Pergolide & testosterone

Valeree Smith

Do we know if pergolide can have an effect on testosterone levels?

Valeree, GD, Jake & Annie
ECHK Support
SoCal, 09/03

Sent from my iPhone

Re: Questions for Ofeigur

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Barbara,

Even if he can't eat the grass he may be swallowing the juices and those could be quite high in sugars, like drinking the soak water from high sugar hay. The metformin is an option to help lower the insulin. It may help to get the insulin controlled and by the time the effects wane (typically a few months) it may have jump started the drop enough to keep it without the meds.

Without a ferritin value you can't really assess the iron status. To treat iron overload, the mineral ratios would need to be tightened so that copper/zinc were higher to out-compete iron intake as much as possible. Then the rest of the minerals need to be balanced to compensate for the higher copper/zinc.

Have you tried adding chastetree berry to see if it will help with his shedding?

Any possibility of underlying Lyme, or other tick-borne disease that could be driving the insulin higher?

I posted mark-ups in Ofeigur's album:

The toes have just shot out forward, heels are slightly under run but not exceedingly so, frogs have run forward so are throwing off the visual assessment. I am assuming the line on the heel bulb area on the xrays is marking the coronary band, which means there is definitely distal descent (sinking). That raised ridge of sole all around is just excess, dead sole material that should be leveled. It appears there is some overall extra foot and that the front half of the foot is being left higher in relation to the rear of the foot, causing possible negative plane coffin bones behind and contributing to the broken back axis in the fronts. Broken back axis means the bony column has a somewhat backward bow to the bony column instead of being in a straight alignment. The general goals are to remove that excess sole ridge, back the toes and slightly lower the entire hoof capsule on all four to get the breakover back where it needs to be and to help get the bony column in proper alignment.

The RF Xray: The purple lines are showing the sinking. Number 1 is where the coronary band is, number 2 is the extensor process of the coffin bone. These should line up almost exactly, because they don't, there is distal descent. Green line follows the new angle of growth coming in at the coronary band. Everything outside this line is laminar wedge material. Blue line is excess foot on the bottom. The yellow arched line is the "broken back axis" - it should be straight when the bony column is correctly aligned. The red arrow is about where the true tip of the frog actually is - the tack is where it currently is.

LF Xray: Same as RF, but the axis is a bit better.

RF lateral: Green line follows the angle of new growth.Where this line hits the ground is where the toe should end. Blue indicates where to back the toe to. DO NOT rasp the rest of the dorsal wall flat along the green line as this will thin an already weak and compromised structure. Allow it grow out on its own, just backing the toe as needed to maintain the correct breakover.

RF Sole: Orange is where the heel buttresses should be, even with the widest part of the frog and each other. Green is where to back the toe to and bring the sides in to, making the corrections from the TOP of the foot rather than from the sole-side. Red is approximate location of th true tip of the frog - don't need to remove the excess until it is free of the entrapping sole, just be aware it is distorted when making assessments of the hoof proportions. Blue hashes are areas of overgrown bar and built up sole. Carefully find the live sole plane in these areas to bring the buttresses back and heels to the correct height. The medial heel is slightly forward of the lateral one, so is likely higher as well. Level the excess ridge of material that is circling the frog as this is just exfoliating dead sole that has become compacted and stuck.

LH lateral: Same as RF.

LH Sole: Similar to RF. The medial wall is flaring so should be beveled inward from the top to correct it and redistribute the concussive forces upon impact.

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



Green Meadows Equal Balance

Michelle Werner

I am having a very hard time finding ODTBC. One place wanted $25 just for shipping and other places will take weeks go get them in :-/ Has anyone used a product by Green Meadows called Equal Balance Forage.

I just need a carrier for supplements. I have shredded beet pulp (one horse loves it and one hates it) but it is a lot of work in a barn that has no sink to do the RSR thing. 

What other products are there that I can use a carrier? I have Standlee readily available and they have timothy pellets but I don't think they are guaranteed low sugar are they? 

I have Goergia's blood work and detailed hay analysis coming back this week. 

