The Horse Forum

The Horse Forum (
-   Horse Nutrition (
-   -   34 yr. old pony diabetes (

Yankeespie 03-10-2011 08:49 AM

34 yr. old pony diabetes
Hi all...

I am new to this site and hoping I can get some info for my senior pony. I had the vet out yesterday to test the pony for cushings (not cheap let me add). Apparently diabetes can be associated with it, and or could be diabetes alone. While at the barn they tested his glucose level and it was 200, normal is 100. I won't get the full results until next week, but she said to get him on Beet Pulp. I've search the web for the how to's but haven't seen anything on how much to feed morning and night, luckily I read somewheres on here to soak it 45 mins.

My questions are ... How much to feed he's around 700 pds.
How much water do you add?
If there is excess water do you pour it off?

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated! So thank you in advance.


Left Hand Percherons 03-10-2011 09:45 PM

I sure hope she left you with more instructions than just that. Also, I've never heard it referred to as diabetes. Yes it is diabetes but you'll find better information under Insulin Resistance or Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS).

In replacing hay with BP, you susbtitue # for #. So if you're reducing his hay 3# than add 3# BP. For starters only mix up 1-2C dry BP (add 2x the water) and see how he likes it. Most horses need a little time to accept it so only mix up what he'll eat now and build it up. In cold weather, you can leave it until the next meal but as things start to warm up it will start to ferment in about 8-12 hours. If you go with the pellets (cheaper than shreds) it takes about 2 hours with cold water. You can speed it up to about 20 mins with hot water. It's easiest to just make the next meal when you feed the current one.

The advice to feed BP is based on the assumption that it will be lower in NSC than the hay it replaces. That's not necessarily true so it's best to test your hay so you know weither or not that even something you have to deal with. Warm season grasses (Bermuda, Bluestem) tend to be lower in sugars than cool season ones (fescue, timothy, orchardgrass...) Horses also need the longstem fiber of hays so don't eliminate them totally. Soaking the hay for 20 mins before you feed can drop the sugars 2-3% as well if they're boarderline. Hopefully she also advised you to eliminate all feed (including senior) and replace it with the BP and a ration balancer or the BP and just a loose mineral/vitamin.

Yankeespie 03-11-2011 07:23 AM

Thank you very much for your reply, yes you are correct she said Insulin Resistance. She didn't say much at all which I found unusual, but figured she would say more when she got the test results.

She did say stop feeding him the Sentinel Senior. And she did recommend the Beet Pulp. I didn't ask her how to do it figuring there would be instructions on the bag but there wasn't!!!

He doesn't eat hay at all... hasn't for 3 yrs. now. So the Insulin Resistance was probably my fault feeding him Sentinel *sad face*

Do you think just 2 cups morning and 2 cups evening will be enuff? When I hay the other horses and him years ago, I would feed until they left some hay, than I would know about how much to feed at each feeding. Should I use that same concept with the Beet Pulp?

What do you mean by ration balancer , and what mineral/vitamin would you recommend?

Again I really appreciate you response, you've been a great help!!!! Thank you so much!


Left Hand Percherons 03-11-2011 11:19 AM

If he's eating 10# of the senior per day, you will work up to 8-10# of BP to replace it. I would first contact Sentinel and request information on the NSC (non stuctured carbohydrate) content on the Senior and their LS formula (if it's a complete feed). They promote both as IR feeds so they need to back that up. He might be fine leaving him on the Senior. Start replacing 2 C per meal with the BP. One big advantage of incorporating it will be simply more volume. More volume will keep him eating for a longer period of time. You're not going to go cold turkey on the Senior. If you determine that the Senior is too high in NSC and want to eliminate it completly, you'll do that over a 2-3 week period. NSC value for BP (molasses free, very important) is around 11%. That's pretty much your target for the entire diet. I would recommend Kathy Watts' site to get great information on this topic. Read the relevant articles multiple times. The first time will confuse the heck out of you. Ration balancers are simply a concentrated source of protein, minerals and vitamins designed to be fed at a very low rate and contribute a very small amount of sugars to the overall diet. Most larger feed companies make them. Feeding him BP alone is akin to eating rice and nothing else. At 34 he needs a really good protein source as well as a vitamin/mineral blend as his digestive system is less efficient as it once was.

