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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a 31 year old Morgan that has been diagnosed with Cushings, diabetes, and insulin resistance. He's not supposed to get any sugar (molasses) or grain. He's lost a few molars but still eats alfalfa surprisingly well. I do think he needs some sort of senior or complete feed supplement, though. But they all seem to have the stuff in them that he's not supposed to eat. Any ideas? Thanks!
 

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It might help to list where you live (at least a state/region) as that will influence what feeds are available. Have you had your hay analyzed, and how much hay is fed daily? Building a safe diet is done around understanding the hay analysis.

Have you visited the ECIR Group and looked at their diet recommendations? This link will download a PDF document that has some recommended safe feeds on p.2: https://www.ecirhorse.com/assets/documents/ECIR-Group-DDTE-Safe-Feeds.pdf
 

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You are right to be wary of any bagged feeds on the market, and in your horse's case even ration balancers might not be the answer.

I have a seriously IR 24 yo TWH, that I am beginning to suspect early signs of cushings. He was diagnosed IR in 2012 and foundered pretty bad. He has been in IR remission since 2015.

1. Is your horse still a fairly easy keeper? If so, I feed HorseTech's condensed High Point vit/min supplement for grass fed horses.

https://horsetech.com/high-point-grass

A 35# pail lasts me at least 90 days feeding TWO horses. I've been feeding it for five years. I am very satisfied with the product, customer service is always excellent, and shipping has always been the same day if I call in the AM, and often early afternoon.

1.1. I would however, suggest calling HorseTechs's 800# and ask them if their vitamin /mineral supplement for horses on alfalfa would be better since you feed alfalfa:)

It comes in meal or pellet form. My vet favors meal over pellets. I use one cup of Timothy pellets and a bit of water as the carrier.

This product does NOT have added iron, soy is NOT the protein source, and NSC % is very low (cursor down to their guaranteed analysis).


1.2. You could probably find a good quality condensed supplement any place that sells bagged feed but it would be critical to read the label to be sure there is no added iron and that soy is NOT the protein source.

2. If keeping weight on him is an issue you could review Manna Pro's "Cool Calories" to see if it would be ok to feed him.

https://www.mannapro.com/products/equine/nutritional-supplements/start-finish-cool-calories-100
 

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I would look into the Sentinel feeds - they are pressure-cooked in order to be easily digestible by horses, which could help with his missing teeth. I was recommended them by a girl who has a IR, cushing's horse.
 

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High fat low nsc ingredients. Copra meal, rice bran, beet pulp, linseed, pumpkin seeds & other oilseeds...
O
Aten hay/chaff is generally high sugar so avoid, as are many other grasses/hay. If he's been diagnosed with this didn't the vet say anything about feeds?

Second suggestion for ecirhorse.org & feedxl.Com is a good resource that will also give you local options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great info, thanks. We live in Ventura County, Southern California. No, I have not had my hay analyzed but will do this week. He's a very hard keeper. He's getting free feed alfalfa (which I know I have to change) and Bermuda grass hay. My neighbor suggests orchard grass. He does surprisingly well with the hay considering his teeth. He also gets 4 scoops a day of soaked alfalfa/bermuda pellets and a low starch senior feed. So I have to do my research and pretty much change everything. I've just downloaded your suggestions and am about to go through them. Thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are right to be wary of any bagged feeds on the market, and in your horse's case even ration balancers might not be the answer.

I have a seriously IR 24 yo TWH, that I am beginning to suspect early signs of cushings. He was diagnosed IR in 2012 and foundered pretty bad. He has been in IR remission since 2015.

1. Is your horse still a fairly easy keeper? If so, I feed HorseTech's condensed High Point vit/min supplement for grass fed horses.

https://horsetech.com/high-point-grass

A 35# pail lasts me at least 90 days feeding TWO horses. I've been feeding it for five years. I am very satisfied with the product, customer service is always excellent, and shipping has always been the same day if I call in the AM, and often early afternoon.

1.1. I would however, suggest calling HorseTechs's 800# and ask them if their vitamin /mineral supplement for horses on alfalfa would be better since you feed alfalfa:)

It comes in meal or pellet form. My vet favors meal over pellets. I use one cup of Timothy pellets and a bit of water as the carrier.

This product does NOT have added iron, soy is NOT the protein source, and NSC % is very low (cursor down to their guaranteed analysis).


1.2. You could probably find a good quality condensed supplement any place that sells bagged feed but it would be critical to read the label to be sure there is no added iron and that soy is NOT the protein source.

2. If keeping weight on him is an issue you could review Manna Pro's "Cool Calories" to see if it would be ok to feed him.

https://www.mannapro.com/products/equine/nutritional-supplements/start-finish-cool-calories-100
He's actually a very hard keeper so the Manna Pro might really help. What is the problem with iron and soy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your great info and suggestions. My research is underway. I'm sure I'll have more questions, though!
 

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He's actually a very hard keeper so the Manna Pro might really help. What is the problem with iron and soy?
https://www.triplecrownfeed.com/horse-health/qa-from-a-consultant/

1. Cursor down to "How does soy affect my horse?". While it's all an I formative read, #3 is of particular interest.

Initially it was thought soy (which is the protein source of nearly every feed and ration balancer on the planet), would raise glucose levels in horse that already had metabolic issues. There isn't any research to back that up, it's mostly anecdotal from horse owners.

My other horse IS soy sensitive, and also grain sensitive. Both horses are easy keepers so I feed a Condensed vit/min supplement that uses alfalfa as the protein source and has no added iron.

2. Iron: too much iron will deplete copper:zinc. Copper:zinc are needed to stabilize insulin and also to maintain good hoof & coat health.

Unless a horse is diagnosed by a vet, via blood work, they don't need iron added to their diet. Iron naturally occurs in grass (therefore hay) and in other minerals:). It is sufficient to give the horse it's iron requirements.

3. While I, personally, am not a fan of beet pulp, that might be something else to consider as a fat additive IF your horse will eat it. I once tried the shredded/no molasses beet pulp ----- my neighbor was ecstatic to find that nearly full bag on her porch for her goats:):)
 

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He's actually a very hard keeper so the Manna Pro might really help. What is the problem with iron and soy?
"If you ask any veterinary pathologist they will tell you that finding black, iron loaded livers at necropsy is common in horses. The color comes from iron deposits called hemosiderin. This is so common it is considered “normal”. "
E Kellon. https://forageplustalk.co.uk/iron-overload-in-horses-by-dr-kellon/

Too high iron & liver damage from it can cause all manner of health issues.

It 'binds' zinc and copper, among other nutrients, effectively making the horse deficient in those 'ingredients'. It also disrupts other nutrients.

It can cause insulin resistance.

It can cause inflammation, and in turn, chronic inflammation can cause increased iron levels - so it's an important factor in laminitis.

Excess iron increases susceptability to bacterial infections.

Excess iron disrupts glucose & fat metabolism.
 
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