Michelle in IN

March 2015

Re: Ration Plus or Forco?


 >>Did you ever look into Equine Generator suggested in 2012?<<

No, I haven't until now. Well, I looked on the internet and a couple of places are no longer carrying it and the person I actually got to speak on the phone said he has not renewed his contract to continue to sell Equine Generator. He then proceeded to tell me to use Redmond Conditioner and Redmond Salt to clean out the horse's system then use yeast as a probiotic. I am not sure what to make of that!

Where are California people getting Equine Generator?

Cynthia Boriskin from CA
Tucker 10/10


Re: Ration Plus or Forco?

Nancy C

Hi Cynthia

Did you ever look into Equine Generator suggested in 2012?

Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance


Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
Invest in the health of your horse and help ECIR Group nonprofit at the same time! Hear Drs Kellon, Bowker and more, in eight hours of great info and informative Q&A from 2013 NO Laminitis! Conference.

Sourcing Manganese Sulphate, Selenium and Iodine

Connie Proceviat

Hi All,

Can someone please let me know where I might purchase Manganese Sulphate, Selenium and Iodine to balance my minerals?

Thank you, 

Connie and Falki

11 year old PPID gelding On an OFF eating

corrine haffner


Having some issues with jasper once again he improved from being sore footed to now being sound. Some days he eats really good other days not much interest. Will nicker for feed then wont bother to come to his bucket to eat. He gets 2 cups of timothy pellets soaked then i mix in supplements and doxy,before that he gets supplement Dr Kellon prescribed,i syringe that into him twice a day,if i mix it with feed he might not eat it.

This morning he came over to his feed bucket after i dumped feed and just stood there looking off into the distance,then took a bit of feed and walked away. So had to get more doxy pills to crush up and syringe it down him.  Will try and feed him the soaked pellets with supps and doxy tonight,i put it in the refrigerator,that should stay good right? or should i make a new batch tonight? He's eating the soaked hay but not sure how much,shares corral with my mare. Also been syringing his pergolide can't trust him to eat it with pellets.

He doesn't act uncomfortable or colicky just on and off with eating and just not acting right,can't explain it. Looks like he's gaining weight,hard for me to tell i see him every day. Have added two picture of him one from march 24th and one that was taken april 4th. Also has gotten really hard to catch which is totally not like him,have resorted to leaving on his halter,other wise its a 30 minute ordeal to catch him and get halter on.

Thank you,
Corrine and Jasper

Re: Dawn joins the angel horses



I'm so sorry to read of Angel Dawns passing, my thoughts & prayers are with you & yours.




For Members Who Need Trim Evaluations


Trim is often the “missing link” in regaining and maintaining soundness. Because your equine friend deserves the best hoof care possible, the ECIR Group is glad to assist anyone wanting trim evaluations. To do this, we need some specific help from you:

1.  Good Photos: Hooves are a 3-D object that we are evaluating using a 2-D medium. That places us at an immediate disadvantage. Good hoof pictures - of clean feet, taken from the correct angles, with good light and non-cluttered backgrounds - enable us to do this as accurately as we can. It helps the volunteers compensate for not actually "being there" to pick that hoof up or crouch down on the ground and look at it up close. Good photos help eliminate and/or clarify some of the variables that play a part in our ensuing recommendations. We understand that this may be awkward to accomplish but it is essential for providing the necessary info we need to help you help your friend. Although the front feet are where everyone tends to focus, providing pictures of all four hooves is encouraged.  Anything that affects the front feet will also affect the hinds, although often to a lesser degree.  If there are trim issues in front, there will also be trim issues behind as it is usually the same individual caring for both sets of hooves. 


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: Having to guess whether a hoof is front/hind, left/right makes helping your horse doubly difficult and the Photo Section of the group chooses its own order when loading your shots so you can't count on them being uploaded in any particular order. Identification of individual hooves can be as simple marking LF, RF, LH or RH with a magic marker on the appropriate hoof before snapping the shots.  For dark hooves try a metallic silver marker or use marked masking tape as a “label”. For those with computer savvy, labelling the pictures themselves is fine. Please note that “left” refers to the horse’s left (near side) while “right” refers to the horse’s right (off side).  

