Re: Nervous that Poppy is at the edge of an Emergency: Help and advice for Poppy Seed and Susanna

Lorna Cane

Hi Susanna,

>Just received the hay analysis from Dairy One for new hay from a new hay guy. For the experts -- how does it look? 

If you are looking for balancing help, here is the file of Balancers:

We ask everyone to delete the old messages from their posts.

Lorna in Ontario,Canada
ECIR Moderator 2002

*See What Works in Equine Nutrition*


Re: Thank you for the surprise!


What a fantastic story :)

Sarah Harris

Mt Mee, Queensland, Australia

Joined: 20 March 2015


Re: Thank you for the surprise!

Lorna Cane

Double ditto to what Kathleen said!

Your report made my day,  big time!

Lorna in Ontario,Canada
ECIR Moderator 2002

*See What Works in Equine Nutrition*

>What a wonderful message! Hope you are documenting all of these wonderful changes with photos, before and after. A balanced diet with targeted mineral supplementation is not exclusive to PPID/IR horses. All horses can benefit from a balanced diet and correcting the most common deficiencies. BRAVO!

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)
Missouri - Dec 2005


Re: Thank you for the surprise!


What a wonderful message! Hope you are documenting all of these wonderful changes with photos, before and after. A balanced diet with targeted mineral supplementation is not exclusive to PPID/IR horses. All horses can benefit from a balanced diet and correcting the most common deficiencies. BRAVO!

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)
Missouri - Dec 2005

Flame's new bloodwork


Hi. I've updated my case history. Could someone take a look at Flame's most recent labs & advise me? Labs were non fasting (no grain given) and drawn 4 hours after Thyrol-L & hay were given. My vet is recommending that I consult Dr. Kemper at San Luis Rey, start Pergolide & switch to Standlee Bagged Forage. My biggest issue is that the hay bought by the BO comes from a distributor (as does all the hay sold in feed stores in Las Vegas). The distributor says it comes mostly from several fields in northern Nevada. Financially I am worried as my BO will not give me $ off board even if Flame isn't eating his hay :( 

If the link doesn't work my file is called Beth in NV under echistory8. Also, if any moderator could take the 2 random files out of my case history folder, that would be awesome! I have no idea who Gina and Whizzy are.

Beth & Flame

NV Oct 2013


Re: Another crosses the Rainbow Bridge

Kathryn Kerby

Hey Lisa, I'm not on the list very often anymore; we're down to one horse and she's managing just fine lately.  But I wanted to let you know how sorry I was that you've had to say goodbye to not one friend but two over such a short time.
I also wanted to make sure you knew that sometimes these creatures choose their time, particularly when they've been together for so long.  I have known a number of pairs of animal friends, sometimes not even of the same species.  One will finally depart, and even if the other is currently in good heath, suddenly some new health issue comes up and it seems the whole Universe is conspiring against that second creature's recovery.  That's not a coincidence; I firmly believe that they choose these things because they want to be reunited with their departed friends.
As hard as it is for us caretakers to make those decisions, I have no doubts your two horse friends are already reunited and happy to be so.  They would both say thank you if they could, and they'll meet you at the other side of the Bridge when the time comes.  Hopefully you can take some comfort in that.  You gave them what they really wanted.
Hang in there; I know there's a pair of horse-sized holes in your world right now.
Kathryn Kerby and Penny, going on 27
members since 2009
Snohomish, WA

Re: Nervous that Poppy is at the edge of an Emergency: Help and advice for Poppy Seed and Susanna

Susanna Armbruster

Hi there--
Just received the hay analysis from Dairy One for new hay from a new hay guy. For the experts -- how does it look? (I promise to learn to read the analysis myself someday!) The vet comes tomorrow to draw blood for Poppy and I look forward to sharing the analysis with her.

I uploaded the analysis into my file.

Thanks so much,
Red Hook, NY
March 2015

On Thursday, April 2, 2015 4:15 PM, "Susanna Armbruster susanna_armbruster@... [EquineCushings]" wrote:

Lavinia and Dr. Kellon--
I added a recent picture of Poppy to my file. 
Thank you!!!

