Diet examples for non-IR/PPID laminitis recovery?


Alysoun Mahoney
 

Hi everyone! 

My 13 yo OTTB gelding, adopted in 2016, was diagnosed with laminitis/founder on June 7, 2022. Vet had me switch him from 1.5 lb Alam/day + free choice grass hay and pasture access, to 1 lb Purina Enrich Ration Balancer + 5 flakes low-quality hay and barn confinement/no pasture access. His bloodwork all came back in normal range, no IR, no PPID -- but vet wants me to manage his lifestyle as though he has IR, which is sounding awfully grim!

I plan to talk with the vet again next week re diet and lifestyle modifications for the long term -- and would love to hear how others in similar situations are managing your horses' diet and lifestyle after a laminitis episode.

I moved to this farm in January 2021 and invested approx $150,000 in infrastructure for my horses -- all of whom have been pasture companions and are not ridden. I have 10 acres of grassy pasture with all new four-board fencing divided into a ~1-acre paddock with shelter, waterer, and slow hay feeder; plus two larger pasture sections each about 4.5 acres with separate run-in sheds. The barn is four stalls each with an auto waterer, and an aisle equivalent to three stalls in size. Feeds I have on hand in my barn are Alam, ProElite Senior, Purina Senior, Purina Ration Balancer, oats, beet pulp, and alfalfa pellets. Much of the feed was for my other OTTB who was euthanized last week at age 24 due to chronic liver failure. 

My other surviving horse is a ~15 yo mare of unknown origin, also a rescue, who has been very low-maintenance during the eight years I have had her. She was actually the one I thought would be at risk of founder if anyone was -- but so far she has had no health issues on a diet of ~0.5 lb alam/day with unlimited pasture access.

Thank you for sharing any relevant examples of what you do!

--
Alysoun M in PA 2022
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alysoun%20and%20Charlie
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=275965 


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Alysoun,

A good feed program for any horse should start with quality hay that's tested and balanced.  To that you can add a carrier to get the minerals into them.  We generally recommend rinsed/soaked/rinsed beet pulp as this eliminates extra iron and impurities from the beet pulp.  For horses that are not in work they don't usually need any extra hard feed although plenty of people do give them grain, even in small amounts.  

IME Purina has an excellent marketing program but their feeds leave a lot to be desired.  The Equine Senior is very high in starch and has added iron so I wouldn't personally feed it to anything.  The balancer may or may not balance anything but without getting your hay tested you won't know if it's actually providing anything you need.  The Alam is a decent all purpose feed but is high in starch so as a rule we don't recommend it for the horses on this group. The ProElite has less added iron and less sugar and starch than the Purina which puts it in the 'can't really hurt anything' category for me; but again - you want to start with a hay analysis and build your feeding program around that.  




Lorna Cane
 

Hi Alysoun,

You said , "Feeds I have on hand in my barn are Alam, ProElite Senior, Purina Senior, Purina Ration Balancer, oats, beet pulp, and alfalfa pellets. "

If this were me I would  find a new home for all of the above except the beet pulp and alfalfa pellets.Beet pulp is a great carrier for minerals. Alfalfa pellets can be used sparingly as a stand-by bribe.

I don't know the weight of your 5 flakes of hay(we think of weight when talking feed)but agree with what others have advised wrt your hay.

So sorry to hear about your recent loss. Very tough.

Your setup sounds wonderful.
--
Lorna in Eastern Ontario
2002


 

To reiterate: Charlie's problem is not endocrine-related laminitis, as confirmed by Dr Kellon. https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/message/279330   Charlie's latest labs confirm that:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alysoun%20and%20Charlie/Blood%20work%20results/Charlie%20ACTH%20and%20Insulin%2017%20June%202022.pdf 

Charlie needs an optimal diet to supply the optimal nutrients to grow good hooves. As Sherry said, to have an optimal diet, he needs an analyzed, high quality hay with supplemental vitamins and with minerals balanced specifically to that analyzed hay. All of your horses would benefit from the same diet. Here's a glimpse at what is involved: https://forageplustalk.co.uk/feeding-horse-hoof-health-dr-kellon/  Remember, the low carb diet restrictions that apply to our metabolic horses don't apply to Charlie. 