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. With the advent of digital x-rays, however, the cost of a basic set has risen considerably. We understand if this just isn't an option but x-rays are never a waste of money when hoof problems are present and sometimes are an essential ingredient to a good outcome. If you are going to have xrays done, here are some tips on making the most of your investment: groups/ECHoof/files/X-Rays%20% 26%20Radiographs/

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


Owners, Moderators & Primary Response Team of the Equine Cushings List

Re: IR Testing


Hi Robyn,

Welcome to the group!  If you give us some more information about your horse, we can make better, more specific recommendations.  To give us those details we need you to fill out a Case History.  To do that you need to join our sister site called ECH8 and follow the instructions to fill out the CH.  Here's a link to ECH8:   We follow a philosophy called DDT/E, which stands for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise.

You are correct in your conclusion that we recommend insulin, glucose, and leptin levels for Diagnosis of IR.  But depending on the age of your horse, We may also suggest you add an ACTH to that. Usually, though it's not unheard of, horses under the age of 10 years do not get PPID.  IR and PPID are 2 distinctly separate conditions, but they share some similar symptoms which can make getting a proper diagnosis a little difficult.    

In addition to the No Laminitis PDF on IR, there is lots more great information about getting a proper Diagnosis on our website.  The blood requires special handling, so follow this link to the "Diagnosis" page of our website to read about the specific details:   

To answer your second question, no, those above tests will not test the thyroid status of your horse.  Since we recommend doing your testing at Cornell, you may want to ask your vet to do the "Equine Metabolic Syndrome Diagnostic Plan" for $91.  This link should take you to that test.  It's the first one listed.  You can click on it to bring up the details and read the "test interpretations" there as well.  This panel includes an ACTH, insulin, glucose, leptin and T4.  If your horse is young, you may not need the ACTH, but it never hurts to have a baseline level.  In any case we do NOT recommend fasting for any of these tests.  If your hay is tested and you know it's under 10% sugar+starch, then make sure your horse has a net of it that will last overnight and right up to the time of the blood draw.  If your hay is untested, then your should soak it for an hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water to remove up to about 30% of the sugar content.  More details about why no fasting can be found on that diagnosis page of our website under the "Insulin Resistance" part.

Primary hypothyroidism is rare in horses.  Below are some messages with more information about hypo/hyperthyroidism in horses.  Tons more hits if you do a search of the archived messages, but I think reading these messages will give you some pretty good basic information.  

Sorry but the link to the study wrt feeding having an influence on thyroid levels in that last message is broken and I can't find it.  Here is one study on rats:

The Diet that we recommend is a forage based low sugar starch (tested to be under 10% sugar+starch) low fat (4% or under) mineral balanced diet.  We use grass hay, tested to be under 10% sugar+starch, with minerals added to balance the hay to the analysis and to replace what is lost during the hay curing process, we add Vitamin E and ground flax seed.  This diet is crucial for an IR horse, but it also supports the delicate immune system of the PPID horse. Until you get your hay tested we recommend that you use the emergency diet, which involves soaking the hay for an hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water to remove up to about 30% of the sugar content.  Make sure you dump the soaking water where the horse(s) can't get to it.  Details about the emergency diet can be found on our website here:  We like to send our hay for analysis to this lab:  and ask for the #603, trainers' package for $54.  As important as what you DO feed on the IR diet is what you DON'T feed!  No grain, no pelleted or senior feeds, no pasture (even dead looking grass), no sugary treats (including carrots and apples), no molasses, no brown/red mineral salt blocks--white ones only.  If you are having any laminitis issues, it's critical to get your horse on the emergency diet now!  It can often turn them around within a few days.  Small mesh hay nets are great for soaking hay and also for slowing down the voracious appetite that many IR horses have.  Once you get your hay tested, one of our balancing folks can help you make a customized balanced diet that addresses the excesses and deficiencies in your hay and other ingredients in your diet. As a side note, Iodine and selenium are both important for the thyroid to function properly and are often deficient in the diet.  Once these levels are optimized in the diet with mineral balancing, low thyroid levels usually return to normal.

