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Discussion Starter #1
Suzie has had the fatty deposits and a cresty neck since last fall. I let it go, thinking that other than cutting her grain back(which I did) she just need a lot more exercise. But the last trim the farrier pointed out that it looked like she'd had a mild found episode. She never appeared lame. And I don't know if it could have been stress instead of health. She had two injuries in a row this winter that led to 3months stall rest away from the herd. Execept for when she could see them from her little turn out field away from them, and when I was walking her. But I decided to go ahead and switch her to a feed that would be acceptable for an IR horse. My vet comes out this sunday. And I'll also of course discuss this with him. I'm not sure if he's ever delt with a horse with this problem however. And assume at least two or three people on here own IR horses. Or know something on the subject.


I was going to go with Safe Choice, Special Care

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein: 14.0%
Lysine: 0.80%
Methionine: 0.30%
Threonine: 0.50%
Crude Fat: 7.0%
Crude Fiber: (max.) 15.0%
Dietary Starch: (max.) 11.0%
Sugar: (max.) 4.0%
Calcium: 0.90 - 1.20%
Phosphorus: 0.70%
Copper: 50 ppm
Zinc: 160 ppm
Selenium: 0.60 ppm
Vitamin A: 3,000 IU/lb
Vitamin D: 350 IU/lb
Vitamin E: 100 IU/lb
Biotin: 0.45 mg/lb


Or Purina Strategy

Crude Protein (min.) 14.00%, Crude Fat (min.) 6.00%, Calcium (Ca) (min.) 1.00%, Phosphorus (P) (min.) 0.60%, Crude Fiber (max.) 12.50%, Calcium (Ca) (max.) 1.30%, Zinc (Zn) (min.) 280.00 ppm, Copper (Cu) (min.) 80.00 ppm, Selenium (Se) (min.) 0.60 ppm, Vitamin A (min.) 3,000.00 IU/lb.


Both of which sites I've looked up on google mention. The problem is some say yes, others say no ;) So would anyone out there know if either of these are acceptable? Why or why not? And if not, would it be better to just put her on plain oats, beet pulp, and maybe some type of grass pellet?
 

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My suggestion is to try to familiarize yourself with Non-Structrual Carbohydrates (NSCs), starch, sugar, and how they all pertain to a horse's diet.

See the asterisk on this page where Nutrena lists the starch and sugar in their Special Care feed? SafeChoice Special Care Horse Feed by Nutrena

The asterisk indicates that the NSC value is the starch and sugar values added together. This means that the NSC is about 15%... which isn't actually that low at all. Compare it to the NSC values that Triple Crown lists for its different feeds (I love how transparent Triple Crown is with its nutritional info -- no asterisks to hide the actual facts!!) Triple Crown Horse Feed Carbohydrate Values With Fixed Formulas | Triple Crown Nutrition

Since IR horses do better with the lowest NSCs possible, I don't think that Safe Choice Special Care is your best option. Look at how low some of the Triple Crown NSC values are in comparison (even their Senior Feed is lower NSC!). In your case, I think Triple Crown 30% or Triple Crown Lite would be the best option for your horse. Their NSC values are way lower (around 9%) and they both give you much more "bang for your buck". Pound for pound, the Triple Crown products are packed with far, far more vitamins and minerals, which means you have to feed less of them to achieve the optimal nutrition for your horse.

If we were feeding a 1000 lb horse based on the recommendations for each of these feeds, this is how much they would need to receive:

Safe Choice Special Care: 5-7.5 lbs
Triple Crown Lite: 2-4 lbs
Triple Crown 30%: 1-1.5 lbs

As you may have noticed, I'm a bit biased towards Triple Crown feed products (I've been very pleased with how my horses have done on them)... but they aren't the only feed company that has higher quality, lower NSC, and more nutritious feed.
 

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Oh boy! I don't know anything about your first feed. I would suggest you do a couple of things. First, actually call Purina Mills. Ask for a nutritionist. 800-227-8941 is their general number. I called them and discussed a similar situation with them and they are very happy to discuss your options.

Second, take a look at this product: Heiro. website I use this product for an IR horse. This is expensive, but it really does work! Again, call them and talk to their veterinarian. I think you will be impressed with their understanding of your situation, even if you don't buy their product. In fact, they will want to talk with you before suggesting you buy anything from them.

So, I have done what I recommend you do. What I have concluded is best for my IR horse is to feed low-carbohydrate hay (need to have it tested), Enrich Plus from Purina Mills and daily dose of Heiro. This has been very effective for our horse. But, you need to do your own research and do what you think is best.
 

