Thyrol-L

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Marsha Cassada

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Had Midnight at the vet today and he was on his usual crusade about being overweight. I weighed Midnight on the horse scale and she was 280. I know that is too much for her. I have been concerned about her cresty neck and odd areas of fat. The reason I took her was because of concern about raw areas on the vulva, likely urine scald. Well, one thing I did not know about fat is that it accumulates in that area and can cause scald--the stream of urine is not all directed away from the body properly. I get annoyed with this vet as, to me, he cannot see anything past fat. Midnight is about 33" tall and he thinks she should weigh 200#.
So we talked about diets (again) and he suggested Thyrol-L for her as a metabolic boost. He said she will need to live in a dry lot on weighed hay for the rest of her life. I told him that was impossible for me to do. If that was how she had to live, I would rehome her. I have a nice pasture for the hroses to run around in and I cannot watch a horse confined in a dirt lot day in and day out, year after year. For those who board, and this is the normal environment for their horses, that is fine. But it will not work for me. I told him I could not do it long term.
So, the gist is I will keep her on a dry lot and use the Thyro-L for a month.
So, my question is: has anyone ever used this product on his horse? I had never heard of it before. If there is a magic powder that makes an animal lose weight, then why isn't every owner of a fat horse using it?
 

Cayuse

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Thyro-L helps with weight loss but it's not a miracle. My vet uses it a lot for the tubby ones along with a diet. Did your vet check her insulin and leptin level? That would tell you exactly how concerned to be about the weight. 200 lbs seems low to me for a 33 inch mini but maybe I'm completely wrong on that.
 
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Taz

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I don't know about Thyro'L but I agree that 200lbs sounds low to me. My 28 incher was put at 250lbs by my vet, he is a bit chubby but I don't think 50lbs of it. What about a grazing muzzle?
 

Abby P

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In general "low thyroid" in horses is secondary to other metabolic issues and the only way to manage those issues is with diet. Supplementing and exercise might help a little bit but can't make up for what the horse is eating - no magic powders, unfortunately. The cresty neck and fat pads are a hallmark of insulin resistance which can cause laminitis/founder.

Another thought in addition to a grazing muzzle is a track system or "paddock paradise". Mindy Schroeder who posts on this group has a couple of posts over on her blog about her track system, it's a really nice setup: Tiny Pony Track. I've had one myself and been around a bunch of different ones and the horses seem to be happy in them.
 

Minimor

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I know some vets will prescribe thyrol-L for fat horses, but it is not something I would choose to use for that purpose. Thyrol-L is a thyroid medication used to treat an underactive thyroid. Most horses do not have hypothyroidism--if a horse tests low, it is pretty much always due to some other condition causing low thyroid levels. If you treat the thyroid, the underlying issue goes untreated. You want to treat the actual problem; once that is corrected, the thyroid levels will be normal. Does Thyrol-L have negative side effects in a horse that does not have hypothyroidism? I do not know--but I ask you this: if you were overweight, would you take thyroid medication if you were not hypothyroid but your doctor td you that it would make you lose weight? I think the answer is probably no, assuming you know how the drug works and what it's potential side effects are in a person who doesn't actually need the drug to correct a deficiency.
 

candycar

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I've used it on my Lexy, and Rock E used it at his previous home where he was always on pasture. It does help, but they get very hungry and some get a little hyper while taking it.
I agree that 200# is too light for 33 inches.

I would love to leave mine on pasture all day, but it's not possible since Lexy has foundered the mule would blow up, Rock E would roll and Jelly Bean would die from happiness. ;-)
 

Marsha Cassada

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Vet did said horses aren't generally hypothyroid.
Midnight came to me looking worse; we thought she might be in foal. She has filled out with muscle now and farrier said he isn't seeing any signs of laminitis in her hooves and she never seems tender footed. But, she is cresty and has fat in odd places, like around the udder.
I will try this for a month, keeping her on the bare lot as much as possible. If it works a little, we'll go on slowly from there. She ate all around the powder last night, leaving it on the bottom of the dish. But it was gone this morning. I may need to figure out a different way to deliver it, to make sure she is getting it. Any suggestions?
She has plenty of energy and stamina; I don't see any signs of any physical trouble. Now, if Dapper Dan would just quit bossing her around, she might be completely happy.
 
