help for Shanae

jodi <pureheart600@...>

New to this group and do find it a little hard to navigate 
I have a 2005 model Arabian x QH mare. I bred her and I've had a history with her of with laminitis in the last few years.
As a young horse she was ok but occasionally had some soreness at least once a year. In the last couple of years Ive had a lot of trouble. 
She is currently in full blown laminitic epsisode. It started after I filed her feet 4 weeks ago. She was lame in one foot before I rasped her feet.  I must add I am a barefoot trimmer full time being trained in Australia professionally, So after I trimmed and filed she went stiff which is a common problem I have with her. She got worse after getting into a bit of grass for a couple of hours while I was at work. I then rasped her outer wall off the ground 2 weeks later and have rasped her again last week.  I have put her in Cloud boots but she hates them and seems worse in them and tonight she hobbled as fast as she could in fear and tense to not have them put on so I have left them off. 
Her current diet is Hygain Fibre Essentials, Hygain Micrbarley (micronized)  Prydes Easi sport and soaked cracked lupins with carol Laytons hoof plus se minerals which I have changed to her laminitis hoof minerals on Friday plus biotin and a probiotic. plus a biscuit twice a day of teff hay with Lucerne (not tested)
I am calling vets tomorrow to have her radiographed and blood tested. Also need to find out how to test water for iron. 
My main question tonight is on her diet until I get results form vets. Im confused on what to feed her. 
Thanks for reading.
 I may need direction on where I go to from here and how   I negotiate this site. I find it all confusing
Thanks Jodi

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

I didn't see a sugar and starch analysis for the Hygain so would stop that. Could replace with Maxisoy. Definitely stop the barley. You shouldn't need the lupins. Replace lucerne with plain Teff.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

jodi <pureheart600@...>

I contacted hygain for the wsc and esc of fibre essentials nsc 14% and wsc 5% esc 4%. I hadnt checked mircbarley.  I’ll stop those.  I had her on lupins because she was getting thin.  
Low sugar hay is hard to buy in my area. 

Maxine McArthur

Hi Jodi
You'll get a proper welcome letter from one of the first responder mods, I just wanted to ask where you are, regarding the low s/s hay. I am on a Facebook group for our area where often people will organise a truckload of hay and advertise for people to buy part of the load. Perhaps there's a group for your area? Hay is definitely a precious commodity at the moment and I sympathise! 
Maxine and Indy (PPID)

Canberra, Australia 2010


jodi <pureheart600@...>

I’m in Jeparit Victoria 
ill fill in case study tonight on computer. 
Im just reading the how to and practising navigating the site.  All the hay in my area is for fattening sheep or cattle and all cereals such as oaten, wheaten barley or vetch. Teff is only recently entering this area and can be hard to get and expensive. 

Pauline <takarri@...>

Hello Jodi

Welcome to the group! 

The ECIR provides the best, most up to date information on Cushing's (PPID) and Insulin Resistance (IR). Please explore our website where you'll find tons of great information that will help you to quickly understand the main things you need to know to start helping your horse. Also open any of the links below (in blue font) for more information/instructions that will save you time.

In order to help you and your equine quickly and effectively, we need you to explain your equine's situation by following the instructions you were sent upon joining. Your completed case history form and ECIR Signature will save days of back and forth questions. If you haven't done so yet, please join our case history sub-group. Follow the uploading instructions so your folder is properly set up and then upload your case history. If you have any trouble, just post a message or email the case history group explaining specifically where you are stuck.

Orienting information, such as how the different ECIR sections relate to each other, message etiquettewhat goes where and many how-to pages are in the Wiki. There is also an FAQs on our website that will help answer the most common and important questions new members have. 


Glad to hear that you’re working on your case history that will enable us to help you help your mare better.  I agree with Eleanor regarding stopping the Hygain, barley & Lucerne. Can you access Maxisoy or a beet pulp without molasses product?  I know the hay situation is hard at the moment- there appears to be nothing decent & “safe” around. Maxine’s idea of joining a hay FB page might help you out.  I know that where I am (about 4hrs away from you) there is not a lot of grass hay about either.

Also stop any grass access and start he on the Emergency diet. Continue with Carols mix as well.  Treat her as if she is IR until you get the blood results, but I suspect that you will need to manage her as if she has IR regardless of the results.

As far as testing your water- get in touch with GWM Water for further information. They do test for iron- see if they will give you a copy of the results.

