Nora & Gary <NRGDB@...>

didn't get diagnosed until he'd already had two bouts of laminitis and I
don't think
we're going to be able to save him.
Hi All
I'm on so many lists it's hard to keep current , but here are some excerpts
from other list posts of mine with some things you might want to check out.
Been battling laminitis for 7 months now - only successfully since
implemented the info below.
Enjoying the increase in activity on this list.
Currently my horse Jazz is on 1 mg pergolide/day and thyro-l as well as the
supplements/minerals listed in the posts below.
He gets free choice grass hay , small amount of purina Strategy feed (lower
soluble carb/high fat - I was told was better for him than Senior as it had
less sugars) mixed with his supplements , small amount alfalfa ,one cup corn
oil a day , and 24/7 access to the outdoors so he can walk , with another
We JUST started ABC's "cushing's supplement" to see what difference that
might make.
Hooves are growing in "normally" now above a 2-3 inch wide "founder
line"...crossing my fingers !
Good Luck

join barefoothorses and take the time read the archives:

join healthyhorse and take the time to read the archives:

Please go to this site and learn about barefoot trimming that YOU DO
YOURSELF (yes , you can learn) twice a week , or have a good "farrier" help
you with, to get her feet to heal.

PLEASE get this horse tested for LOW THYROID at BET Labs (two levels
drawn - one at early AM , one in PM.) - I'm almost SURE she's low by the
clinical symptoms -obese /depressed , laminitis -I would do their full
cushing's panel just to double check that too (Cortisol variance , thyroid ,
insulin levels).Thyroid meds helped us turn the corner.

PLEASE get this horse some nutraceutical help to address deficiencies that
can be making it worse ( I have been using Advanced Biological Concepts
line since march - I can write you privately with that info if you want- ).

MSM is not risk free , but may be less risky than bute/banamine and is an
excellent anti-inflammatory (my vet said ok for my laminitic/cushings/low
thyroid horse).

She also advised
severely restricted movement ie stall rest.
PLEASE read the above info ...she should have a "soft place" to lie down if
she needs to, but "forced rest" is probably the worst thing you can do to
her now with chronic founder.
The latest issue of EQUUS is supposed to have an article addressing this
also so it's finally going "mainstream" - but you need ALL the info.

Please take the time to read all this stuff - it works - many success
stories. - most Vets don't know about it -
Good Luck
Nora R.
Will try to answer your other questions later...pressed for time now - but I
did read somewhere that either Cushings or hypothyroid can cause "clouding
of the lens" in horses...I've been keeping an eye (no pun intended) on mine.
Also , if there is an actual pituitary "tumor" or sweling it can cause
pressure on the optic nerves coming from the brain and affect vision that
If I even suspected Cushings - I would send off bloodwork to BET labs and be
done with it - if it's positive...start treatment NOW (either nutraceutical
or pharmaceutical ) before any more problems occur...if negative - go
looking for other causes.My Vet felt that BET panels weren't "proven" in
clinical studies , but they claim to have a high success rate , and it sure
helped me and it poses no risk to the horse to just draw some blood.Avoid
the Dexamethasone suppression test if you can ,as this can send a Cushings
horse INTO ACUTE LAMINITIS - the last dang thing you need .
I'm glad you have an Equine Opthalmologist available to you - wise move to
have it checked out .
I've also been using the free choice mineral/vitamin system from ABC (as
well as the ABC plus and HOOF supplements)(discovered them after Jazz
foundered - really like them- excellent hoof growth since we started) and
find it interesting that each horse seems to ingest different things - My
founder horse consumes WAY more of the R.C.mineral mix than anyone else and
my colic horse has been consuming allot more of the B vit/mineral mix. My
healthy horse just eats the salt and tastes the others sometimes.
And they basically all get the same feed.
One thing though ... I can GUARANTEE that if you fill up the outside feeders
I've moved all mine under cover ...too expensive to use as fertilizer !

My Vet suspected "Cushings" because of laminitis/founder , and a rough
looking hair coat - this was in November as the winter coats were just
coming in -Cushings is an overproduction of cortisone by the horses adrenal
glands BECAUSE of an overproduction of ACTH (AdrenocorticoTropic hormone )in
the horses Pituitary gland ( in the brain ).. Unfortunately , the definitive
test to prove cushings involves injecting MORE cortisone into the horse and
can trigger laminitis ( or make it worse).Vet suggested Pergolide at
1mg/day.We were on this for a couple of months with no apparent response but
according to him , there was no safe way to check anything to see if we
needed more/less/or any at all...he wanted to increase the pergolide (we had
no safe way to "prove" his cushings)-since Pergolide costs about $340.00 for
3 months worth at this rate , and he wasn't doing any better - it was a bit
Enter Alice to the rescue who told me about blood tests that were available
to actually check the acth levels directly and also "fasting insulin" levels
,which would be elevated in a cushings horse (something about insulin
resistance)- and that these could help guide the dosing requirements -We
went through BET labs and did their "cushings panel"- and it confirmed our
suspicions of cushings -high insulin levels- but also told us that the dose
of pergolide was quite enough(his variation in cortisol levels appeared in
control) but that we needed to add thyroid (was VERY low in the morning and
afternoon samples).