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While I'm disappointed that they don't seem to provide any info on the actual NSC values in their feed, Enrich Plus looks pretty good overall! I like it much better than the Special Care. It's another that you only need to feed up to 2.5 lbs or so to achieve the correct nutrition level. Less feed overall is good. Here's why:

Special Care has 15% NSCs per pound, while the Triple Crown products have 9% per pound. For ease of comparison, let's just say that this equates to 15 g of sugar/starch per pound of the Special Care, and 9 g of sugar/starch per pound of Triple Crown (this isn't the actual scientific value, just a simplified way to think about it).

If you feed the recommended minimum of 5 lbs of Special Care, then your horse is getting 75 grams of sugar/starch. If you feed the maximum 4 lbs of Triple Crown Lite, your horse gets 36 grams of sugar/starch (less than half the amount of Special Care!). You could take it even further with the Triple Crown 30%. By giving your horse the maximum 1.5 lbs, she would only be receiving 13.5 grams of sugar/starch!
 

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I know you've probably heard about enough from me by now, but I wanted to add that if you'd like to stick with a Nutrena product, I would suggest Empower Balance. It's another feed that only needs to be given about 2 lbs. The NSC for Empower is about 14%... so if we use the same comparison in my last post, 28 grams of sugar/starch.
 

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Enrich Plus does list their NSC, but in the same way Nutrena does (broken out in to Starch and Sugars) and they're also inconsistent with themselves :? Purina Horse Feeds - NATURE'S ESSENTIALS In the larger box (under the Guaranteed Analysis tab) they list Starch max 10%, but in the list at the bottom they list Starch (max) 5%, Sugars (max) 10%. So the NSC is somewhere between 15-20%. Not great, but since it is fed in smaller amounts than Safe Choice Special Care, I'd still lean more towards that one.

I second Triple Crown products. My horse gets their 30% Supplement (1 lb daily) and does very well on it. I tried Nutrena Empower Balance for a while, and my horse liked it more (no guessing why... it smells much sweeter!) but I had to feed more of it to get the same nutrition (1.5 lbs) and I also had to add in a magnesium supplement, so it ended up being quite a bit more expensive overall.
 

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Was going to come on here and suggest Triple Crown. I see Eolith said it better than I could!
 

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Yup, the crestiness is a sign of IR. That of itself is commonly a cause of laminitis(founder), but yes, the stress of being cooped up could be a cause too. Good on the farrier for recognising & alerting you to the 'sub clinical' signs of laminitis!

You shouldn't be cutting down on grain, but cutting it all together. The reason for feeding grain(altho there are generally healthier alternatives anyway) is for extra energy/weight. Sounds like your horse already has way too much of that! Your horse needs a 'low carb', plain diet, with *appropriate* nutritional suppliments, especially Magnesium. I'd stick to plain, pref. native, grass hay & give a very small(like handful or 2) feed of copra meal or such, to mix supps in.

The reason I'd stay away from those feeds(& almost every other taylor made 'fast food') is I'd want NSC levels under 10%, I'd want low/no added Ca, and high Mg(not present in either of those at all). Have to say, I'm with the mob who don't think much of Purina, for one because they don't use fixed ingredients or give full analysis.

So, you do not want to feed grain at all. Due to it's high starch/sugars and difficulty to digest, it can be problematic, esp to already laminitis prone/IR horses. Beet pulp is high energy(& also high Ca), so I wouldn't be feeding much if any of that either. Whatever you decide, I'd look at feeding extra Mg & chromium too. Or use a supp such as Heiro, Remission or GrazeEzy
 

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A ration balancer and some timothy pellets and/or beet pulp. Add spoon or two of magnesium.
I don't think you can find Poulin grain that far south but they have several feeds where the NSC is under 7%.

I tried to let my fatty just have her ration balancer and hay but she acted like her throat had been cut so I found low starch things to fill her up a bit. You are going to have to fiddle a little to see what your horse does well on. The magic number seems to be keeping it at 10% or under for most horses.
 