Red Hook, NY
March 2015

On Thursday, April 2, 2015 3:20 PM, "Susanna Armbruster susanna_armbruster@... [EquineCushings]" wrote:

Dear Lavinia,
Many thanks for your response. I'm breathing easier already! Knowledge is everything . . . 

It appears that no glucose was tested - is that correct? Re-running the blood work with her having access to hay until testing time would be perfect. She can have her evening feed, just don't give her the morning feed if the vet is due within the following 4 hours. Insulin, glucose and Leptin to test for IR, ACTH if you want to get a new baseline when she isn't having stress from fasting and from sore feet. If she was mine, I wouldn't worry about the ACTH at this time but would plan to test in Sept, just in case, for the seasonal rise period.
No glucose test done. I will follow your advice on providing hay only when testing. I will also request insulin, glucose and Leptin. I'll also follow your advice about re-test the ACTH in September.

Not Dr. Kellon but that was a good, slow taper off the Thyro-L. It looks like there was no thyroid testing done and that the thyro-L was prescribed to treat Poppy for being overweight and insulin resistant.
What tapering off schedule would Dr. Kellon have advised? I'm curious because I would like to have it in my "tool box" for talking with my vet. And you are right that she was not tested for thyroid issues. When I told the vet I wanted her off the Thyro-L, she basically demanded that I show her (in Juliet Getty's book "Feed Your Horse Like A Horse") where Dr. Getty got her data. When I couldn't, she dismissed the notion that Poppy shouldn't be on the meds past 3-6 months.

Vaccinations are supposed to only be given to healthy animals (right on the manufacturers instructions with every vaccine) so her condition right now says to put the vaccinations off. 
Agreed and agreed! All three were vaccinated in November and I don't want to stress any of them with six-month boosters. 

You mention she was treated for Lyme before you got her and that a Lyme MultiPlex was done after ou got her. Do you have the results from the Lyme MultiPlex available? If not, could you get a hard copy of that test result?
Unfortunately, the only patient history paperwork I received from the first owner's vet was woefully lacking. The notes only report the three respiratory panels (nasal swab) and a fecal egg count. Nothing via the vet about Lyme. This owner has a history of self-diagnosing Lyme in her horses and treating them herself. Remarkable . . . 

It is also possible she is having some issues related to being a mare and the re-start of her cycling. Have a read on our website of the free pdf from the 2013 No Laminitis Conference, Dr. Kellon's presentation on mares with diet-resistant IR:
I wondered if it could be that as well -- hooray for my mind! :-)  I did read the pdf and it really makes sense. How long can a cycle last? 

The track system is a great way to encourage movement. Getting her diet tested and balanced will go a long way toward getting her healthy and happy. Bonus is, it will work for your entire crew. :-)
I am already seeing some muscle definition in her hind end from climbing one of the hills several times a day -- so grateful for the thaw. I'm eager to get the full hay analysis from the new hay we just purchased. In the meantime, what's the best way to have her current meals (non hay) analyzed? I don't want the Horseshine to conflict with the amount of minerals in the Spirulina. I haven't checked the files yet but imagine y'all have information for that, too! Point me in the right direction and I'll get on it.

I cannot thank you and the team enough for the amount of time you devote to this group. I am in awe of the amount of information you provide and the detail you go into with each person. It's truly remarkable. I look forward to continuing to learn from all of you.

Take care,
Red Hook, NY
March 2015


Re: IR Testing

Michele Cameron

Thank you for this encouraging post. I was assuming that I needed to find another vet if mine decides not to accept Dr. K's protocols for testing, etc.
Michele & Elijah Mustang, Everson, Wa, Jan.2015

Thank you for the surprise!