I once had a vet tell me that it was a waste of money to test for thyroid levels
with just a bloodtest because the tests could be so inconsistent and untelling.
he routinely prescribed thyroid meds for horses showing clinical signs
of hypothyroidism
My vet said the same thing - we did thyroid blood test the first time(at my
insistence) and it came back at the VERY LOWEST "normal reading".The reason
my vet refused to believe that he was hypothyroid was that he didn't "look"
hypothyroid - he had lost weight -but I can tell you (and I tried to tell
him )- that he "acted" hypothyroid - lethargic -dull- depressed-almost
catatonic-he felt it was the cushings and pain from the founder . BET has
you pull 2 samples the same day - one first thing in the morning , and one
8-10 hours later. Both were undeniably low. He did better immediately after
starting the thyroid.
The problem with the vet is they only see them for 15 minutes - the owner
sees them all day . -

OK my mare is getting Source everyday, and it is supposed to be a complete
macro/micro nutrient supplement. She is getting grass hay and just enough grain
to mix her Source and thyroid meds with. She has a salt block and a mineral
block available to her. But the last couple of days she's been eating
dirt--digging and licking the dirt/mud in the dry lot, even though she has
plenty of hay. Is this just boredom or a lack of some nutrient?
I'm not in the business - but I would bet that it's some mineral/vitamin she
feels she needs-either as a deficiency or as a "medicine".
As I said earlier each of my horses seems to crave different things in the
free choice mineral mixes even though they are fed basically the same.
They also have definite grazing plant preferences.
Dr. Strasser thinks we should toss all our healthy vegetable peels/ fruit
etc and such to the horses and let them "play" with them and eat what they
will - I haven't done too much of this as i worry about my colicky horse
,and not quite sure which things are ok in moderation...looking into that -
but she says variety and free choice are important, as well as "something to
She also recommended alternating hay grown in different areas (?states)
because of soil differences which lead to different mineral composition of
the same hay grown in different soils.She feels variety, over time , is your
best insurance against defficiency.
I remember a few years ago , we got a "lovely" batch of grass hay...horses
hated it - one (my colic horse) told us of his displeasure in no uncertain
terms by de-barking about 10 trees in his pasture in one night !!! he had
never done that before .-
She also made a strong point of saying that horses should ALWAYS have
something available to eat - that any horse that has periods of hunger WILL
get sick -this is not their biological make-up - they are grazers- so
"exercise them more" she says if they gain weight- don't withhold grass
hay.This was hard for us to accept as 2 of ours we thought would eat until
they exploded - but after initially balooning out - they seemed to realize
that it would be there and settled down. Same thing with the free choice
minerals - I thought they would eat them all , so I put out small amounts
only for a while , but they regulated themselves no problem (remembering
that they had free choice grass hay ) , and seem to do fine.

I've had to re-think allot of what I *thought* I knew since taking care of
my founder boy.

-----------My horse foundered when we took his shoes off for the winter in
Nov. 99 - he
was given the "routine winter pasture trim"(nothing radical) by our farrier
, same as he had done for for many years without problems.
It was not uncommon for our horses to be "ouchy for 1-3 days after removing
their shoes for the winter - so at first everyone ( including vet ) said
"just bed him up deep and he'd be fine in a few days"-well, he didn't get
better and vet came out and checked him again to make sure the farrier
hadn't "trimmed him too close" but he said the trim looked fine- gave us
some bute - etc one was thinking laminitis at the time because of the
timing of the removing shoes/trim .
To make a VERY long story short (read the archives of my posts) - x-rays
were not taken for A MONTH and by that time showed 11 and 7 degrees
I discussed this with Dr Strasser at the May clinic and she said that if a
horse has POOR LAMINA CONNECTIONS because of long time in high heels and/or
metabolic disease (my horse since diagnosed with Cushings and hypothyroid) ,
taking the shoes off may allow the coffin bone to finally "fall" (tear) away
from the hoof wall as the foot finally is allowed to expand- FOUNDER
-especially if the heels are left long when shoes are removed.
My horse had had a "spreading white line" for 2 YEARS , with frequent
bruising/bleeding into the white line - my farrier was concerned but the vet
said "just mechanical shearing - he's not sore - don't worry about it ,
just shoe him on schedule and don't go too long between" ( we used to
schedule 6-7 weeks). Now I realize that his lamina had been tearing on a
regular basis all that time and thus the bleeding - but vet was my only
source of info.-maybe if I'd left his shoes off after winter 2 years ago and
kept him barefoot and low heels he may never have foundered.

Susan Laflamme <f4mlatir@...>

Hi Nora, Gretchen Fathauer's site has such great info on laminitis it has
been the one place that has helped me help my horse the most. My horse is
around 40 and had a couple bouts of laminitis before her cushings diagnosis
She is probably alive today because of the advise on the treating founder