Confused about feeding iodized salt


trails4jd@...
 

Porter isn't technically IR but his blood sugar level was 31.44 and  the vet  wanted him pulled off grass.  I started making some other changes in his feed based on what I've read here.  One change was to start feeding the white salt block instead of a trace mineral block and giving him a tablespoon or more of iodized salt with his supplements.  He's getting 16 mg daily per the lable on Horse Guard vitamins (https://horseguard.com/products/horse-guard). This seems well over the amount I'm seeing as being recommended.  I also read somewhere not to feed iodized salt to horses.  So, is the iodized recommended just for emergencies?  Good news:  He's lost a fair amount of weight including is neck.  He's just a little over 800 pounds now (14 hands).   In summary, should I be feeding iodized  salt and is the amount of iodine in his vitamins too high?  Thank you!
--
Julie D OR 2021

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Julie%20and%20Porter


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Julie,

You'll be getting a full welcome message shortly but from your description of Porter (cresty neck and overweight) it sounds like he is IR and you definitely are going to be better off treating him as such.  That would include stopping the alfalfa hay (if he's still getting it) and balancing your hay so he's getting the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals he needs.

Since Horse Guard has added iron, it would not be my first choice for an IR horse.  The large amount of iodine also would make it a no go for me.  (For Porter's weight he should be getting about 5mg a day).




 

Welcome to the group Julie!

As a new member we are providing you with the detailed informational document below. It is basicly a guide for how to use this site, understanding your horse's diet needs, what blood testing is needed, etc. We ask that you read the document and follow the links (words in BLUE) to the detailed sections. My advise is to begin with our website as this is a condensed explanation of Cushings, EMS and Insulin Resistance. The website will give you some condensed information, which is a good place to start.

Below you will find the information grouped into sections. Each of these sections have blue links which will lead you to more information.

We request that all members who have an equine with health issues (EMS,PPID, IR) create a case history document for that animal. Details about diet, test, laminitis, etc, are needed to be able to offer safe advise by our experienced moderators.

Diet is VERY important for possible IR horses. You do want blood sugar to ideally be in the low range. Be sure to review the ingredients of ALL supplements being fed. I noticed that the first ingredient listed in Horse Guard is Corn Flour, 2nd is Wheat Meal Run. These are the carriers for the other ingredients and not ideal.

Iodine is a trace mineral and how much is too much or too little is hard to pin down. For adult equines the body seems to be able to balance low iodine and high iodine in the diet. For young horses goiter may be a risk but to my knowledge it is pretty rare.

You can use our search tools to find more information. Look for "Search" boxes at the top of each page. You can search within our messages and you can also search in our "Files" section, see column on the left side of this main page. For "How-To" help please use our "WIKI" page.

One more tip, when creating your horse's case history I found it helped me to print the blank document and pencil in my horse's info as I located test results, etc. Then I sat down typed the info into the document that I would upload.

Welcome to ECIR

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. 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. 

 

--
Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Group Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

Mouse Case History, Photo Album Deceased


 

Welcome Julie!

You should be confused because the company that makes this supplement puts up an analysis of what's in a POUND and then tells you to feed 2 ounces! My first thought was, "Good heavens, why would a supplement have 700 mg of manganese per day and only 160 mg of zinc?" Then I saw (in italics) per pound. Well, no wonder! Divide everything by 16 and you'll see what you really get which is a whole lot of nothing. But wait - there's more!

Somebody check my math, but take their listing for zinc for example at 0.35% (3500 ppm). That 's 3500 milligrams (3.5 grams) of zinc per kilogram or 1,590 milligrams per pound, not 160 mg per pound. So, somebody has their decimal point in the wrong place and that seems to be true for just about everything on that table. So who really knows what's in it? But hey - you can get a nice hat for $15. 

Just unloading one of my major pet peeves with poor labeling of supplements.
--

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)

Director and Research Advisor, ECIR Group Inc.

Missouri, USA, 2005

https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=3-I7UI0AAAAJ 

 


Starshine Ranch
 

Hi Sherry,
Now I'm confused about the iodized salt... didn't really see an answer to her question about it.  I asked about sea salt and was told by this group to feed iodized.  Is that right?  My horses will only tolerate a generous tablespoon of it... is that ok?

--
Linda in CA  2020  Midnight and Ostara
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Linda%20Midnight%20OStara


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Hi Linda,

Julie's horse is actually getting 2mg a day from that supplement.  That is a bit low so adding iodized salt will help.  There is about 1.3 mg iodine per oz of iodized salt.  1 Tbsp is about 0.6 oz, or about 0.78 mg iodine.  If the only source of iodine your horse is getting is iodized salt, you might want to add more via kelp or a supplement.   4-6mg iodine/day for a ~1000 lb horse is what we aim for (the toxic upper limit is around 40-50 mg/day).  Iodized salt might not be a reliable source of iodine either because the iodine is easily vapourized, so it needs to be stored in an air tight container.   If it's sitting out free choice the iodine content likely decreases over time.