Michele Cameron

Our border's 21 year old TB Jim, has been on 2nd cut hay from the same fields as the 3rd cut (tested) hay that I feed to Elijah Mustang. Two months ago, when Jim finished off his commercial vit/min. hay supplement, I started giving him a daily portion of Elijah's mineral mix (HorseTec) that Jaini, HayBalancerExtroidinare figured out for me. Even though a test of his hay would probably show some nutrient differences, I thought I would try it as his hay will be gone fairly soon and it would probably be better than the commercial brand that is marketed for our area....Well, one-eyed Jim is looking fantastic! He now canters out and back in when called for his limited pasture time. He is not limping despite the many years of what I now know as fairly bad shoeing! You see, Jim has been retired here for about 4.5 years... he stopped being ridden before that as he was chronically lame... arthritis & poor/flat/crumbly feet... and his owner sent him down here from Vancouver, BC. to finish out his days with me.... The whole time that he has been here we have kept him in front shoes because his soles are so thin that he couldn't move without them....Periodically, he has had good spells where he runs and bucks, but he usually pays for it the next day and is lame and pointing at least 1 foot....  I am now convinced that the "arthritis" has probably been chronic foot pain... I'm learning about barefoot trim/care, and his (absentee) owner has agreed to let me remove his shoes and use boots as needed.... I am convinced that with balanced minerals and the hay diet and proper trimming his feet can be healed...( his walls as shod, grow into slippers and flares)! Such a difference, so quickly! SURPRISE- JUST 2 MONTHS ON A MINERAL RATION/FLAX, R/S/R BP, VIT E, ODTBC'S & his regular hay, AND HE IS RUNNING AROUND AND HAPPY, with no negative consequences the next day!

I have sent my farrier away, and a barefoot trimmer is coming next week and Jim will transition to boots as has Elijah already....

I am sure that Jimmy will now have a much better retirement thanks to all of you who are dedicated to helping horses and their owners through this group. THANK YOU AGAIN, for my 2nd horse health miracle this year!

Michele & Elijah Mustang, Everson , Wa , Jan.2015 

ACTH levels and retesting


I need to find my case history again so sorry it's not attached but when my mare (24 years old now) was first diagnosed her ACTH was 50. When I had her tested the 2nd time it was a year ago last November and even in the seasonal rise she was only 37. Over the perfect range but with no issues with any symptoms we didn't change anything. She is on 1.05 mg compounded pergolide capsules. I just had her tested simply because it's been a while. Again, showing no symptoms, hair shedding normally, shiny coat and energy good when ridden, but her ACTH level was 67. The vet wants to go to 1.5 mg of pergolide. And I'm good with that BUT she does not want to test again for 6 months. She says nothing will show if we do any sooner. I know that's not true and that will be right in the seasonal rise time. How soon can she be tested after changing her pergolide dosage?

Cindy Ross,
​Maine 2012​

Re: Diagnosing PPID

Barbara Vincent

Also thanks for info on the various level of pergolide doses.   I'll work up to 1 mg, then retest and do the leptin then too;  wonder what  allowance might need to be made for seasonality.

Are Tums safe treats?  Mine do have sucrose listed.  Is there a sugar fee kind?

 I asked about beet pulp flavorings to get her to eat it, esp. when it has her meds in it.  This a.m. she still hadn't finished her beet pulp, TC forage cube, flaxseed and salt mush from last nite, so I dumped it out and made a fresh one with an addition of about 12 pellets of her discontinued Purina mini horse and pony feed (and 3/4 mg pergolide).  She cleaned it all up! 

Thanks again,

Malvern, PA
March 2015


Re: For Members Who Need Trim Evaluations

Lorna Cane

I want to second what Jaini said,and also give a shout out to Lavinia.
LeeAnne has been quick to point out that Lavinia originally posted this message a while ago.The two of them then decided to make it part of our Monthly Messages.
Brilliant idea.

Lorna in Ontario,Canada
ECIR Moderator 2002

*See What Works in Equine Nutrition*

>Brilli ant post, LeeAnne, thank you!  A poor trim can run the gamut from the horse feeling like his/her fingernails are being pried back with every step, to pain  up the whole length of the extensors,  just like supporting yourself on your flat hands with wrists hyper-extended. Except we can stop the yoga pose - the horse has to stand on those stretched extenders and un-aligned bones 24/7.

>Lavinia and Linda and the other hoof gurus can advise, but withouth good photos, it is really tough.  

The sooner we get clear and usable photos, the sooner we can assess and make specific, thorough recommendations. Here's the link to instructions for taking good hoof pictures:


2. Proper Identification of your photos: 

3.  X-rays: Radiographs are always a bonus as they clearly reveal what is going on inside the walls where our human, non-superman vision cannot penetrate. groups/ECHoof/files/X-Rays%20% 26%20Radiographs/

Hope this helps with the "why" of your volunteers' repeated requests for good hoof shots.


