going crazy


My little mini now has laminitis.    I have had my hay tested:   the WSC is 10.8     the ESC is 6.1     the starch is .8.

I know you all add the ESC and the starch to find out if it's safe for an IR horse.

My vet is insisting on adding the WSC and the starch which makes the hay not safe for an IR horse so he has me soaking the hay.  He says I should get 'crummy hay'.

She's in a dry lot.  For the last couple months the vet has told me to give her Min-A-Vite Lite because he thinks she's missing minerals and protein.   The Min-A-Vite Lite has molasses as one of it's ingredients but it doesn't say how much.  Could this have caused the laminitis?   If not what else could it be.  The vet is insisting it's the hay.   She's been on this hay and the Min-A-Vite for about 1 1/2 months and the laminitis just started.  Wouldn't the laminitis have started sooner?

Why aren't the WSC, ESC and starch added all together to get the sugar content of the hay?

I have recently taken her off the Min-A-Vite Lite and have had my hay analysis analyzed by one of your experts.  So now I am balancing minerals to the hay.  I have not told my vet this though.

Thank you,
Susan in CT

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Susan,

That your mini started the lameness issues just recently points to a possible PPID component as that would have coincided with seasonal rise beginning in some horses. Do you have a case history posted for her? If so, would you please provide the link. If not, we really need one to help you the most.

You are already working on mineral balancing your hay so the person you are working with should be able to answer all the questions for you. Here is a post from Dr. Kellon that explains it:

How's the trim doing? That can sometimes also contribute to foot issues. Encourage you to post photos in the Photos section of ECHistory8 so the gurus can take a look for you.

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


Susan -
How old is the mini?

If you are feeding the same hay as you are Colleen, you should be fine.

WSC is all the water soluble carbs in the hay.  ESC is part of WSC, so adding them together is duplicating.

Not all WSCs are digested to glucose.  Only ESC, and actually, only half of ESC is glucose!  The other half is fructose, which is a sugar, but doesn't carry with it the same insulin response as glucose does.

Assuming the mini hasn't been able to sneak anything of high sugar value, would have to wonder if he's not showing the effects of the seasonal rise of ACTH - initial signs of PPID.

Your vet is a bit confused about what components of the hay actually are, and thus throwing some less than correct suggestions your way. A local vet was given some very specific info as to why WSCs are not the value to look at, and instead of recognizing that fact said - well, no one really knows.  I'm sticking with WSCs.  (Ego)

What do the feet look like?  Is it possible the trim is not where it needs to be?  That can cause some very sore feet in a 'normal' horse.  And I can tell you from experience, there are not many who understand what the mini foot looks like, and are terrified of trimming 'too much' and leave these little guys hobbling around on major deformities.

EC Primary Response
West Coast
May 2004


My mini is 12 years old.

I'm feeding the same hay that was analyzed to be safe.

The x-rays showed high heels and toe so the vet said the heels need to be trimmed slowly over time.  He said my mini has thin sole so the high heel and toe right now are protecting the sole.

Is Dairy One the place that did the research on the sugars and starches in hay and how they affect insulin response?

I really want to get my records up to date and post them.  Right now my vet is switching to a new computer and can't give me the x-rays for about 2 weeks.   I also want to take the necessary pictures of her hoofs and post those.   When taking the hoof pictures I assume she should be standing on a flat surface?   Should I have her stand on a contrasting color?

I think my farrier is good but I agree that she may be afraid to take too much off.

Where would I find a farrier that know the mini hoof?

Thank you
Susan in CT

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Susan,

Trouble with the phrase "over time" is that it usually translates into never. When the heels are high and toes are long they take on a life of their own. Unless small amount trims are done at frequent intervals (every 10 days to 2 weeks at most) you are never able to make actual progress because the foot regrows what was removed by the time the next trim cycle rolls around. In the meanwhile, the coffin bone is bearing a lot of weight on the leading edge, which is NOT meant to bear weight. This results in the CB starting to demineralize and deform. It may also lead to sinking.

A thin sole cannot be protected by high heels and long toes because they are in fact contributing to the sole being thin. A farrier trimming the hoof walls along the current ground plane rather than to the actual position of the internal structures will exacerbate the thin sole issues rather than alleviate them.

Yes, standing on flat, level ground is preferred. Having the hooves clean so that the walls and soles are clearly visible is also really helpful. Camera at ground level. Here is the link to how to take good hoof photos:


Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team

Donna Coughlin

Hi Susan,
I also live in CT and have a mini, Duke, who is late 30s--a bit older than yours! He's both Cushings and IR, and this group has saved his life. In fact, he's now one of the ECIR success stories (#11): https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/EquineCushings/files/EC%20and%20IR%20Success%20Stories!!/

If you read the story, you'll see that in 2009, Duke was down all winter with his LAST (yes!!!) bad case of laminitis/founder when I finally found ECIR and posted hoof pictures case history. The hoof gurus did mark-ups and I showed them to my blacksmith. He nodded knowingly--mind you, the difference between Duke's hooves and the suggested changes was enormous. I got the vet here to take x-rays for him to trim to. There was coffin bone rotation and his hooves were like "little tin cans," as Susan appropriately said at the time. 

The blacksmith was a nice man, but he honestly didn't have a clue about laminitic hooves or minis. I was upset because I could see he didn't come close to the group's suggestions, so I bought a rasp and, totally terrified, took back Duke's toes and lowered his heels. It was a baby step, but suddenly Duke was far more comfortable. I was amazed, and the next time the blacksmith came (I got braver and did a tiny bit every few days, as I remember), he was astounded, and said, "I guess you don't need me anymore." And I didn't, because he couldn't follow directions; he was too set in his ways.

I have really had so much support from this group. And I know Duke wouldn't be around making me laugh every day without their help. It you haven't posted x-rays or hoof pictures, I strongly recommend it; if you can't get the x-rays right away, at least start with the hoof pictures. And if you want me to share the name of my trimmer, I'd be happy to do that privately. Contact me at dwcoughin@....

And good luck! There's nothing like a great mini!!!

Donna Coughlin, Duke, Robin and Obi
Southwest CT, 2009




---In EquineCushings@..., <dwcoughlin@...> wrote :

I also live in CT and have a mini, Duke, who is late 30s--a bit older than yours! He's both Cushings and IR, and this group has saved his life. In fact, he's now one of the ECIR success stories (#11): https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/EquineCushings/files/EC%20and%20IR%20Success%20Stories!!/


 Duke's Success Story is inspirational and fun.  Be sure to click on the video link too.  He's a hoot!
Laura K Chappie & Beau
N IL 2011