A generous Tbsp is usually ok to satisfy electrolyte needs at maintenance for most horses, but it depends on how much sodium and chlorine are in the hay, and on how much they sweat.  I feed about 1 Tbsp on non-exercise days, based on my hay analysis, and then leave out some free choice.

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


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Since the NRC raised the minimum iodine requirement, it would take about 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) to meet iodine requirements so you are better off feeding iodine in your mineral mix.  In warm weather the average size horse should get at least 4 tablespoons of salt (iodized or not).  You can sprinkle it on wet hay.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Hi Julie, an insulin of 31 uIU/ml is consistent with an IR/EMS horse, especially with the physical signs you describe, but whether he was fasted and/or fed Karo syrup or had a grain meal before testing could affect the insulin, so we need to know the conditions of his testing.  If you could include those details in your Case History that would be most helpful.  Was he on pasture when he was tested, or is that result after you pulled him off pasture and had him on your low sugar hay?

If you are feeding the recommended 2 oz serving of Horse Guard, Porter is getting 2 mg iodine/day from it (I'm sure you are not feeding 1 lb a day, that would be toxic).  As Sherry mentioned, having minerals balanced to your hay would be best.  Your hay is high in iron, so a mineral supplement that does not have added iron would be a good start.

The Abler 6 has really high starch (30%) and lists rice bran (a no-no for IR horses) as an ingredient.  We recommend no more than 10% starch and sugar combined.  I would stop feeding it, too.  It also has alfalfa, which can affect some IR horses.  There are other,  safer options for mineral carriers in our safe feeds list. 

I'm glad you were able to get Porter's weight down, that helps, too!

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


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Minimum salt/sodium requirements

1 Tbsp salt = 15 – 16 grams of salt = 6 – 6.4 g of sodium

Maintenance sodium requirements:

400 kg horse (880 lbs) - cold weather - 8 g sodium/day

400 kg horse (880 lbs) – hot weather, no exercise – 16 g sodium/day

500 kg horse (1100 lbs) – cold weather – 10 g sodium/day

500 kg horse (1100 lbs) – hot weather, no exercise – 20 g sodium/day

--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

If you assume the 160 mg/lb is correct and work backwards from that it's 160 mg/453592 mg = 0.035% (label is 0.035%, not 0.35%). Agree it's confusing! By regulation, they are supposed to be listing as ppm for trace minerals and % for major minerals. Amount in g or mg per dose is not required but is customer friendly.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Starshine Ranch
 

Thank you Kirsten and Dr K... My orchard grass tested 2.8 g/lb of sodium and they eat 20+ lbs/day 
I feed 3 oz of the CA Trace so that equals over 5 mg of iodine
I guess if I add a Tbsp of Iodized salt, that should do it?
--
Linda in CA  2020  Midnight and Ostara
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Linda%20Midnight%20OStara


trails4jd@...
 

OMG.  I didn't notice the "per pound"!

--
Julie D OR 2021

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Julie%20and%20Porter


trails4jd@...
 
Edited

If he needs more (hot day, long ride) than the 1+ tablespoon I'm giving him with his supplements (in the evening) won't he lick what he needs off the salt block? 
--
Julie D OR 2021

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Julie%20and%20Porter


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Julie,

Most horses will not lick a block enough to get the salt they need.  If you think he needs more than the usual amount you can put it in the feed or sprinkle it on wet hay.




Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

That's unusual to say the least, unless maybe the farmer used salt as a preservative. Could you post the whole analysis?
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Starshine Ranch
 

Okay... it's uploaded... there is a second test that was attached but it is the HV20 Orchard test... first one.
--
Linda in CA  2020  Midnight and Ostara
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Linda%20Midnight%20OStara


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Linda,

I believe your issue is that you're looking in the wrong column.  You should be looking at the % column not g/lb. 

This may help:




Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Linda,

That sodium has to be on the hay rather than in it but it doesn't matter when it comes to balancing. You don't need to add any salt.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

The g/lb column is fine. You just multiply that by lbs fed.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Starshine Ranch
 

Thank you again, Dr K... my horses will be happy to not get added salt... they prefer to use their salt block and enjoy their "lunch" supplements without the added salt.  (-:
--
Linda in CA  2020  Midnight and Ostara
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Linda%20Midnight%20OStara