Re: Another crosses the Rainbow Bridge

Zana Donnelly <zanadonnelly@...>

My deepest condolences for the loss of your beloved boy . May he rest peacefully at Rainbows Bridge until you meet with him again. Gone from this world but his spirit lives on eternally and in your heart forever.

Zana Donnelly
​ Mardi Gras​

Re: Test results questions

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Erin,

Although the individual numbers have changed a bit, the changes aren't major and essentially Bella is still severe IR. The numbers would have been influenced by the fact that the blood draw was the last thing done after teeth floating and vax. Really should start with the blood draw then do the other procedures. He could have left the blood sample cooling or brought a portable centrifuge and then put the separated sample on ice while he did the other work.

The elevated ACTH is what could be driving the severe IR, not the other way around. An ACTH of 81.6 is more than 3 times what you'd like to see at this time of year, although it is hugely better than the previous 623, so raising the pergolide dose would be a definite recommendation. The uncontrolled IR would contribute to the vax reactions as well.

Rabies can be one of the worst vaccines for causing reactions. We never recommend giving more than 2 vaccines at a time to any horse, esp an IR/PID one, so giving a four-way (EWT+WN) is not a good idea. Unfortunately, the best you can do is give only the EWT ( EW is not available as a two way anymore), then give the WN separately 2-3 weeks later. Also check to see what brand of vaccines the vet uses - the Fort Dodge ones tend to be the ones to cause the most reactions. Each brand uses different adjuvants and these are what cause the reactions so switching to a different brand may solve that portion of the problem.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut
Jan 05, RI
EC Support Team

Re: IR Testing

Robyn Tucker <VenturesV@...>

Thank you. Robyn in San Francisco, April 1, 2014

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 7, 2015, at 3:08 AM, spiral1957@... [EquineCushings] <EquineCushings@...> wrote:


>Can the group help me to decipher the results? 

Hi Robyn,

Yes, we can help you to interpret the results.  

Re: IR Testing


Hi, Robyn.
I cannot recommend a vet from Sonoma County. A former member had a veterinarian in Redwood City who was receptive to the ECIR approach to PPID. That might translate to an recognition of IR outside insulin "lab normals" from IDEXX, but I don't know for sure. 

I wish I could be more specific. I scanned the Redwood City vet practices and didn't see a name I recognized. Not much help but a place to start.

Cass for Satra and Cayuse
Sonoma County, Calif Oct 12
---In EquineCushings@..., <VenturesV@...> wrote :

3) Can anyone recommend a vet that can be relied on in the Bay Area to draw the blood and send to the right testing facilities and be able to understand test results?  The vets that I have discussed the IR test with insist that complete fasting over night (from 7 to 7) is the only way to test for IR or a thyroid disorder.

Thanks so much, Robyn Tucker, SF

Re: Sourcing Manganese Sulphate, Selenium and Iodine


Hi Connie,


For Iodine, in addition to what is in iodized salt, we use Natural Factors Fresh Kelp Extract. 

One drop (0.033 ml ) = 800 mcg Iodine.   The dropper in the bottle is calibrated for 0.25, 0.5 0.7 and 1.0 ml. 

It is a standardized mixture of kelp plus potassium iodide for human use. It is much more concentrated than other iodine drops I’ve seen, so a bottle lasts a long time.

It is available from health food stores and likely pharmacies, but I get it here at a slightly better price:


There are sources for minerals in small quantities listed in the Canada file, Minerals in Ontario

   I tried emailing Willows for zinc last spring, but never received a reply.  If you find that any of these sources are still available, would you please let us know?

    I ended up ordering a 50 lb bag of zinc sulphate from my feed store who can get minerals from . The cost was much less than I expected, and over time will be a huge savings over the polyzinc.

I noticed that manganese sulphate is also available, so even though the quantity may be large, it may be worth investigating the price at your local feed store, depending on your usage.