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Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Group Inc.
Everything you need to know about diet, trim, grazing, testing, everything.
My IR horse couldn't even handle a ration balancer, still too high in ESC and starch. He's now, until new hay comes in and can get tested, on the emergency diet, with soaked timothy pellets, 10g extra magnesium, California Trace minerals, extra vit E and flaxseed. The hay is fed in slowfeeder nets, he's never out, and he's lost a good 150lbs and trots and canters on hard packed dirt without a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Suzie is very very upset with the switch.... And due to switching her slowly its not even fully the new stuff =/ My vet will be out anyways Saturday and I plan on talking to him and seeing if what I've decided to do is ok. Supplements are a no with this girl. She won't take them. Won't touch anything that has anything added. I don't know how she knows, and she WILL eat a hoof supplement I give in winter. If its offered by hand and I haven't tried to "hide" it in something else. They have a mineral block, and get loose mineral salt as well, that she won't touch *rolls eyes* I would do what I do for pills. Make oatmeal, crush the pills up and heap brown sugar in, mix and give to her. But I don't think getting a supplement into her that way is a good choice. Everyday getting that much sugar =/ The TC Lite has a lot of vite. And if she will eat it may be my best option for now. My plan is to get the weight off, and her switched to this. And I'm still going to try and turn her out this summer on the range field. And just watch her, if she starts gaining weight or some other symptom shows up I'll bring her home. But shes going to be alone here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm hoping catching this early, as her founder was so mild that again. She was never lame. And she's only had the cresty neck since last summer. And the rest of the deposits and weight came this fall and winter. That if I get her cut back, in shape. And watch her like a hawk, she can still live the life she has been. Failing that I will have to then start her switching over to dealing with what she will have to. Supplements and whatever the vet thinks she should be on. And being home during spring and summer by herself if need be.
 

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If you are planning to only feed one pound, you should be feeding Triple Crown 30%. Otherwise she's only getting about half of the daily vitamins that she needs. Soaked unmolassed beet pulp is pretty low sugar and many horses like it, so you may be able to mix that with new supplements/feed. Soaked beet pulp is the key to getting just about any supplement into my horses. It doesn't take much at all either. My easy keepers literally only get about one handful soaked and mixed with their powdered supplements, and they slurp it right up.
 

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Suzie is very very upset with the switch....
I liken switching to a healthy alternative from junk food just like a kid who's allowed to eat Coco Pops every day suddenly only being offered All Bran :lol:

Supplements are a no with this girl. She won't take them. Won't touch anything that has anything added. I don't know how she knows,
Um, I'm guessing smell & taste is how she knows.:lol: You can get more or less palatable supps - eg. I choose to feed mine a 'ration balancer' pellet because it's palatable & I don't want to give them a big feed that I can mix less palatable stuff with. Obviously your 'hoof supp' is palatable(why does she only get in winter??) Mg is also a supp they often don't like(bitter taste, surprises me that some horses seem to enjoy it), but mixed with a handful of copra meal, I find just about anything will go down(& I have one very fussy boy).

They have a mineral block, and get loose mineral salt as well, that she won't touch
Yeah, they don't get much at all from a mineral block, even if they licked for hours a day, so sounds like she's getting nothing as far as extra nutrients, which could well be a bigger prob than too many calories/carbs. It's been found that if mins such as Mg for eg. are adequate, horses don't suffer from IR & laminitis, even if they are fat.

Supplements and whatever the vet thinks she should be on
Unless your vet has also studied equine nutrition, he may not know much about the subject. I suggest you do your own homework & also consult a nutritionist(not one that works for a feed co tho), rather than a vet, unless he is one too. gravelproofhoof.org is another site you can learn more from re nutrition as it relates to soundness.

Re 'low grade' or 'sub clinical' or 'mild' laminitis/founder, it generally starts like that, goes unrecognised, until it progresses to lameness. It is also so common for people not to even recognise distorted hoof capsules, so it can even be chronic with major mechanical changes, even to the level of bone degeneration, before lameness becomes obvious & laminitis is diagnosed! It is uncommon for a horse to 'suddenly, out of the blue' develop acute laminitis/founder, but because owners(& many farriers, even some vets still) don't recognise the 'early warning signs', they ignore it until it 'suddenly' becomes a serious issue. If only everyone, like your farrier, noticed & took preventative action at the early signs, I believe the vast majority of 'real' laminitis/founder cases would not exist.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Shes still on 3 pounds of the new feed. Perhaps a better choice is just keeping her there? They get get NO feed of any kind during the summer. Other than if something seems to be missing when I check on them(3-4 times a week) or if they are are chewing wood/eating wierd things. I add a ration balancer just for the vitamins. I have tried everything supplement wise because once I saw she wouldn't eat them I was curious. So far the only one she will touch is the one hoof one, and I've tried some that look/smell kinda the same. I do have to say I love my farrier. He has no issue pointing out any problem he sees, even if it doesn't involve the feet. He's pointed out things I've missed a few times. And ALWAYS see's things I've already found, but not not him about. He seems to care about my fellows as much as I do. And he's brought their feet along wonderfully from where they were! I did notice something today though. All my horses are eating dung =/ The new horse was doing this, and it seems mine have picked it up. (all but the blind pony but then he couldn't have seen her doing it.) I was going to go and pick up a vita. Supplement just in case something was going on. Should I be doing something else instead of that. And suggestions on which vita supp?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Also! Whats anyone thing about adding maybe a cup of the min salt to her water(she comes in to eat her special food) To assure shes getting some of them
 
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