GI support for stall-bound post-acute laminitic


Hi group,

My gelding is stabilized after an acute hyperinsulinemic episode third week of Feb (latest blood insulin is 18uU/ml).  I tried 15 mins of turnout yesterday — small paddock, in Clouds, just walking — and he’s sore today.  So, def not ready for movement.  

He’s on Phyto-Quench pelleted (1sc 1x/day) and Hemp Joint (2sc 1x/day).  Off NSAIDs several weeks.  Has been on 1/4 tube Gastro-Gard daily since Feb but I’d like to take him off, as he’s handling being stalled well (has a 12x12 walkout & can see his friends close by at all times).  In the past, however, this horse has been a nutcase (rescued Saddlebred, handled roughly) that has literally tried to climb out of stalls, incl once at Cornell, to everyone’s horror).  Anyway, although he is calm at present, the likely long-term stallbound outlook and not-distant history of hysteria lends me to want to add GI support.  I have Absorb-All and GUT on hand for another horse, if either are appropriate.  If another supp is better, please let me know.  He’s on 100% soaked hay still and on 10g Mag carbonate daily, which may be helping with peace of mind.

Many thanks,
Kerry in NY
sept 2014
Pinky — PPID/IR
Tofurky — IR

Sherry Morse

Hi Kerry,

As I recall you said his trim had gotten out of balance prior to his February episode, so a few questions for you WRT that -

  • has he had any sort of corrective trim since his laminitic event?
  • is he sound in the clouds in his stall/run area?
  • how much moving does he normally do in that area?
  • was he walking the entire 15 minutes he was out?
  • was he sore in his feet or all over (if you could tell)?
  • is the paddock a dry lot or is there grass in it?
For gastric support I think the GUT is considered the better option but you can use both products together if needed. 


Hi!  Thx for the quick reply, much appreciated.  Ill try to answer in chrono order:

Yes, he’s been trimmed lightly several times in past few weeks & has gone down a size in Clouds (to a 3).  He has been comfortable after most recent trims (initially he was not).  Ive been trimming all of mine for 12+ years and got my mare through IR.  Ive studied Ramey et al, and learned to do glue-ons by Daisy Bicking (on this gelding, actually).  All eight of mine are barefoot at present (usually only do adjunct hoofwear for heavy competing or therapeutic needs; none of whom need it now).  This gelding is still in Clouds 24/7 and not ready for glue-ons or casts yet, as I frequently rasp as his pain comfort allows.  I do not have rads yet but Im comfortable with trim at this point without.  The soreness manifesting today does not correlate with a trim (last rasped five days ago).  The only variable was turnout off leadline yesterday.

Yes, he is very comfortable in Clouds (fronts) in his stall and has been for several days/becoming weeks now.

In his stall, he is not unduly distressed (meaning, no jumping around) and calmly walks in & out of threshold of his walk-out, several times per day.  Overall, normal behavior (remarkably calm for him).  No indication of soreness in stall.  

Yesterday he was active for the full 15 mins of turnout (meaning, walked and “explored” in flat paddock with good footing, in Clouds).  The preceding days I had handwalked multiple times per day for up to 15 mins, hence why I thought he was ready for turnout without me on the line with him.

He is sore in his feet, typical rocking back, esp to turn.  This horse is very expressive (aka, not stoic) so its relatively easy to “read” him.   The rest of his body is soft.  He rolls, lays down to rest, rests hind feet, etc.  Today he’s less energetic to walk out, and he’s a very exuberant, forward Saddlebred, so its easy to gauge any degree of reluctance to move out deviating from his “normal”.

Definitely no grass — he’s 100% tightly controlled.  Ive been down this road before with my older mare so definitely would not let him graze or access to other triggers.  He was in a drylot with a full muzzle for his turnout.  For some reason it was just a little too much for his hooves, so we’re back in the stall for a few days.

Thank you for advice on GI supps.  Ill add GUT tomorrow.  Many thanks!!

Kerry in NY
sept 2014

Sherry Morse

Hi Kerry,

If you've been down this road before you know how it can literally be 2 steps forward, 1 back.  I think I'd see how he is over the next few days and if becomes more comfortable see if you can increase the hand walking back up to 15 minutes without him getting sore prior to trying him loose again.  Then I'd try him loose for less time than you've been walking and see how that goes.  There's always a chance that he has an abscess starting to mobilize and it was just a coincidence on timing but that's a guess without seeing how he is going forward.


what type of pad do you have inside the clouds? Are you using the wedge pads? 

The reason I ask about the pads is because what I experienced with my deceased IR horse. He did really good in the Clouds (wedge pads) and I had a knowledgeable trimmer working on him frequently. Then he became tender again. Everything was controlled, no changes made. I noticed that his toes appeared to be "wearing" or rubbing front the front of the boot. I bought pads for him (same material) but non-wedge shaped. He improved again, toe soreness disappeared and he was able to progress to no boots except for easy boots with thin pads as he progressed into more walking then finally riding. I believe the raising of his heels by the wedge pad  eventually caused discomfort. Food for thought? 
Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Group Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

Mouse Case History, Photo Album Deceased

Heidi Wright

Bonnie, I have had the same experience you described with the pad shape.  And despite my efforts to follow Peter Ramey’s advice, which I believe in completely, he also says the horse is the ultimate judge, which Ida Hammer has also reminded me of.  And my foundered horse prefers a trim with a bit longer hoof walls than you would think are ideal. The X-rays say I should bring his toe back a bit more,  and relieve his wedge, but he is most comfortable when I let his hoof walls be a bit longer.  The experts I have learned from, including Jeannean Mecuri, Christina Krueger, Ida Hammer, have said the horse is the ultimate teacher and judge on what works.  So maybe a flat pad is worth trying.

Heidi Wright
joined Aug 15, 2018
5130 State Route 38
Malta, IL  60150