Welsh 18 year old pony mare


Hi Jamie, I'm just copying your original post to you.  I saw you reposted with your auto signature set up, but didn't include your original post.  Here it is, please copy and paste it in this message thread to repost:

Subject: Welsh 18 year old pony mare

New to group, hope this is where I post questions-
I have a Welsh pony mare who just turn 18 this April I have owned her now for 2 years, she came to me with a crusty neck and previous owner said never fonder but needs to be on dry lot. The 1st winter I had her she was very tender footed on frozen ground we live in Wisconsin so long cold winters, this winter she was so lame that I knew it wasn't right, she was diagnosed with winter laminitis, my vet suggested bute twice daily for 2 weeks then once daily until sound along with jiaogulan and polo wraps to keep legs and hooves warm- I did this for 3 days and seemed to worsen, after doing some googling I got in contact with Doc Eleanor Kellon who clarified no bute with this supplement it took about 10 days and my pony could walk again, kept her wrap up till Easter -she started trotting around I knew she was sound, did have a sorted stride to her back left leg but vet said she was sore in her front shoulder could of pulled muscle, I then pulled blood in April Acth 45.9 pg/mg
Insulin baseline 142.45 uiu/ml
Her diet consists of grassy /clover hay
Half of a pound of Purina ration balancer
2 scoops of quiessence and half scoop of jiaogulan- we exercise her at least three to four times a week since she's been sound, my daughter shows her in halter- with this blood reading my vet suggested prascend (half tablet )crummy hay and lots of exercise, his colleague suggest no Cushing meds and recheck her in June to see how her coat sheds out, due to the fact she is not overweight and Acth was not that elevated but insulin is quite high but crummy hay and exercise should help that. I am at a loss what I read on line and in these file make me question things. Can high Insulin levels case her Acth to be high? Do i address the high insulin before the Cushing, how do I manage both? What is the best plan of action, this pony is very loved by my family I want to do what's best for her to have a long life.

Jaime Nelson 
Berlin, WI 2022

Kirsten Rasmussen

Sherry Morse

Hi Jamie,

You've already received a ton of good information in our welcome message but want to add a few comments:

1- if your girl had a cresty neck when you bought her she was already IR and probably had a bit of subclinical laminitis going on (aka 'tender footed').  
2 - with an ACTH of 45.9 now she needs to be on pergolide/Prascend and with an insulin well over the tipping point for laminitis (we usually see laminitis in horses with insulin over 80 uiu/ml) she needs a diet change ASAP and possibly Metformin as well.  Definitely stop the ration balancer and plan on hay testing and balancing minerals to the hay.  Another option is sourcing Triple Crown Naturals Timothy Balance Cubes which are fed at a 3:4 ratio to the hay they're replacing and don't need balancing.
3 - "Crummy" hay is not the answer - you need to feed tested hay that's under 10% ESC+starch as already mentioned.  Some of the 'crummy' hays out there will test higher than better quality hay so don't fall in to that trap. 

Getting a case history posted will help us address specific diet questions but for starters if she's overweight she needs to be eating 1.5% of her current weight or 2% of her ideal weight - whichever is greater.  That includes all hay and any concentrates.  Concentrates in this case would be just enough beet pulp to get supplements in and that beet pulp should be rinsed/soaked/rinsed before feeding.  As a pony it's not surprising she's IR as the tendency is to overfeed them and they're genetically thrifty and don't need as much feed as we humans want to give them.

You're in the right place to get help for your girl so just keep breathing.

Sherry, Scutch and Scarlet (over the bridge)