A proper Trim is toes backed and heels lowered so that the hoof capsule closely hugs and supports the internal structures of the foot.  If you'd like, and especially if you are having any hoof issues, you are welcome to post pictures of your horse's feet in the PHOTOS section of ECH8. Here's a site that shows how too take good hoof photos: 

And the last part of our philosophy is Exercise.  It's the best IR buster there is!!  BUT--a laminitic horse should never be forced to move!  If your horse is footsore, boots and pads may be in order to help with pain relief.
So that gives you some basic information on our philosophy.  While you are on our website for the Diagnosis information, you should take the time to explore the entire website.  It's a wonderful source of information for you and a great place to send your vet too!  Also, our files and archived messages contain a wealth of great information.

Sorry I cannot help you with a vet reference in the SF area, but we do have other members in that area who could, and hopefully will chime in.  Thanks for signing your name and general location in your signature.  Please make sure to add your date of joining, and also when you get your CH done, a link to that as well, like in my signature below.  It really helps us to find it faster and answer your questions faster!  Thanks!

Maggie, Chancey and Spiral in VA
March 2011
EC moderator/Primary Response 

Re: Dawn joins the angel horses


Sorry for the sad news LeeAnne I know how proud and how much you loved your little Dawn.. She was one lucky little girl to have had you as her Mummy! We fight so hard for our beloved pets! " the deeper the love the harder the loss" your beautiful tribute made me cry.. Hold onto your dreams and memories I am sure you have enough to last a lifetime of your precious girl.. Gallop free little Dawn! With stronge healthy legs and feet again! Take care of yourself lovely lady!xxx
Rani n Leanne.
2010 aust. 
Ec 3

Re: Dawn joins the angel horses

Donna Coughlin

Fly free beloved Dawn! 

LeeAnne, you were the most wonderful horse mom, and you and Dawn were so lucky to have found one another. Thirty-one and a half years is amazing, and testimony to your great care and love. She will continue to "talk" to you, and will stay in your heart forever.

Donna Coughlin, Duke, Robin and Obi
CT    2009

Re: Ration Plus or Forco?


Why do you have to give a syringe?<<
I use the syringe to measure 6ml. I then squirt it on his supplements and pellets.

Cynthia from CA
Tucker 10/10

IR Testing

robyn tucker <VenturesV@...>

I read through the 2013 NO Laminitis Conference PDF on IR and believe that the ECIR group recommends the following to test for IR. 

"Therefore, the ECIR Group recommends a simple blood draw for serum insulin, glucose and leptin.
The horse should not be fasted prior to testing, but fed hay only the night before and day of testing.
Understanding the conditions of the test and the use of proxies will determine IR status. To calculate
the proxies, the ECIR Group Calculator is available to do the math:

1) Am I accurate in this conclusion?

2) Would this test provide results that could be used to determine hyper or hypothyroidism or does the horse have to be completely fasting (no access to hay)? 

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: Can basic minerals go bad?


Thanks Lavinia,

He gets fed twice a day, with hay in between, so they split the minerals between his late afternoon feed and his  night feed.  In the morning he gets a few soaked soy hulls to go on his stomach with his pergolide.  He doesn't get much before he goes out in the morning because he takes too long to eat which I am grateful for but it isn't great for him, they want to get him outside quickly.  What else do you use when Dante goes off the ODTB?  I do use a small amount of soy hulls but I have to pick out all the corn, oats,whole soy beans, rocks and sticks and that is just the stuff that I can see so I limit what I use.

The last thing that I tried was mixing a complete days worth splitting it in half and then adding the salt and flax and Vitamin E to the 2 halves and giving it over 2 days so that he got the full salt, flax and  Vit E and that worked for a while.

Any other suggestions that you have would be great.  Thanks.