Alwaysbehind 03-11-2011 12:27 PM

Just want to point out something that Left Hand mentioned - Beet pulp can be bought with molasses and with out molasses. Be sure to buy the type with out added molasses.

Peggysue 03-11-2011 06:50 PM

WHOA you need to find him some hay cubes or pellets as well ... Beet Pulp is high in iron which if he is Cushings you are gonna have to watch those levels as well.. you can safely feed up to 45% of his diet in beet pulp.

Yankeespie 03-13-2011 10:19 AM

I want to thank you all for your responses!!

I find it very difficult to be able to read the responses on this site. I click here and there until I finally do something right and read it, and than when I get notified again there is a response I go threw it all over again not knowing what I did right the last time. So don't think I haven't been watching for replies for I have!!

Thank you left hand on the input about slowly breaking him in on the BP. Of course I took him right off the Senior completely and of course he is putting his nose up totally against the BP! And yes now I"m stressing over the fact he's not eating anything at all! So I'll be starting a new plan today! Thank you for the link to Kathy Watts site, I will be reading that today as well.

Thank you Always, for your reply. I did buy the BP molasses free.

Thank you PeggySue also, I also know nothing about Hay Cubes or the right Pellets to be feeding him!

All this is so over whelming to me! I've had my 2 horses and one pony 28 yrs. and I knew as they aged it would get more complicated as to their care, but all this is so foreign to me. Just mind boggling!

So again I truly appreciate this site and the infor you gals have given me thus far!

I am hoping when I hear from the Vet this coming week she will offer me in depth information on the how to's and wherefore's of this new challenge! Until than I will be working with the info you gals provided!

Thank you again, and any other ideas you might have will be welcomed!


Left Hand Percherons 03-13-2011 11:16 AM

I'll agree that incorporating hay pellets is the way to go. A straight BP diet is pretty bland and boring and you don't want simply getting food into them to become another problem. I'm assuming he has very few teeth left so eventhough cubes would be better he probably will have trouble even soaked with the BP. You can always try and if he can't eat them, just feed them like candy to the other horse. Standlee makes a comprehensive line of hay pellets. Stay away for the oat hay blends. The bermuda or alfalfa ones will be the lowest in NSC but again call the company if they don't list the information. Keep in mind, as you'll read in Kathy's articles, alfalfa will test out higher in NSC but alfalfa has a high pectin content that tests out like sugars but IR horses do use it efficiently. Do they know that #? What ever the combination you decide on, it's still 1# BP/hay pellets replacing 1# senior for starters. You'll tweek it as he gains or looses weight.

It is more work to feed a horse with special needs but once you figure out what he needs and what he'll eat, it's just part of your day and you'll get it down to a routine.

Yankeespie 03-13-2011 02:18 PM

Left Hand ... Thank you again! Surprisingly he has lost only one tooth, and that was pulled by my Equine Dentist. But he does have very poor teeth alignment/parrot mouth. When he stopped eating hay, the vet said that some horses do that, but I had noticed it was taking him longer to eat his grain, and was kinda crumbly in his dish. It appeared as tho it was just too hard for him to eat it. I'll get some hay pellets tomorrow and give that a go. He's still not touching the BP. I'll also check and see what they have for mineral supplements.

I've read quite a bit of Kathy Watts work and is extremely informative again thxs for the web site.

You are absolutely correct, once I get it figured out it'll be fine! Just unchartered waters to me right now!

Much appreciation,

Yankeespie 03-16-2011 07:08 AM

Received the test results and he has both Cushings and IR, she said the test results for both are extremely high. She said absolutely nothing but Beet Pulp and Tim. Hay cubes. And I have to either muzzle him or put him in a dirt pen for the rest of his days. She prescribed Pergolide for the cushings, and Metforin for IR. She'll retest him in 2 mos.

I am a strong believer in Quality of Life, so I'm not very keen on the muzzling or dirt pen idea. I've had him for 27 yrs. and he's had a VERY good life, he would not be happy being separated from his loved stable mates, so I'm leaning towards having him put down... :(

Thanks again for everyones help.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome