Jiaogulan induced abcessing?


You're very welcome, Dawn. I'm glad I could offer a new and potential clue, in any case.

I would've never thought to have checked the starch levels in the TC Lite, given its name; that was before I really understood the vagaries of sugars and starches, too. 

Two other people and I must've been dreaming the same dream, as we all woke up one morning and decided to send off samples, unbeknownst to each other. When those numbers came back, we nearly fell over.

They will love the TC 30, guaranteed--just like the sugar and starch. Hopefully, you won't have to make that long drive to get it.


Jannalee Smithey, EDO, ESMT
ECIR Group Inc.
Member, Board of Directors

Dawn Wagstaff

Jannalee, thank you so much. 

You have answered something that was in the back of my mind. I am dumbfounded at the starch level. 

I was thinking possibly iron overload since Lite has a significant amount of iron compared to Triple Crown's other products.  I never thought about that kind of varying starch level.

No wonder they like it so much.....I"ve used soy hull pellets in the past as a carrier, but I have to make a 3 hour round trip to buy and have gotten two different loads that were refused by my horses and smelled burned. I just gave up trying to deal with the inconsistancy, and knew that Lite was primarily soy hull pellets.

I can get TC 30 . The timothy pellets seem fine,but I'd rather use beet pulp. Maybe the  30 is the answer.



Hi, Dawn,

I know you're getting excellent input from Dr. Kellon, but I just thought I'd tell you that my mare tipped into laminitis with 1 lb. of TC Lite several years ago. We were trying to "boost" our hay nutritionally, but didn't realize that the sugars and starches in the TC Lite formula were not consistent across each bag (they're made in several different places across the country). 

Several of us from different states sent samples off to Equi-Analytical and they came back with Starch values of 11%, 14%, and 17%, respectively. You can imagine our shock. Our hays in this part of the Pacific Northwest have starch values less than 1%, so that pound of "Lite" really rocked the boat.

I switched to TC 30 for flavoring, because the sugars and starches are guaranteed to be exactly the same from bag to bag (they're all made in the same plant); combined ESC and Starch is < 10% for the TC 30. I feed it at a rate of ¼ cup a day (I feed once daily), sprinkled on top of the soaked Ontario Dehy Cubes (works great on beet pulp, too). The horses turn handsprings and will gallop across the field for a handful, so yummy do they find it. 

Hope this helps,

Jannalee in Oregon

Jannalee Smithey, EDO, ESMT
Yank Gulch Equine, LLC
ECIR Group Inc.
Member, Board of Directors

Dawn Wagstaff

Dr. Kellon, thank you.
You are correct, there is no way the Uckele Senior and Grass Balancer were balancing my hay. I should have gotten an analysis done on the first cut hay or at least used my last analysis and just had a custom made up. I simply was looking for something they would eat that at least had some copper, zinc, selenium, in a reasonable amount. I was probably feeding around 1 pound a day or more of the Lite mixed into a cup of beet pulp to the mares to get them to eat their supplements.

They still aren't real enthusiastic about the U balance, but I have added Uckele's Equi Sweet and just a tablespoon or so of Lite on top to get them to eat it mixed into soaked Timothy pellets. No beet pulp currently. That is the only change in their feed and it is remarkable the difference in crests and tailhead, shoulder fat on the mares. The stallion has exhibited some positive changes, but not as quickly as they did. 

I have a call into my vet to have an ACTH, Insulin, Glucose and Leptin pulled and sent to Cornell for the stallion. (Always a challenge, he is an adjunct at Michigan State). As I stood and looked at him this morning,(he is slightly more comfortable, no shifting feet this morning), I thought, "if this was someone else's horse, I'd tell them he looks like he has Cushings" Sigh, sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.
Will continue the J herb and ALCAR.

Interesting point about their pasture turnout. I always turn them out with grazing muzzles on spring through into the first snowfall, usually in November. We have had constant rain, snow, warm temps, rain, etc. from December on. None of them seem too interested in their pastures, rather have hay.

Do pastures benefit from the same soaking and rinsing that hay does?

Dawn Wagstaff
Saline, MI 2003

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

This situation is a bit complicated but let me take a stab at it.


Issues are change in supplement and carrier (dates back to fall), trim problems, ? out on pasture.

I don't know how much TC Lite you were feeding so can't guess if either its the sugar/starch difference or the change in mineral levels.  The two supplements have vastly different levels of minerals.  You can't possibly be correctly balancing the same hay switching around between these supplements.

Trim obviously is very important but can't explain things like crest changes.

Even pastures that look "dead" can be very dangerous under the weather conditions you described. The warm spells stimulate stored carbs to break down to sugars.  I've had similar conditions and one of my mares got into trouble.


Same for the stallion plus the dexamethasone is a very important factor.