   My manganese was always Poly, but Uckele had discontinued selling that when I needed more.  I had to buy the sulphate form using their bulk repack program, which is price per pound plus a $20 repack fee at the time.  I see they have started selling the poly Mn again.

      The inorganic mineral forms should keep their strength for several years (indefinitely?) if they are stored carefully, and protected from light, heat and moisture.  I repack large bags of bulk minerals into labeled glass jars with tight-fitting lids, and keep in our dry dark basement.


My current selenium yeast is a concentrated 2 mg/gram from Uckele, so it really should be weighed with a very accurate and sensitive scale. It was purchased through their bulk repack program, but you have to ask specifically about this one.  I don’t know if they are still selling this product – I was told that they would not be doing so in the future “due to liability”, though they would still be using it for their own formulations. Like all the Uckele minerals, it cannot be shipped directly into Canada.


Selenium yeast from Platinum Performance is also 2 mg/gram.

 I am not certain if this can be shipped to Canada, but if the concentrated Uckele selenium is no longer available, I’ll be investigating this one in the future.


Jaini has also sent a reply….if you find anything different, would you please let us know?


Looking at your CH, I noticed that you are using measuring spoons to portion your minerals.  Given Falki’s problems, you might want to try a gram scale to weigh your minerals for more accurate and consistent measuring. 



SW Ontario,  March 2005

Re: NOW About Hoof Pics, WAS Trim Review and Shedding Question


Hi Suzanne and Lavinia,


>The laterals still seem to be taken from a high angle. (I specifically asked for the camera/phone to be placed on the ground.)

>… The biggest thing is that they aren't setting the camera on the ground so the views are looking somewhat downward rather than head-on. People don't realize that one foot above ground as opposed to sitting on the ground really does make a difference. And most people don't want to actually get down on their hands and knees, with their tush stuck up in the air like a frisky puppy, to get that camera on the ground.

>...if anyone has any more suggestions, please pipe up!


When I use my little digital camera to take hoof pics, I use an 8 x 10 inch piece of stiff cardboard to put underneath to protect it from dirt and scratches.  It is easy to slide about to create the best frame without damaging the camera body. The centre of the lens is roughly one inch from the ground, no matter which way I hold it.   The idea is to try to have the lens centred on the centre of the hoof.


The macro function is activated to help with sharp focus.

If the lighting is insufficient, we will set a desk lamp with a swivel head on the ground a short distance away, focused on the hoof.


Since you need to “get down” to better see the screen, knees and elbows are protected from bruises, scrapes and dirt by using foam kneeling pads or folded towels.


I have never used a phone camera, but it occurs to me that the position of the lens relative to the hoof can be very different and variable, depending which side of the phone is set on the ground.   The lens can be elevated anywhere from 2.5 to 4 or more inches in the air, depending which side is placed on the ground.  This is due to the fact that the aperture is usually found in one of the corners of the device.


Could this be part of the reason, rather than entirely just laziness, that so many of the hoof pics being submitted appear to be taken too far above the hoof?

If so, some sort of warning may be needed in the appropriate documents.



SW Ontario,  March 2005


Re: Diagnosing PPID

Barbara Vincent

Thanks for tips, Maggie.

I'm increasing the pergolide dose to 3/4 mg.  Will probably go up to 1 mg and re-test, though don't want to go to that expense too often.  I am now having a problem getting her to eat the meal I give the med in.  At first she seemed to like the beet pulp/ TC forage cube/ ground flax/ salt mix, but now is not eating it.  Can you suggest any flavorings that would improve palatability?  I see a Horsetech product recommended on the Chronicle Forum: High Point Grass/ Mixed Hay meal, said to be palatable.  Any experience with this?

Can she try eating some grass with a muzzle, in a.m. or evening hours when sun is not on it and it is supposed to be lower in sugar??

I think she is getting trimmer.  How would I post some pictures?


Malvern, PA
Mar. 2015


Re: J-herb and Acetyl-L Carnitine


Hi Guys, does anyone know

- do you have to feed the J-Herb and ALCar at the same time (ie 20 minutes before feeding)
- how long does it usually take to see an improvement on ALCar if it's going to help?

Thanks so much
Liz and Regal
December 2012


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