Being an Arab (or part) makes her a member of one of the "poster children breeds" for IR, which isn't a disease but a genetic tendency to be super-efficient. Being thrifty is great out in the wild when food may be scarce but becomes a liability in domestication where food is much too readily available while sufficient exercise is not. Her age also raises the possibility for PPID and the laminitis can be the first red flag for it. 


Below is a general summary of our DDT/E philosophy which is short for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise.

 DIAGNOSIS: There are two conditions dealt with here: Cushings (PPID) and Insulin Resistance (IR). These are two separate issues that share some overlapping symptoms. An equine may be either PPID or IR, neither or both. While increasing age is the greatest risk factor for developing PPID, IR can appear at any age and may have a genetic component. Blood work is used for diagnosis as well as monitoring the level of control of each.

PPID is diagnosed using the Endogenous ACTH test, while IR is diagnosed by testing non-fasting insulin, glucose and Leptin. Leptin is the hormone that says "stop eating". Knowing this helps to differentiate if a horse is IR "at baseline" or if an elevated ACTH is "driving" the insulin up. In Europe, substitute adiponectin for the leptin test.

*Before calling your vet to draw blood for tests, we suggest saving time and wasted money by reading these details and then sharing them with your vet so that everyone is on the same page regarding correct testing and protocols.

*Please remember to request copies of the results of all the tests done rather than just relying on verbal information. Your vet should be able to email these to you. If you have previous test results, please include those as well. All should go in your CH, but if you are having any trouble with the CH, just post in the messages for now. 

Treatment: IR is a metabolic type - not a disease - that is managed with a low sugar+starch diet and exercise (as able). The super-efficient easy keeper type breeds such as minis, ponies, Morgans, Arabs, Rockies are some of the classic examples. PPID is a progressive disease that is treated with the medication pergolide. Some, but not all, individuals may experience a temporary loss of appetite, lethargy and/or depression when first starting the medication. To avoid this "pergolide veil" (scroll down for side effects), we recommend weaning onto the drug slowly and the use of the product APF. The best long term results are seen when the ACTH is maintained in the middle of the normal range at all times,ncluding during the annual seasonal rise. To accomplish this, the amount of medication may need to increase over time. Neither condition is ever "cured", only properly controlled for the remainder of the equine's life. If your partner is both PPID and IR then both medication and diet management will be needed. 

 DIET: Almost all commercial feeds are not suitable - no matter what it says on the bag. Please see the International Safe Feeds List for the safest suggestions.

No hay is "safe" until proven so by chemical analysis. The diet that works for IR is:

  • low carb (less than 10% sugar+starch)
  • low fat (4% or less) 
  • mineral balanced  

We use grass hay, tested to be under 10% ESC + starch, with minerals added to balance the excesses and deficiencies in the hay, plus salt, and to replace the fragile ingredients that are lost when grass is cured into hay, we add ground flax seed and Vitamin E. This diet is crucial for an IR horse, but also supports the delicate immune system of a PPID horse. 

*Until you can get your hay tested and balanced we recommend that you soak your hay and use the emergency diet (scroll down for it).  The emergency diet is not intended for long term use, but addresses some of the most common major deficiencies. Testing your hay and getting the minerals balanced to its excesses and deficiencies is the best way to feed any equine. If you absolutely cannot test your hay and balance the minerals to it, or would like to use a "stop gap" product until you get your hay balanced, here's a list of "acceptable" ration balancers

There is a lot of helpful information in the start here folder so it is important you read all the documents found there. The emergency diet involves soaking your untested hay for an hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water. This removes up to 30% of the sugar content, but no starch. Starch is worse than sugar since it converts 100% to glucose while sugar only converts 50%, so starch causes a bigger insulin spike. Make sure you dump the soaking water where the equine(s) can't get to it. 

What you don't feed on the IR diet is every bit as, if not more important than, what you do feed! No grass. No grain. No sugary treats, including apples and carrots. No brown/red salt blocks which contain iron (and sometimes molasses) which interferes with mineral balancing, so white salt blocks only. 

No products containing molasses. No bagged feeds with a combined sugar and starch of over 10% or starch over about 4%, or fat over about 4%. Unfortunately, even bagged feeds that say they are designed for IR and/or PPID equines are usually too high in sugar, starch and/or fat. It’s really important to know the actual analysis and not be fooled by a name that says it is suitable for IR/PPID individuals.

We do not recommend feeding alfalfa hay to IR/PPID equines as it makes many of them laminitic. Although it tends to be low in sugar, many times the starch is higher and does not soak out. Additionally, protein and calcium are quite high, which can contribute to sore footedness and make mineral balancing very difficult.