No reason to stop the Jiaogulan even if it is abscess mobilizing. That's a good thing!  No need to add AAKG unless you see his color has not pinked up from the J. Would also continue the ALCar.

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

Dawn Wagstaff

As I mentioned in a post below, I've been a member for years and had Dr.Kellon work one on one with me on a difficult situation I had with a mare I owned several years ago. I've taken several of her nutritional courses, and other courses and follow the protocol for diet and management here.

Currently I have 5 Morgans. I treat all as if they are IR due to their breed . 3 of them (2- 14 yr. old mares and a 20 yr old stallion) are extremely easy keepers. I have not had any testing done on the 3 as I just assumed they are IR. 

I have a ten year history of hay testing, on fields that I get my hay from year after year. I have normally had 1st cut and occasional second cut. I have never had any of my hay test over 8% ESC and starch. I did not test it in 2014 or the 1st cut of 2015. I have tested the second cut of 2015 due to issues that started with the 2 IR mares that I began feeding it to in January. It tested out 7.3 % ESC and .3 % starch via Equi Analytical, so 7.6% total. I did not do a custom mix for last year, since I did not test my hay, and had been getting excellent results with using Uckele U balance Foundation. No crests, puffy eyes, no fat pads, on any of the horses. My custom mixes normally require the addition of virtually everything that is in U balance, as my hay is low in S/S but is also terribly low in trace minerals, magnesium, etc. Iron is around 140.

 However, last fall they started refusing to eat their beet pulp with the U balance added.  So I ended up switching the stallion to Uckele's Senior supplement and added a small amount of TC Equine Senior for taste.

The mares would eat the TC Senior, but don't need the fat. So I started using TC lite with Uckele grass balancer added to it. 

About a month ago, I began to get concerned over the mares, who had started to have heavy crests develop, puffy eyes, fat pads. Both had sore feet over hard surfaces. I have a concrete aisle in their barn and they began walking gingerly on it, and when outside on frozen ground, were very uncomfortable. I immediately went back to using the U balance in a small amount of timothy pellets and beet pulp, soaked hay until I got my test back, and really moved their toes back, they were long and had started to flare and grow tall heels. Treated for thrush, rasped every few days, etc. Our weather here has been bizarre, since January, we will have 70 degrees for a day, then 40, then a snowstorm, 20 degrees for several days, then back into the 50s's.  The ground will go from snow covered to mud, to frozen pocked moonscape, to mud, etc.  

In a three week period of time, both mares have lost their crests, eye puffs reduced, fat pads nearly gone. Feet much more comfortable, continuing to tweak trim every few days. Thrushy frogs much improved. 

Two weeks ago I noticed my stallion, who is at our second property with his half brother, was doing the same thing as my mares Cresty, fat pads on back, puffy eyes, and feet that were starting to flare out. This stallion experienced a first time episode of heaves this past fall which my vet treated with Dexamethazone and Ventipulmin. No issues at that time, and he has had a couple more episodes(you are always trying to stay ahead of triggers) in which I have followed vet protocol and gave oral Dex dose, next dose three days later which is half original dose, then a final dose three days later. .Have never had a problem with his feet. 

At the beginning of the same two weeks in which he was showing IR symptoms, he had another heave attack and I gave him his first dose. Three days later he was wheezing again and I gave him his second dose. During this time I also switched him back to U balance. I was afraid of the Dex and decided to start him on Jiaogulan for his breathing and Spirulina.

Dex dose was 6 cc in a plastic syringe(1000# horse) , then three days later 3 ccs. He didn't get the third dose.

In the two weeks since switching to U balance, his crest is softening, fat pads on back greatly reduced. 

Trimmed him, he was long and flared. Pushed his toes back again a couple of days later. He was sore during the trim and has been getting a little worse each day. He lives in a 12x24 stall that opens to a pasture, which has been completely covered in snow for the past few days. He went out gingerly this morning to eat his soaked hay(hay is either soaked or steamed for his heaves), and this afternoon, he had heat in both fronts and a slow pulse in his LF.  He is eating well, drinking, manure. He is moving around the stall somewhat  as evidenced by the scattered piles. He is shifting weight back and forth between his front feet though. I'm not sure if he hasjust laminitis, abcesses due to the Jiaogulan, cold induced rebound pain from standing in the snow most of the day then into a stall , laminitis from the Dex. or a combination of all of it.

My question is , should I stop the Jiaogulan?  If not, should I add AAKG? He also is getting ALCAR, should I stop that? He is closed into the stall from 5pm until 8 am. He isn't standing in a founder stance, but his feet are hurting. Is it possible that the Jiaogulan is moving old abcesses or is two weeks too soon?

Dawn Wagstaff

Saline, MI 2003