controlled on 8mg pergolide per day. He is not IR, per April leptin level of 2.31. Since July, 2010 he has suffered laminitis with ACTH levels of 39.0, 25.9 and 31.7pg/ml(Cornell) insulins of 26.9, 25.9, and 27.95uIU/ml respectively, interspersed with periods of comfort and lower ACTH/insulin, but has been comfortable since Oct. 2011 with ACTH levels of 17.5 and 14.7pg/ml (April) and insulins of 14.55 and 11.93uIU/ml. One thing that seems to have been consistent with these ups and downs in ACTH and insulin is that along with the footsoreness he develops excess smegma and needs sheath cleaning almost weekly. During times he is controlled and has comfortable feet, it seems he remains clean for months. Is this, like the laminitis, a result of the IR that develops 2* to elevated ACTH? Is there some change resulting from IR that makes this even seem likely or possible? Or is it a coincidence that I only *think* is connected? I ask because he is now, so far, still walking well but has suddenly developed the dirty sheath problem again (I check every week or 2, even when he's doing well). Seems prudent to me to check ACTH/insulin again now, if I can scrape up the funds. Or would increasing pergolide by 1mg now, and doing bloodwork after a month or so be acceptable also? I really have believed this sheath thing is my "early warning system", that he's heading for laminitis trouble, unless you tell me it's impossible. Meanwhile, he had lost over 200 lb.(that he did not need to lose, many ribs showing) while not well controlled. I have been able to see steady weight gain (832 lb. to 861 lb. currently)since his April Leptin test by adding 1 1/2lb of steamed, crimped oats daily to his previous IR-safe ration of BP, TCL and a few timothy pellets. I am inclined to hold the oats until after testing, yes? His G/I ratios and proxies have always indicated him as "severe IR" when his ACTH is "up" (if you can call mid-normal reference range "up") and feet are sore, and "not IR" when he is comfortable.
Sorry for the long drawn out questions. But Cato is difficult for me, and I would really like to know if it's possible that he could be providing me with a clue that his ACTH/insulin are rising, as it seems.
Thank you,
Aug 2010

Re: Sonny/Deb

Deb Barnes

Loaded pics after Sonny's trim today. Luckily my farrier is a friend and has a sense of humor! He took A LOT off, hope the pics reflect that. We did schedule for July 13 for the next trim.

Don't have boots for him yet, only the hoof sox. I didn't walk him much yet but I don't think he is too sore. I did get the Easy Boot Fit Kit yesterday so that I can order boots, but I'm a little concerned that if his foot changes a lot thru these next 2 trims, that fitting him now will not give me the right size. I have to send the kit back w/in 30 days so maybe I'll wait until after the next trim to fit and order.

Thanks so much for your help.

Deb & Sonny
2010, PA

Re: My vet told me....


I agree. Best get the cheapo Vit.E capsules from the big discounters. They're the cheapest in Germany, should be the same in the Netherlands. :)

Jennifer in Germany
Laramie July 2011

--- In EquineCushings@..., "Cindy L. McGinley" <cmcginl1@...> wrote:

On Jul 2, 2012, at 10:15 AM, "jannepauli" <jannepauli@...> wrote:

<< At present Pauli gets 2500 iU Vit E per day - it's in a powdered form and I mix it with her beetpulp and flax. Should I up it a bit more for better flexibility?>>

Actually, unless you are feeding this powdered vitamin E with an oil source, it probably isn't doing any good.

Re: My vet told me....


--- In EquineCushings@..., "jannepauli" <jannepauli@...> wrote:

At present Pauli gets 2500 iU Vit E per day - it's in a powdered form and I mix it with her beetpulp and flax.
I'm more positive then before the weekend now
Hi Marianne,
I'm glad things are looking a little better. I have to keep Chappie and Beau separate for their meals too.( Chappie's the boss) They only share their midnight hay in several piles in the dry lot. I've added a little olive oil to powdered Vit E in the past. The small 400IU caps are eaten well put into a meal.
Pauli and you have been through alot and have come a long way. Hopefully the tighter hay portion and the oil with the Vit E, along with any trim improvements she needs will have Pauli back on track. I'm sure you'll see it in her eyes when she's ready to stop fighting. Good Luck Marianne.
Laura K. Chappie & Beau

Re: My vet told me....

Cindy McGinley

On Jul 2, 2012, at 10:15 AM, "jannepauli" <jannepauli@...> wrote:

<< At present Pauli gets 2500 iU Vit E per day - it's in a powdered form and I mix it with her beetpulp and flax. Should I up it a bit more for better flexibility?>>

Actually, unless you are feeding this powdered vitamin E with an oil source, it probably isn't doing any good. E is a fat-soluble vitamin, and it needs to be fed with a source of fat in order for the body to be able to break it down and use it. We found (thanks to my Alf) that the fat in flax seed isn't enough. I'm sure someone else can find relevant posts in the archives regarding this and post a link. I'm pressed for time.

