Checking in and Looking for suggestions

Erica Aulie

Hello again all,

I have been researching relentlessly since joining the group, and there is sure a lot to know! I have made some significant changes to Cupid's diet and management, (updated CH has been uploaded,) and am awaiting mark-ups from Lavinia for my Farrier appointment this week.  I am also awaiting hay and water analysis results.  I have some questions.  I know Cupid is IR, but he is missing some of the IR charicteristics, (like fat above the eyes,) so am not sure if it's PPID driven or not. His last ACTH result was pretty smack in the middle of the reference range, but my vet did not test for TRH and I did not know to ask for it at that time.  How and when is the best way to eliminate pre-cushings?  I see a lot of concern around the seasonal rise, so I'm a bit confused if I should test him again now or wait. Also, if I'm not dealing with PPID, how long after all changes are implemented before I can expect to see results?  When do I start considering things like testing for Iron overload or supplimenting with Jiaogulan and Spirulina?  I've looked through a lot of the info on these topics in the files, but haven't found a difinitive timeline.  (I know each case is different, but any expectations would be appreciated, I'm new at this.)

Thanks to the group for the help and support!!
Erica and Cupid
Bastrop, TX, 7/2019
Case History
Photo Album


Has Cupid been tested for Lymes disease? My guy was just fine until a prolonged battle with Lymes when he was 3. He became IR during that period of time and had no other characteristics of EMS except the laminitis. If your horse does have Lymes that doesn't mean that once you get rid of the Lymes you get rid of the IR. The IR becomes your new nemesis.
Wisconsin, Sept 2018

Erica Aulie

Hi Nikkibob,

No, he has not.  His issues began when we lived in the High Desert of Central Oregon where Lymes is not a thing.  Also, he does not have any other symptoms such as the weight loss, eye issues, muscle tenderness, etc.  
Erica and Cupid
Bastrop, TX, 7/2019
Case History
Photo Album


I don't think all horses have all symptoms.  My horse is IR, no PPID.  He never had fat over his eyes, but had a massive crest, a few fat pockets on his body and was just overall fat.  Can't answer your other questions as I've not had to deal with that.
Ronelle and Yoyo
2015 Bend, Or, US

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Before horses begin to test positive for PPID all year they can go through a period where their seasonal rise levels are exaggerated. To see if this is happening, test him mid to late September - or sooner if his fat deposits are obviously worsening, drinking/urinating increases or sore feet. The most rapid changes in crest and hoof pain occur quickly once the SS level in the diet is controlled. White line and hoof wall integrity take more time and depend heavily on mineral balance. As much exercise as possible works wonders.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Erica,

I've added mark-ups to Cupid's album:

Thanks for getting clean photos - makes it so much easier to see things. Compared to so many feet that we see, these have a number of positive things happening. There is only some minor flaring, most of which is being addressed so is growing out. It looks like the soles aren't being carved away (great), there has been some backing of the toes. Now you need to target the areas that are still problematic. Toes need to come back a lot more and heels are underrun - basically, the hoof capsules have squished down and forward. The goal is to get them to stand back up and under the horse so they can support the bony column properly. There is no concavity and the soles are likely thin so plan to mantain all sole depth.

LF lateral: Green line follows the angle of the new growth toward the ground and is parallel to the pastern angle. This is NOT a trim line, just a visual guideline. Orange line is where the heels should be located. It is also parallel to the pastern angle and to the green line. Blue area is where the toe needs to be shortened at ground level so that the breakover gets moved back significantly to where the bony column needs it to be.

LF sole plane: Yellow circle surrounds the split in central sulcus of the frog that has traveled up into the soft tissues of the heel bulbs. This looks like it is starting to close up - a good thing - but monitor it closely to make sure no infection sets up housekeeping in that area while it is closing up and growing out. This "butt crack" split is one symptom of underrun heels as when the heels run under, they drag the heel bulbs down and forward as well, which puts them into ground contact where they don't belong. As the heels are brought back under the horse, the split starts to heal up. Purple lines mark the angle of the heel bulbs while the lime line marks where they should be aligning - level and even across the back of the heel.

LF sole: Blue line is about where the perimeter of the hoof capsule should be. The blue hashed area is where the stretched laminar connections are = flaring wall. in the toe, remove much of this and add a bevel that starts at the blue line so the breakover is moved back to this point. Around the sides, bevel these damaged connections out of ground contact so that they aren't constantly being torn apart.Purple squares are here the heel buttresses are located now. Note that the lateral heel buttress is starting to roll under a bit (blue circle). Run the rasp across this area once to flatten it out a tad and increase it's weight bearing surface. Ramp the backs of the heels toward the heel bulbs along the orange lines. See here for a visual:,,,20,2,0,0

This is to help the heels start to stand up more while maintaining the current vertical height as there isn't any excess to spare. If you try to move the heels back now, you will lower them as a by-product and that will make the broken back HPA worse.

RF lateral: Same discussion as the LF.

RF sole plane: Yellow circle again surrounds the high split into the soft tissues. Lime line Is level so lateral side appears to be slightly higher. Need to check the collateral groove depth to see whether the lateral is high or the medial is low. If the medial is low, don't lower the lateral as that is where it should be. Rather, allow the medial to get taller so you don't create another problem by making the lateral side too low.

RF sole: Same as LF.

LH dorsal: Green lines follow angle of the better attached growth from above down to the ground. You can see that there are bevels at ground level already - now just be more aggressive with removing that flaring in the lower 1/3 of the wall. Pink lies follow some of the growth rings while the gold lines are level - note how the pink lines undulate and are lower on the medial side than the lateral one. The areas that are pushed up correspond to areas that are longer at ground level that those adjacent to them. The overall dipping of the lines show that the hoof capsule is somewhat higher on the lateral side (or lower on the medial side). Need to assess which is the actual problem.

LH lateral: Green line again follows the pastern angle  but is NOT a trim line - just a visual marker. Orange is where the heels should be. Blue area is where the toe needs to be brought back and beveled under. Purple line follows the coronary band - notice the slight arch to it and how it dips down at the heels. The coronary band is being dragged down and forward along with pull from the run under heels.

LH sole plane: Same as fronts.

LH sole:  Blue line is where the perimeter of the foot should be. Blue hashed areas need to be taken out of weight bearing and/or removed entirely. Purple squares are where the heel buttresses re now. Orange arrows show where they should eventually end up. Ramp back toward the heel bulbs along the orange lines. Note that the medial heel is run further forward than the lateral one. Lime hashes run along the leading edges of the bars, which can be lightly addressed to bring them inward as they are crumbling. Red outlines the heel bulbs - note how the lateral one is larger and further back than the medial one.

RH lateral: Same as LH.

RH sole plane: Again, note the high split into live tissues.

RH sole: Same as LH.

Lavinia and George Too
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
ECIR Support Team