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Can horses safely eat the "duff" from low sugar hay?

Helen Connor
 

I'm having trouble finding info on this question. I've contacted Equi-Analytical about the possibility of testing this fluff, but have not heard back yet. 

My IR/PPID horse loves the duff/fines/chaff from her low sugar hay. I've been letting her have about 2 lbs a day as part of her total feed of 18 lbs. I started letting her have a half pound a day in November 2018. It gradually changed to 2 pounds as more of the fluff accumulated and she evidently looked forward to it each morning. The farmer of this hay cuts high from the ground, so the only dirt/minerals would be at the dust size. I cannot detect visually detect dirt in the material.

The Cornell ACTH results follow her exposure to the fluff rather closely:

Apr 2018: ACTH 10.29  (no extra fluff, just putting hay in hay bag -- C-pergo: 2.75)
Sep 2018: ACTH 17.3 (1/2 lb of fluff being offered occasionally -- C-pergo: 2.75)
My journal shows she started getting daily offers of fluff in mid-December 2018.
Aug 2019: ACTH 49.4 (1.75 to 2 lbs of fluff per day -- C-pergo: 2.75) (sample taken at 3 pm, so no spike from breaking the fast from the night before)

At this point, my vet and I decided to retest. The number just seemed suspicious.
Sep 2019: ACTH 42.1 (averaging 2 lbs a day, C-pergo does changed to 3.25 mg starting 10/29).

I've not seen crestiness or fat pads developing. Her hooves seem to be slightly warm to cool, depending on the time of day. She is kept blanketed and has shipping boots on her front legs. No lameness, no tenderness. But the ACTH number is troubling me.

Does anyone know if hay fluff/duff/chaff/fines have a higher sugar content than the hay itself? I realize it is a concentrate, but I thought it would be a way to recover some of the lost protein (seed heads) when it drops off the hay itself.

Thanks for any additional info.


-- 
Helen Connor and Blessing (IR/PPID)
Scappoose, OR
Member since May 2017
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helen%20and%20Blessing
Photo Album:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6847

Lorna
 

Hi Helen,

I'll be interested in what our vets say,but I can't see that the fines would have any effect,all things considered. If she weren't being fed in a bag the fines would still sift down to the 'ground', and would be eaten. But they were part of the hay that was tested,so.....

I see it to be more a time-of-year issue,and uncontrolled ACTH.
Will be interested in other comments.

Can you change the range for Insulin in your CH? It should be 10-40 instead of 9-35.
The range for ACTH is 9-35.


--

Lorna Cane
Ontario, Canada
2002


 

Sherry Morse
 

Hi Helen,

My thoughts are the same as Lorna's - this appears to be more related to the time of year to me and showing that she may need a bump up in her pergolide dosage during the seasonal rise at least.


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

 Helen,

The fines are crumbled leaves only so lower fiber than a serving of leaves plus stems. The only way to find out if the sugar and starch is considerably higher would be to test.

 However, sugar and starch don't change ACTH only insulin.  As already mentioned, ACTH always goes up that time of year.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale
EC Owner 2001

Helen Connor
 

Sorry on that range mistake, Lorna.Yes, I will change it. Thanks.
--
Helen Connor and Blessing (IR/PPID)
Scappoose, OR
Member since May 2017
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helen%20and%20Blessing
Photo Album:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6847

Helen Connor
 

Thanks Dr. Kellon, Lorna and Sherry. I'll continue to let her have the fluff, then. 

From your references to the seasonal rise, and the result being higher than the year before, I guess we have surmise her PPID is advancing?

--
Helen Connor and Blessing (IR/PPID)
Scappoose, OR
Member since May 2017
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helen%20and%20Blessing
Photo Album:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6847

Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

On Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 02:17 PM, Helen Connor wrote:

From your references to the seasonal rise, and the result being higher than the year before, I guess we have surmise her PPID is advancing?
Yes, unless the potency of your pergolide was compromised or she wasn't actually getting the whole dose.
 
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale
EC Owner 2001

 

On Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 09:20 AM, Helen Connor wrote:
The farmer of this hay cuts high from the ground, so the only dirt/minerals would be at the dust size. I cannot detect visually detect dirt in the material.
Helen, you have a much better farmer than I do!  Many of us in the west spend a lot of time trying to reduce our horses' dirt (and iron) intake.

You're probably right, and your fines are perfectly clean. I sweep up and throw away all fines because they are full of dirt, even though they look green.  If it were my hay, I'd put a big scoop of the fines in a white bucket and add water to cover by several inches. Pour off the water and any floating green hay bits. Dust and soil will sink to the bottom of the bucket. This won't substitute for an analysis, but it may help confirm your visual impression.
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse Case History                Cayuse Photos
Diamond Case History              Diamond Photos 

Bobbie Day
 

Gosh, we find “the fines” all the time, we probably have a few inches of hay build up from over the years. The hay is stored and put on pallets so I don’t think we have any dirt in ours, (I hope) my hubby gives everyone a pitchfork full when he cleans corals. It’s his and the horses ritual! I think they would have a revolt if he stopped now 😊
They’re fines from the previous feeding, our alfalfa hay that three horses are fed from has A LOT of fines, grass hay not so much.


--
Bobbie and Desi
Utah, Nov 2018

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Bobbie%20and%20Desi

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=78821

hinecedark
 

Wouldn't the safety of the fines depend on how mature the hay was when cut? There are a lot of seeds in very mature hay (where my husband feeds it on the ground to cattle there's always a thick growth of new grass in the spring). Are those grass seeds equivalent to grain?  Higher in starch than the leaves or stems? Or are grass seeds nothing to worry about?
Thanks,
Melinda
IN  2010

Helen Connor
 

Thanks Cass! Brilliant idea. Will try it.
--
Helen Connor and Blessing (IR/PPID)
Scappoose, OR
Member since May 2017
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helen%20and%20Blessing
Photo Album:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6847

Helen Connor
 

Doesn't sound like a problem if the hay has tested low sugar, Melinda. But that's exactly what I was worried about -- that the seeds in the fines might make it more dangerous to feed. But Dr. K's answer above indicates not to worry. Blessing isn't showing signs of getting more sugar; she's just testing high for ACTH. As Dr. Kellon points out, ACTH is not effected by sugars. I think my problem has been that Blessing got too little of her pergolide for more than a month. Now I'm syringing. We'll see if that, and a dose increase, helps bring her blood values back in line.
--
Helen Connor and Blessing (IR/PPID)
Scappoose, OR
Member since May 2017
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Helen%20and%20Blessing
Photo Album:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=6847

Diane Ogle
 

One of mine coliced from eating too many fines that were dry.  My fault and I learned that lesson.  Just a heads up.
Diane Ogle  Ayla IR & PPID, Blue PPID
Milly, rowdy & Mango Over the Bridge
No CA
Feb 2011