advice for long time PPID mare with chronic laminitis


My 28 year old Arab mare, Steffie has continued to have laminitis problems.  She was diagnosed with PPID in 2014.  She has had some front foot pain for at least 10 years.  She had gotten better being on Pergolide compound but the last year has gradually gotten worse.  It is also very difficult to maintain her weight.  She is a picky eater.  I recently had her re-tested at Cornell.  I am having trouble getting the results up but will try again.  Here are her test results.   Glucose 88, normal 71-122 mg/dL
ACTH 54.8, normal 9-35 pg/mL
Insulin 79.36, normal10-40 ulU/mL
Leptin 9.02, normal1-10 ng/mL

She is currently getting 3.44 Pergolide Mesylate in an oil base from Pet Health which I believe is about 2.29 Pergolide.  It seems to me that she needs a higher dose of Pergolide.  While the vet did the testing, he is difficult to reach to go over the test.  Your help is very appreciated.  Right now she is refusing to eat.

ND 2013 

Sherry Morse

Hi Karla,

I couldn't find a CH for your mare so that's going to make it difficult to assess everything that is going on with her.  However, for this time of year, given that she's on pergolide, her ACTH should be lower and her insulin is right on the edge of the laminitis danger zone.  There's a good chance the lack of interest in eating is simply that she feels lousy.  We often talk about PPID horses experiencing the veil and going off feed when first started on the medication, but not wanting to eat can also be an indication of PPID not being well controlled. 

If this was my horse I'd want to get her ACTH number down by increasing her pergolide and I'd also be looking at treating her as an IR horse and trying to get that insulin down as well.

As far as being foot sore - has she had x-rays recently?  What does her trim look like?  Are you using boots or any kind of hoof protection for her?

Candice Piraino

Hi Karla!

would you be able to complete a Case History for your mare so we can provide more custom advice for you? 

I also agree with Sherry about increasing the pergolide. It might be beneficial for you to reach out to your vet's office and tell them you are in dire need of increasing your mare's medication for her health and longevity. Sometimes explaining a little bit to the office staff can get you closer to your vet. 

Is your mare off her supplements and hay, just hay, or just supplements? I know watching your horse refuse to eat is very disconcerting, especially if they are hard keepers and senior!

Have you had a dental exam done on your mare recently?


Primary Response Team

September 2018, Summerfield, FL

Shark's Case History:

Shark's Photo Album: 

PHCP Barefoot Trimmer @