Since Alf's little mishap with powdered vitamin E and lack of fat, we recommend at least 2000 IU daily as a minimum with a fat source. Normally, liquid E in gel caps are packed in oil, or you could just add some cocosoya or other vegetable oil to your horse's ration, making sure it's fed at the same time as your powdered vitamin E so they can find each other in the stomach.

- Cindy & Alf (with entourage) in NY
EC Support
May 2006

Re: Magic horse crossed the rainbow bridge

Cindy McGinley

I'm very sorry for your loss of Magic. I know your heart is breaking, but you did the right thing. Rest assured, you will see him again. I wish you peace.

With Our Deepest Sympathy,
Cindy, Alf, Dare, and Saffron
(Dusty, Red, and Connie from the Otherworld)
EC Support
May 2006

Black Horse Consulting
Sent from my iPad

Re: My vet told me....

Marianne Herzberger

At present Pauli gets 2500 iU Vit E per day - it's in a powdered form and I mix it with her beetpulp and flax. Should I up it a bit more for better flexibility?

I'm more positive then before the weekend now - I can already see that keeping her on a strict schedule of soaked hay, 6 times a day and not more than she should eat, are already showing. Ofcourse I may be seeing things, but it looks as if she is less bloated and her crest, still being way too big, does not feel as hot and tight as on Friday.
Sandra has already provided me with a new recipe for the hay which we will be starting with in a week or two and she also suggested Jiaogulan and A.-L-carnitine. I will follow her advise on that.

Apart from the fact that this group gives me the opportunity to 'vent' when the going gets tough, I am so grateful to you all for the sound advice and help. I really wouldn't know where we'd be without you all. But now, Pauli and I are not going anywhere sometime soon, I am stubbornly committed to get her well.

One thing puzzled me ... when her front feet were numbed, she did perfect heel landings. When she's in pain she puts in toe-first. Could this mean that there is a heel problem? Linda, what are your thoughts on this?

Marianne | The Netherlands | EC 2011

--- In EquineCushings@..., "lonestarquarterh" <mostlyaggies@...> wrote:


I think we have discussed Vitamin E issues before but I will mention the topic again because Pookey Bear's need for quality Vitamin E seems to be so critical for him.

Re: Jiaogulan and Siberian Ginseng


Oh, most companies ship everywhere. Why wouldn't they? If the order is confiscated and destroyed, it's not their problem.
There are quite a few things you cannot ship to the US too. :) I'm in Germany, and I did order powdered Jiaogulan once (which I wouldn't use anymore anyway). It took a few months until they released it to me, but at least it wasn't destroyed.
But as I said, if it had been destroyed, it would have been my problem, not the seller's. That's why companies happily sell restricted goods overseas.

Just to clarify the situation, which concerns anyone ordering from a foreign country/ overseas.

Jennifer in Germany
Laramie July 2011

--- In EquineCushings@..., "Lorna" <briars@...> wrote:

Hi Lisa,

That's curious,isn't it? Because on the 2 sites that first came up for me it was indicated that they ship to SA.

Re: Magic horse crossed the rainbow bridge


So sorry for your loss.. rest assured you did all you could to help him,
give him quality of life and all the love he needed to get to this point and

God bless you as you go through this part of the journey.

Rest in Peace Magic horse.... :*(

Patty and Icee
ohio 5/12

Greetings all,
I wish to thank everyone who has helped me with my Magic horse and all his
issues over the years.
Thank you again for all your support over the years, it helped me, and
Magic, tremendously.

Mary in Oklahoma

Re: My vet told me....


There does come a time when we have to say we have done all we can and do
what is best for our beloved animals. I have had people over the years tell
me more could have maybe been done for this or that illness or condition
that a horse of mine had.. well first of all its not their horse. Secondly,
I dont have a money tree in my back yard and third, I love my horse too
much to continue with its suffering only to find "that" new thing didn't work

My heart goes out to you and I pray you can make the best decision for
YOUR horse and friend.


Patty and Icee
Ohio 5/12

In a message dated 7/1/2012 1:25:50 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
jannepauli@... writes:

Last Friday, my vet told me I should really start preparing myself to let
Pauli go....and I suppose if any of you would have seen her, you'd probably

Marianne ( *Jannepauli*)
EC June, 2011 -
_ (
The Netherlands

Re: My vet told me....

Lisa S

--- In EquineCushings@..., "jannepauli" <jannepauli@...> wrote:

I've also noticed that a) the hind hooves donot step into or near the print of the front hooves, she keeps her hind very stiff


I think we have discussed Vitamin E issues before but I will mention the topic again because Pookey Bear's need for quality Vitamin E seems to be so critical for him.

After about a year of stall rest (and no grass) he was starting to show back-end weakness (trembling, standing under himself, not moving normally, and reluctance to pick up back feet for trimmer). I had him on a decent quality natural E with soybean oil, but occasionally switched brands to one that did not have the oil in it. Also, I was storing the caps in the barn (HOT!) and I suspect that he sometimes spit them out.