Step #1 is to locate high quality hay and have it analyzed at Equi-Analytical. Confirm how to sample the hay and which test to buy with your hay balancer from Step#2.  Step #2 is to contact one of the trained hay balancers to have the diet balanced. Here is the list: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/files/6%20Diet%20Balancing/HAY%20BALANCING-1.pdf  

Until you go through those steps, no can really advise the best "grain" to use because of this information void. 
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
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Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

And just to reiterate, the hoof problem is not laminitis in the sense that it originates with a primary disease of the laminae. The general hoof quality is also very poor.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Alysoun Mahoney
 

Thank you. I have never had hay analyzed before, and am still confused about how to account for the hay quality not being consistent from one delivery and one bale to the next. My deliveries have been coming from the same farm, but from many different fields on that farm. 
--
Alysoun M in PA 2022
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alysoun%20and%20Charlie
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=275965 


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

First, you can ask the farmer if all the hay is from the same cutting and same field. He will likely be able to do that for you. Even if not, sample at least 20 bales from a 50 bale delivery, combine and send for analysis. Hays from different cuttings are likely to be obviously different visually so be sure to sample proportionate to that.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


 

Alysoun, if you purchase a larger quantity, might your supplier be willing to store it for you until you have room for it?  That sort of happens at my barn.  I have room for the hay but my supplier has not been able to deliver the amount I usually purchase (for a year) at once.  In his case, he doesn’t charge me until after he delivers but I would be perfectly happy to pay in advance if he wished.
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
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Alysoun Mahoney
 

How urgent is it for me to test my hay? I have approx 15 bales from one delivery two weeks ago, and 10 bales from a delivery today, that are indeed different visually. Do I need to run out to Tractor Supply asap to buy tools to collect a sample of that for testing? Or wait until my next order in another two weeks? I get deliveries not directly from a farm, but from a MD-based company called The Mill of Bel Air which buys from a single large farm, and they can do testing for me upon request.
--
Alysoun M in PA 2022
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alysoun%20and%20Charlie
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=275965 


Lorna Cane
 

Alysoun, if I understand you,the people who provide the hay will test it for you? ( the test you choose is crucial,and info is in your Welcome message)
I would take them up on that, providing the test is appropriate. But further,I would  ask if they have a number of test results in their files, from fields from which your hay comes.Since you can only test a few bales at a time(do we know the weight of those bales?), seeing a number of test results would give a general idea of how much difference there is from test to test.
I hope I'm making sense.

--
Lorna in Eastern Ontario
2002


Alysoun Mahoney
 

Given this assessment, is there a reason to even continue keeping Charlie off grass, except for limiting his movement to allow his laminae to heal? In past years, I used very little hay from April thru October, and my horses got most of their forage from my own pasture grass.
--
Alysoun M in PA 2022
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alysoun%20and%20Charlie
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=275965 


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Alysoun,

No, there is no reason to keep him off grass other than you need to limit his movement until his trim is in better order.  Is there a reason you can't store hay in the 2 empty stalls in your barn as well as in whatever storage area you have as well?  We can usually squeeze about 50 square bales into a 12x12 stall when we're filling up on hay in the summer.




Caroline
 

One thought, I have a client who's TB also tests normal but is very sensitive to stressed grass and gets footy and looks laminitic if the grass gets too short.  Free choice long grass is no problem - he isn't overweight - but a typical overgrazed paddock makes him ill.
--
Caroline
Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK
September 2019
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Caroline%20and%20Evan
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=231916


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

The only problem with pasture is that until you get his diet and trim fixed his feet will continue to crack, chip, flare and he will likely be more lame the more he moves around. You are going to need a pasture analysis.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001