Casteberry


Lorismorgans
 

My Morgans have ran high insulin (50 to 80s)
For the last 4 years or so. The are on s TIGHT
Balanced diet of hay only.  We have tried insulin wise, revestrol, thyroid  with limited results. I am blessed that they are rideable with good feet now due to Lavinia. No more tenderness. But I am discouraged about the insulin numbers. Can I try Casteberry even though they have tested negative for Cushings? If so at what dose should I start them out on.
( Will update HC soon as internet up and running better)
Thank you
Lori  Able & Bodie

2016

Redding,CA

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lori%20and%20Able%20-%20Bodie%20-%20Dusty

 https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6053&p=Name,,,50,2,0,0 .


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Lori,

Frustrating for sure. Great that you are able to keep them exercising as that is going to help the situation enormously.

BCS on all of them looks to be about a 6? You want to keep them at 4.5 to no more than 5. Increasing exercise - if possible - can also help.

Chasteberry won't help with lowering insulin. Neither does supplementing thyro- L.

Subject to correction from Dr.Kellon, Metformin would be one option to discuss with your vet. Ask for a 2 week supply initially so you aren't stuck with meds if it doesn't help. 30mg/kg, 2 times daily is the current recommendation. You can retest insulin after one week to see if it's working.

--
Lavinia, George Too, Calvin (PPID) and Dinky (PPID/IR)
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
Moderator ECIR


celestinefarm
 

Lori,
Are you weighing hay?  Haynets with weighed hay is very helpful in keeping weight down on these guys. I'm convinced many lines of Morgans can convert sawdust to fat. I've owned several like that and you have to be regimental about how much they eat. 
--
Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Juniper Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Dawn%20and%20Juniper/Case%20history%20Juniper.pdf .


Lorismorgans
 

Yes, I have been weighing their hay for 3 years.  They get, 19 to
21 lbs. Vet said they looked good weight, but maybe I should upload new pics to get third set of eyes. It just baffles me  why I cant get their insulin down.  Put them on a exercise program and had blood drawn and their insulin only dropped to 30, 40. They are old style Morgans, heavy built. So discouraging. 
Just grateful they have not foundered.


Lori

--
Lori  Able & Bodie

 

2016

 

Redding,CA

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lori%20and%20Able%20-%20Bodie%20-%20Dusty

 https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6053&p=Name,,,50,2,0,0 .


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Getting the BSC down might help lower the insulin a bit more, I would work on that and reduce their hay until you start to see results.  My 15.1 hand Paso Fino gets 15.5 lbs forage a day, and that keeps him around a BSC of 5.  He could still stand to lose a little more weight...I would really like to see his ribs better (right now there's only a hint of them).  It seems better to keep these easy keepers on the skinny side (rather than the chubby side) of a 5.

And I agree with the suggestion to try Metformin, unless you want to save it as an option for a laminitis event, if it should happen.

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History  
Shaku's Photo Album   


celestinefarm
 

Hi Lori,
I understand about the old style Morgans, it's what I specialized in when I was breeding.  And these guys usually are not that far out from the original stock from the very early 1800s that were used all day on farms , driven miles to town, etc. They were originally bred and perpetuated to be very thrifty keepers.  Unfortunately, ( and I'll include myself in this as a breeder) , breeders have tried to save old lines in a very small numbered breed that was dwindling with the advent of the automobile and then WWII by lots of inbreeding and line breeding. And it has fixed that thrifty gene heavily in the foundation and two old families.  

 The photo you have posted of Abel shows that little bit of crest starting and overall , he just looks like he is carrying too much weight. BUT, if you can feel ribs when you lightly run your hand down his side, he may not be as heavy as the photo looks. I know that here, the group likes horses to be thinner but honestly, there are some families within breeds that you can't always be 100% accurate in weight assessment without getting your hands on them. 

I've fought Tipperary's weight since I brought him home as an 8 month old, as did his breeder after he was weaned.  He has only been under 5.5 BCS once when he was at a trainers, had NO pasture turnout, had a small dirt roundpen for turnout, and was being worked two hours a day, and probably did a bit of stallion pacing in turnout. It takes a lot of movement for these heavier Morgans to maintain a thinner profile.  As a 24 year old sedentary stallion in zero work, he is at a 6 BCS , with one small fat pad that increased pergolide is helping and his crest is soft, but enlarged. I do everything I can to control his weight, but I've stopped beating myself up over his numbers not being in the desired range.  I use the numbers as a guide along with other symptoms and presentations to determine if something should change.  His latest insulin was 30 and his ACTH was 11.6 on MSU's scale of 1-10, so I have upped his pergolide. My hay tested at 7.9 SS, (1.9 starch) and nitrates were extremely low.  My goal for his weight is to totally eliminate the fat pad, and easily felt ribs . We are almost there.

I will leave the insulin levels to Dr. Kellon, but IMO, I think older Morgans will  often have a higher insulin number than the group would like as a general condition. If you can get the other things in order, such as regular exercise, no spikes in sugar and starch intake, appropriate calories for level of exercise, having insulin in the 30s may be the floor . It is imperative that the trim is anatomically correct.  

Don't get discouraged, just know that it's NOT just the numbers. They are important, but so is all the other recommendations here.
--
Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Juniper Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Dawn%20and%20Juniper/Case%20history%20Juniper.pdf .