Sue and Busy
Kingston, ON
October 2010

Re: Ration Plus or Forco?

ferne fedeli

On Sun, Apr 5, 2015 at 7:16 PM, cynthia boriskin cboriskin@... [EquineCushings] <EquineCushings@...> wrote:
Having to measure out 6ml into a syringe can sometimes be a hassle particularly when we are away from home. Forco is so much easier.

I always just pour the Ration Plus over their supplements.  Why do you have to give a syringe?
Ferne Fedeli
No. California

balancing new hay



The person who normally balances my hay has been very busy and haven't been able to help me with it. Is there anyone who is willing to help me balance my hay. I had it analyzed by EquiAnalytical about a month ago and can provide you with the analysis.

Thank you in advance,

Cynthia from CA

Tucker 10/10

Re: Dawn joins the angel horses

ferne fedeli

Lee Anne, so sorry to hear about Dawn.  I have listened to your stories over the past few years and was always so touched by your dedication to her well-being.  It gradually gets better.  I sometimes still think of when my old guy, Velvet, went to the Rainbow Bridge and am a bit sad, but didn't want to see him suffering any more.  None of us live forever, which I am reminded of more and more as I get older and so many of my friends are now gone--animals and humans!  Try to think of the good times...
Ferne Fedeli
No. California

On Sun, Apr 5, 2015 at 7:12 AM, ThePitchforkPrincess@... [EquineCushings] <EquineCushings@...> wrote:

Hi All,

Dawn had been going through another sore feet episode for the past few weeks.  I don't know if it was abscess, laminitis and a temperature of 102.5, but when my farrier came to pull her shoe, he said it was time to call the vet. I still hoped the vet could help Dawn but when he  saw that her suspensory ligaments in her left front had gone, the decision was made.  At the age of 31 and a half, Dawn was helped out of her pain by the people who cared most for her during her lifetime.  

Many of you have already heard of Dawn's passing.  Your words have been such a comfort. These words are never easy but mean so much to those hearing them.  I thank you all. The group's help, support and guidance during eased the hardest parts of Dawn's final days and the past decade.  A decade that she never would have had without the friends from this group.    

It is a very sad time but like all other things in life, it will change.  She will be missed but sorrow will grow to become memories.  They will keep growing and include the friends and horses we knew and loved.  These remembrances will fill my old age the way dreams of her filled my childhood.  

- LeeAnne & Angel Dawn, 

Newmarket, Ontario 03/2004

Case History


All Season Muzzle Photos

Hoof Pics

More Hoof Pics & Xrays

Re: Ration Plus or Forco?


>> you were having gastric issues that cleared up with the RP<<

Yes, I did, but since using Ration Plus, periodically I still got diarrhea and/or the brown squirts. So, I am not sure if it was indeed the Forco or not that was causing problems at the time. I'm looking for an easier solution to providing the probiotics. Having to measure out 6ml into a syringe can sometimes be a hassle particularly when we are away from home. Forco is so much easier.

Cynthia from CA
Tucker 10/10 

On Sunday, April 5, 2015 10:42 AM, "threecatfarm@... [EquineCushings]" wrote:

Most probably gastric. In previous discussion about Forco v Ration Plus you were having gastric issues that cleared up with the RP.  Here's the message.

Some horses don't lie the taste of yeast.

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
FACT: To diagnose IR, the ECIR Group recommends a non-fasted, simple blood draw for serum insulin, glucose and leptin and the use of VA Polytechnic Proxies. See E. M. Kellon, VMD, Diagnosis of Insulin Resistance and PPID, 2013 NO Laminitis! Proceedings,

---In EquineCushings@..., wrote :

>>Some horses are allergic to yeast used in Forco<<

What are the symptoms if a horse is allergic to Forco?

Cynthia from CA
Tucker 10/10

Sent from my iPad


Re: Dawn joins the angel horses

Deb Funderburk <hawkhilldeb@...>

LeeAnne-- I am so sorry for your loss of Dawn. And your tribute to her was so beautiful-- I love this: "These remembrances will fill my old age the way dreams of her filled my childhood. " This really gets to the heart of what these horses mean to us. I know you are missing her, but I wish for you peace and rest.

Deb and Cory in NC
July 2012

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