 TRIM: A proper trim is toes backed and heels lowered so that the hoof capsule closely hugs and supports the internal structures of the foot. Though important for all equines, it's essential for IR and/or PPID equines to have a proper trim in place since they are at increased risk for laminitis. After any potential triggers are removed from the diet, and in PPID individuals, the ACTH is under control, the realigning trim is often the missing link in getting a laminitic equine comfortable. In general, laminitic hooves require more frequent trim adjustments to maintain the proper alignment so we recommend the use of padded boots rather than fixed appliances (i.e. shoes, clogs), at least during the initial phases of treatment.

Sometimes subclinical laminitis can be misdiagnosed as arthritis, navicular, or a host of other problems as the animal attempts to compensate for sore feet. 

You are encouraged to make an album and post hoof pictures and any radiographs you might have so we can to look to see if you have an optimal trim in place. Read this section of the wiki for how to get a hoof evaluation, what photos are needed, and how to get the best hoof shots and radiographs.


EXERCISEThe best IR buster there is, but only if the equine is comfortable and non-laminitic. An individual that has had laminitis needs 6-9 months of correct realigning trims before any serious exercise can begin. Once the equine is moving around comfortably at liberty, hand walking can begin in long straight lines with no tight turns. Do not force a laminitic individual to move, or allow its other companions to do so. It will begin to move once the pain begins to subside. Resting its fragile feet is needed for healing to take place so if the animal wants to lay down, do not encourage it to get up. Place feed and water where it can be reached easily without having to move any more than necessary. Be extremely careful about movement while using NSAIDs (bute, banamine, previcox, etc.) as it masks pain and encourages more movement than these fragile feet are actually able to withstand. Additionally, NSAIDs (and icing) do not work on metabolic laminitis and long term NSAID use interferes with healing. Therefore, we recommend tapering off NSAIDs after the first week or so of use. If after a week's time your equine's comfort level has not increased, then the cause of the laminitis has not been removed and keeping up the NSAIDs isn't the answer - you need to address the underlying cause.

 There is lots more information in our files and archived messages and also on our website. It is a lot of information, so take some time to go over it and feel free to ask any questions. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't worry, you will catch on, and we are always here to help you! Once you have your case history uploaded, we can help you help your equine partner even better.

We ask all members to sign their first name, general location, date of joining and link to the case history and photo album every time they post. It helps us to find your info faster to answer your questions better. You can set up an automatic signature so you don't have to remember to do it. 

For members outside North America, there are country specific folders in the files and many international lists in the wiki to help you find local resources.
If you have any technical difficulties, please let us know so we can help you. 



Geelong. Vic

Australia Aug 07

ECIR Mod/Primary Response


 Harry, Jack and Spur's Case Histories   

LJ Friedman

Wishing u good luck in filing out case history 
LJ Friedman  Nov 2014  San Diego, CA

Jesse's Case History 
Jesse's Photos



My horse JJ is a polish arabian he just turned 9 and according to X rays he had been having lamitic issue for awhile.  He went into a full blown laminitic episode July 11.  He has bone rotation in all 4 hooves with sinking in the back too.  He was incloud boots in the begining then placed in clogs.  However I started him on the emergency diet with biotin added.  He has has a abcess opend in the right hind and also had a abcess erupt in the left front around the coronary band.  I am waiting for repat xrays.  My guy has cushing and was started on Prescend.  It has been devasting.  But have recieved alot of support from this group.  THere was a study completed in Florida with Arabians that are prone to metabolic syndrome.  I would take alook at it.
Rebecca and JJ
St Louis
Aug 6, 2018
Case History
JJ's Photos

jodi <pureheart600@...>

I’ve taken her off the barley.  The lucerne is just a bit throughout the teff. Atm I can’t get anymore teff.  Because of drought hay is scarce.  I have cloud boots on but she hasn’t been happy in them.  Yesterday I noticed they are rubbing slightly on the heels so will put in different pads and firm them up and protect her heels.  Got bloods taken yesterday testing all the relevant things.   Tried to get rads but the vets wouldnt do them. They prefer to send them out to a vet that specialises in hooves. She lives near the vet I went to.  Bit annoyed as I travelled 2 hours to get her there.  We have no vet in our area anymore although he was useless for this anyway. So still organising X-rays. I have started case history but iffy on dates. Will update it a bit more tonight with photos etc. 
Jodi Hutson 
Jeparit Victoria Australia
Joined may 2018