Cheryl Oickle
 

Im so happy to hear someone talk about the old style thrifty morgans and numbers. I was devastated with Jewels insulin levels which was the only thing out of sort. Sugar acth normal and per profile body score of 5.5. She is as fit as I can get her and clinically fit! Numbers dont reflect her look ...shes an old style lippitt

--
Cheryl and Jewel
Oct 2018
Port Alberni BC Canada
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Cheryl%20and%20Jewel
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=81063


Lorismorgans
 

Thank you so much for the encouragement.  Dawn. I so appreciate your feed back. It really helped knowing someone else knows the breed.  I know,  not many of the old style Morgans are out there.  The insulin numbers have been driving  me crazy. But I am so grateful the are sound. I am going to try to get updated body pics uploaded today. Will appreciate input on body score.
Thank you all for being there for us.

Lori

--
Lori  Able & Bodie

 

2016

 

Redding,CA

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lori%20and%20Able%20-%20Bodie%20-%20Dusty

 https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6053&p=Name,,,50,2,0,0 .


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

I have a question for Lori and Dawn.  If their breeding is to be very thrifty keepers then by definition they are able to maintain a higher BCS while being worked.  19-21 lbs of hay seems like a lot to me if they are overweight.  Why not feed 1.5% of current body weight to see if you can't get them down to a 5 where some ribs are visible?  If their BSC is a 6, then aren't they still getting more calories than they need?  Just curious why reducing their hay is not an option, thanks!

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History  
Shaku's Photo Album   


celestinefarm
 

Kirsten, Tipperary"s ideal weight would be around #1050, which would equate to appx.16 lbs of hay. He currently gets daily 15 lbs , plus one pound of hay cubes, and one pound of Equal balance chopped hay per day.  I can't feed him hay in a hay net as it triggers his COPD. So I feed him shaken out flakes of steamed hay three times a day. I discontinue feeding him beet pulp in the summer as it just adds pounds. I can't reduce his hay any further. Reducing calories is one part of this, exercise is another. Just like with humans, Calories in , energy out.  All that changes however with health problems, age,  As an older horse, I have to be cognizant that he doesn't have great teeth, he doesn't absorb nutrients as well, and he needs a consistently filled gut for it to work properly. Colic in older horses is a big concern for me, I've lost a couple of horses to severe colic and I do not chance it . His hay is very moderate in sugar and starch. He's currently on 8 mgs. of pergolide as he does have out of range ACTH and I have increased him 1 mg in the last few weeks. I"m already seeing improvement in the stubborn fat pads he was carrying and in his crest. He doesn't get much exercise, I haven't ridden him in years and he is no longer breeding. So lack of exercise is one of the issues.
Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

Tipperary Case History

Juniper Case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Dawn%20and%20Juniper/Case%20history%20Juniper.pdf .


 

I count hay cubes (ODTBC) in my horses' daily forage calculation. If I were feeding beet pulp, I'd include it too!

For new members, we need to emphasize slow and steady weight loss, no crash starvation diets, and yet none of the free-feeding baloney that's touted online as the key to weight loss and equine bliss. 

FWIW, with my super-easy keeper TWH Cayuse (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Cheryl's Jewel), I found that if my horse is overweight, I cannot  feed 1.5% of body weight and expect her to lose weight. After she is very close to her ideal weight, she maintains on 1.5% of body weight in hay. To actually lose weight, she needs to be on minimum maintenance levels of forage by NRC standards. That level ratchets down as she drops weight by body measurements.  I must  calculate her rations based on her caloric needs. And I count every single morsel that goes into her mouth. With a 9 year history, I know how many Mcals she needs in mild weather. Anything over that, and she packs it on. 

I think Dr Kellon said it best: feeding is as much art as science. There are many variables, not only from horse to horse, but in our estimates of their weight and how well we realistic we are in our assessment of  BCS.  It could very well be that my estimate of my horse's ideal weight remains too high to this day, and that explains the math. For years I operated on a false assumption by using the weight the vet gave during her repurchase exam at age 6 as her ideal weight. That was apparently at least 50 pounds higher than her actual weight at the time! 
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse and Diamond Case History Folder                
Cayuse Photos                Diamond Photos 


Lorismorgans
 

I am currently feeding Ab 1.5% of his current weight and have been for the last yr. I do up it by a pound or so when he starts eating dirt and poop. I too am afraid of colic. He gets fed every 4 hrs round the clock, 3 pounds hay (18lbs) a 24 hr day. This has helped immensely with his contentment. I also add in the pounds and calories content of beet pulp or Timothy pellets I use to get his minerals in him.
I just took new pics as the one in his CH are old. I can feel ribs even though he looks stout. He is not as fit as last month. Too smokey to work him. His crest has enlarged.,no change in hay, think it is seasonal rise. It is soft  thank goodness.
 I welcome advise on his new pics for his body score. Thank you all for taking the time to help.

Lori

--
Lori  Able & Bodie

 

2016

 

Redding,CA

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lori%20and%20Able%20-%20Bodie%20-%20Dusty

 https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6053&p=Name,,,50,2,0,0 .


Kirsten Rasmussen
 
Edited

Thanks ladies, I just wanted to understand better.  It just seemed to me there was room to reduce hay for Lori's horses.  Lori, I'm not seeing any new body pics posted, just one for Abe from 2017?

I know Shaku was very happy when free-fed and it was very hard to take that away from him.  But he was also 200 lbs heavier and looked pregnant!  Even 18 lbs a day causes him to balloon up, but that's with no/little exercise.  I wish I had a way yo deliver regular meals like you do Lori.  Instead we have to rely on slow feed nets, which is frustrating for him.

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History  
Shaku's Photo Album   


Lorismorgans
 

Tring up upload pics and add a link to photos from CH. I am just terrible on internet. My computer and I are archaic.  Think I'll have to head to Best Buy and get updated.. will ask fro help on Body score when I get them uploaded.

Lori

--
Lori  Able & Bodie

 

2016

 

Redding,CA

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lori%20and%20Able%20-%20Bodie%20-%20Dusty

 https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6053&p=Name,,,50,2,0,0 .