Hay analysis reading help


Gymah
 

I just got the test analysis back from the Teff hay I just bought (photo of the test in in the album). 

I don't have any experience with reading the results. Is the hay ok? It looks like the starch is high? Would soaking the hay make it alright?
--
Helene A. in BC 2021
Photo album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=271068
Case history:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helene%20and%20Rosie


Gymah
 

If this hay wouldn't be good for my laminitic pony I have other horses I can feed it to. It's hard to find low sugar hay in my area though!
--
Helene A. in BC 2021
Photo album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=271068
Case history:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helene%20and%20Rosie


Gymah
 

It also seems like the iron is super high. Why is that a problem for laminitic horses? 

I'll see if I can find any other low sugar hays, but in the meantime, will soaking make this hay make it alright to use until I find something different?
--
Helene A. in BC 2021
Photo album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=271068
Case history:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helene%20and%20Rosie


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Sugar and starch are over 11%. Too high and probably still too high after soaking for a laminitic. Protein also high which might trigger insulin or may be due to nitrate - you need to test for that. To lower iron try vigorous shaking or dunking but don't soak for iron. That iron level is toxic for any horse.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Gymah
 

I have attached another analysis to my album of some timothy that I might be able to get. Does that one look ok?

I've contacted the place I got the Teff from to see about sending it back (just because they've been marketing it as a good option for laminitic/ metabolic horses).
--
Helene A. in BC 2021
Photo album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=271068
Case history:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helene%20and%20Rosie


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Hi Helene, 

That timothy hay is much better.  Iron is nice and low, too.  You will need to do some mineral supplementation but all hays need some minerals added so that's ok.  The test was done by NIR so keep in mind that when retested by wet chemistry you will likely see higher sugars.   However, it is unlikely to exceed 10% ESC+starch,  combined, so it is much safer than the teff hay.

Teff has a reputation for being lower sugar in general, so your hay dealer might be trying to capitalize on that without really understanding what EMS horses need.  That teff is not low sugar.

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


Gymah
 

The place I got the Teff from is willing to take it back! They were quite horrified it wasn't actually low sugar and also that high in iron.

Should I go with that timothy, then? (it's last year's cut - they only have about 15 bales left, but that'd probably last my pony close to 2 months. They are going to be getting this year's cut in soon and will have an analysis of that, which apparently is always pretty similar year to year). Or should I keep looking to find something else?
--
Helene A. in BC 2021
Photo album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=271068
Case history:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helene%20and%20Rosie


Gymah
 

I’ve attached a 3rd hay analysis to the album. It compressed timothy. But they don’t have the analysis for it’s iron content. Is timothy normally high or low in iron?

Out of the two timothy options, which one looks better? 
--
Helene A. in BC 2021
Photo album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=271068
Case history:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helene%20and%20Rosie


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

The second timothy has more protein than you need.  In some EMS horses excess protein may worsen IR...we don't know why, but we prefer to keep protein below 12% and ideally 8-10%.  Its not terribly high though.  Again, like the first timothy hay, its an NIR test so ESC + starch could be a bit higher than reported but still likely to be below our 10% cutoff.  You will need to retest this hay for trace minerals in order to balance it properly.

Iron is higher in hays grown on the rainy west coast because the soil is more acidic (which increases iron uptake from the soil to the plant), but usually high iron is just dirt on the hay and can be shaken or rinsed off.  I personally would go with the first timothy and buy all 15 bales if they will last long enough to you to get the new cutting, then see what the new cutting comes back at and go from there.  Since you have the full hay analysis already done you can contact one of our approved hay balancers today and fairly quickly figure out what to add to it to make up for mineral deficiencies.  The second timothy will require you resampling and sending in for testing, so there would be a much bigger delay.

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


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

When you get your new hay, ask for bales from the part of the field that was cut earliest in the day.  That hay will be lowest in sugar.  You don't want the bales cut in the late afternoon, they will be much higher in sugar.  If you can ask the farmer beforehand to set them aside for you that would be even better so they know in advance and can set your hay aside and not mix it all in with the rest of the hay.

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


Turtle Crossing
 

Could I please have the latest recommendations for testing hay?  I would like to get my hay tested and need to know what tests to ask to be performed.  Thanks.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 


--
Chris A in BC 2022


Bobbie Day
 

Hello Chris, welcome to the group!
Since this is your first post being and being a new member, I will be sending along your welcome message.
I see you just inquired about hay testing, and you will find that included (plus much more) in your message below but the short answer is we recommend the 603 Trainer which is wet chemistry.
Most members use Equi Analytical in the US, but I have included information that includes testing labs in Canada to help as well. 
If we can help with anything else, please let us know!

Forage Testing Labs.pdf (groups.io)

Hello 

Welcome to the group! 

The ECIR Group provides the best, most up to date information on Cushing's (PPID) and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)/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.

Have you started your Case History? If you haven't done so yet, please join our case history sub-group. We appreciate you following the uploading instructions so your folder is properly set up with the documents inside. Go to this CH message with info on how to use various devices and forms. If you have any trouble, just post a message to let us know 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. 

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 Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)/Insulin Resistance (IR). These are two separate issues that share some overlapping symptoms. An equine may be either PPID or EMS/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 EMS/IR is diagnosed by testing non-fasting insulin and glucose.

The fat-derived hormone leptin is also usually abnormally elevated in insulin resistance but because there are many other things which can lower or increase leptin ECIR is not recommending routine testing for this hormone. Leptin is the hormone that says "stop eating".

In Europe, adiponectin is tested instead of leptin. Adiponectin helps regulate glucose and fat burning, and maintain insulin sensitivity. Low levels are associated with EMS. It has come to be preferred over leptin because it is not influenced by things like weight or exercise, and also because it was the only factor other than insulin levels that predicted laminitis risk

*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: EMS 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, including 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 EMS/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 (look under the Hay Balancing file if you want professional help balancing). 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 EMS/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 EMS/IR individuals.

We do not recommend feeding alfalfa hay to EMS/IR 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.

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. 

 

--

Bobbie and Maggie 
Desi (over the rainbow bridge 7/21) 
Utah, Nov 2018
NRC Plus 2020, NAT, C&IR March 2021
ECIR Group Primary Response 

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Bobbie%20and%20Maggie
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=271156

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Bobbie%20and%20Desi 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=78821


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Hi Chris, you can send your hay to Nutrilytical in Calgary and check off the 603 Trainer test on their form.  They will forward a sample split to Equi-Analytical.   If you go to the Nutrilytical website, you'll see they will also ship you a hay probe for sampling for 26$, as long as you return it with your hay sample.

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


Turtle Crossing
 

Hi Kirsten,

 

Thank you so much for the direction.  Very helpful!  I do have a probe as I have had my hay tested years ago, but this year, because of the drought, I’m wondering if my hay is a cause of the laminitis that I’m seeing in my herd. We also had extreme ice this winter, and a trimmer that was not doing her job well.  So, I’m trying to pinpoint more closely what might be the source of the laminitis.
Is there more laminitis noted this spring compared to other springs?

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 


--
Chris A in BC 2022


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

I think spring is always bad so I couldn't really say if this year is worse.  Any time green shoots start showing, if the horses can access it then it can cause problems.  Drought could also result in higher sugar hay so its worth testing it.  And ice can do a lot of damage.   My horse had ice in the whiteline this winter for the first time, and it caused the hoof wall to separate near his heels plus removed some sole when I picked it out (note to self: use warm water to melt ice out of hooves in the future).

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


Turtle Crossing
 

Thank you for your response Kirsten.
I’m getting my hay tested this next week.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 


--
Chris A in BC 2022