Bottom line was he became very unsteady behind. When someone suggested to me that I look at his E supply, I decided to switch to a water soluble E (Elevate WS) and to greatly increase his dosage (6000- to 8000 iU daily).

Gradually, he experienced improvement, and now--another year later--is much more 'normal.' But every time I try to transition him back to a lower dosage, or to a different (cheaper) brand, he has problems.

I know this may not be Pauli's issue and I feel so bad for you as you continue to puzzle over his problems. It often seems that one group just says 'abandon hope' and the other group keeps coming up with more things to try! But you, of course, know your horse better than anyone, and you should not feel pressured into making an end-of-life decision for him because someone else is feeling frustrated, but rather because you are tuned in to your horse's physical and emotional state yourself.

Lisa in TX
Pookey Bear
June 2010

Guelph vs Cornell ACTH testing


Has anyone had a sample from the same blood draw tested for ACTH at both Guelph and Cornell labs?

I am very interested in how these results would compare.

SW Ontario 2005

Re: Jiaogulan and Siberian Ginseng

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Hi Lisa,

We use the Jiaogulan because of its nitric oxide enhancing/vasodilating properties. Panax quinquefolius (North American ginseng) does the same thing but it is not as potent. Panax ginseng (Asian) does as well but has more cardiac and excitatory side effects.

This may just be semantics but Siberian ginseng is actually Eleutherococcus, not a ginseng.

If you can't get Jiaogulan, ask about Hawthorn.

A similar herbal/antioxidant blend supplement was recently formally studied and it didn't work, although the diet was not as tight as we would recommend. Cinnamon works very well in other species, but not in horses.

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

Re: My vet told me....

Nancy C

Great news Marianne. These horses are capable of so much more than they are often given credit for. It just takes a little time, mostly to get the human to catch up to what is needed. Not the fault of the human usually. We've all had pros giving us the old literature on what is needed. Or what cannot be done.

I know you know the bute is not helping to heal her feet. Unless she is not eating, drinking, pooping, peeing, then it's time to get her off the bute. You need to see exactly what is going on and she needs to know how much she can and cannot move. Removing the bute will also allow the right nitric oxide to do the right thing to heal.

Massage and liniment may help the muscle tremors which are likely from having to hold herself off the fores which are sore. Jiaogulan will help her both with the feet and the muscles, but you know that too. You may not see the best results until the trim is in place.

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003


--- In EquineCushings@..., "jannepauli" <jannepauli@...> wrote:

** my thoughts exactly! I am not about to give up!

Marianne | The Netherlands | EC 2011


tomtriv <ThePitchforkPrincess@...>

This is a high volume list that can be difficult to follow. To help make this easier for everyone, please follow the guidelines below:

1) Sign your posts with your first name, location, the date you joined. When asking for advice, provide a link to your case history or photos. All this information is important. It provides volunteers with the clues needed to get you quality responses, local support, vendors, vets, hoof care, etc. in a timely fashion.

2) Limit your signature to 3 or 4 lines.

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6) Feel free to take off-topic, horse-related discussions to our sister yahoo groups. ECHorsekeeping provides a place for discussion related to non- metabolic horses. Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise is the focus to allow members a place to discuss nutrition for non- PPID/IR horses. General horse keeping practices, lameness and other equine health issues that are not related to a PPID/IR horse, alternative therapies and equine related philosophical debates are also acceptable on ECHorsekeeping.




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Re: My vet told me....

Lorna <briars@...>

The Vet came by this morning and numbed the hooves - it was abundantly clear that the pain is in the hooves - she immediately started walking a 100% better, even landing heel first, rather than toe first and quite energetically - have not seen her walk like this for a long time..

A great step forward,so to speak!!

Well done for asking for that procedure.The best is yet to come.

Lorna in Ontario,Canada
ECIR Moderator 2002
*See What Works in Equine Nutrition*

Re: Jiaogulan and Siberian Ginseng

Lorna <briars@...>

Hi Lisa,

That's curious,isn't it? Because on the 2 sites that first came up for me it was indicated that they ship to SA.

Lorna in Ontario,Canada
ECIR Moderator 2002
*See What Works in Equine Nutrition*

I have tried a few internet orders for Jiaogulan but when they find out it's South Africa they reject it saying that the exporter doesn't have a "pharmaceutical phytosanitary certificate" for the herb.

Re: Jiaogulan and Siberian Ginseng

Lisa Toms

Thanks Lorna. Oops, the signature!! Sorry :-)

I have tried a few internet orders for Jiaogulan but when they find out it's South Africa they reject it saying that the exporter doesn't have a "pharmaceutical phytosanitary certificate" for the herb. I checked with and their supplier doesn't have the certificate either.

So it's a work in progress :-)

Lisa & Bonnie | S.Africa | June 2012