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Dragon Hill

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I'm with you Marsha, I can't keep a horse on dry lot 24/7 for the rest of it's life. I've been fortunate that, although I've had overweight horses, I've never had one scary fat until I got DJ. He wasn't fat when I got him (March), but the former owner said he wouldn't need hay in the paddock I put him in and by summer he did get scary fat in a half acre paddock of mostly weeds. He adapted to the muzzle quite well though. He wore it all the way to December, and I haven't put it back on him yet. Also, weight is just a general guideline. Muscle weighs much more than fat! So go by how she looks, use the weight to see if she going in the right direction. I'd bet her ideal weight with her being fit will be more than 200#, but maybe he thinks going below ideal will kill those fat pads.
Since the medicine is a powder, can you lightly sprinkle her feed with water so it will stick to it?
 
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Cayuse

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A tiny bit of oil in the feed might make it more sticky so she eats eats it, but then there's those pesky calories from it to consider. A teaspoon or so of applesauce might work, too. About her feet looking good, my welsh pony had great looking feet and he seriously foundered this winter. I don't say this to be negative or anything like that at all, just a cautionary tale because founder stinks :(.
 

Marsha Cassada

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A tiny bit of oil in the feed might make it more sticky so she eats eats it, but then there's those pesky calories from it to consider. A teaspoon or so of applesauce might work, too. About her feet looking good, my welsh pony had great looking feet and he seriously foundered this winter. I don't say this to be negative or anything like that at all, just a cautionary tale because founder stinks :(.
I am thinking of aloe vera. Mix the powder with it and use a little syringe. That way I'd make sure she is getting it, and I like aloe vera for her.
Sorry to hear about your pony.
I had a horse founder a few years ago. He got a rabies/tetanus shot and within a few weeks came down with severe skin issues. A few months later he foundered. He was perfectly fine before that vaccination; I have not vaccinated since. I don't know Midnight's early history, as she came from a sale. It would be interesting to know if her sire/dam IR had issues. That's one bad thing about buying sale horses.
 

Cayuse

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Thanks Marsha, it's been really hard. Sorry about the pony you had, too. I do not vaccinate much anymore either as I've had too many close calls with sick horses afterwards. When I get a new one they get vaccinated once and then that's it.
 

Willow Flats

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I feel for you Marsha!!! It's hard cutting back feed or keeping them in a dry lot.

Annie was overweight and had foundered with her previous owner before I got her. I do keep her in a dry lot, but she gets turned out every day (never without a muzzle.) Then I feed her hay 3× a day, but what has helped with her is exercise. My husband and my young friend drive her regularly so that has helped me be able to increase her hay and still maintain a good weight.

I don't recall Midnight looking overweight in any of the photos you have posted of her in the past! I'm not so sure if the vet's perspective of the desired weight for her is on target.
 

chandab

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Sorry, I have not read all the comments. While it might very well be a bit too much, 280# is not 80# overweight for a 33" mini. My 34" chunky mini mare is about 300# or a bit more, and honestly I haven't worried that much about her, as there are times when I can feel bone and other times she's is chunky (seems she is always in a chunky phase when I have time to get her on a scale).
Thyrol-l works along with managing diet; it'll probably take both to get the job done; but I doubt she needs to lose 80# to be at a healthier weight for her.
Also need to consider build when looking at weight; a slight build 33" mini is going to weight less than a heavier build mini. You'll want to look at the Henneke body scoring to see just where she lies on the "chubby scale". I can never seem to find the same link twice, and I keep forgetting to save the link, but here's one link: The Henneke Body Condition Scoring System - Habitat For Horses
 

Abby P

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I think the fat pads are the important readout really - a horse can get pretty darned skinny and still have a cresty neck and weird fat deposits, and still be metabolically very unhealthy. I have seen many badly foundered horses on which you could count every rib. So it's not about starving them until they get skinny enough or reaching a particular target weight - that won't work if what they do eat is still too high in sugars/starches. Once you get those fat pads down, then you can start playing around with what will work long-term. My IR Arab just stayed in his track during grass season. I gave him the option to be turned out with the others in the pasture with a muzzle on and he preferred to stay in his track and eat hay so that's what he did. Other horses would definitely choose the muzzle - run up to have it put on because they know it means out into the pasture. You'll find what works with your horses and your setup and it'll be OK. :)
 

Marsha Cassada

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Some pictures I took of Midnight this evening. Everything is a muddy mess right now, but the rain is slicking down her hair so she isn't fluffy; a better idea of her size.
I agree about the unhealthy fat pads; that is my concern with her.
The Thyro-L is "about 3/4 of the enclosed scoop". I took some measuring spoons out this evening and figured out it is a scant 1/2 tsp. I feel better about having an exact measuring device.
The corral I use for dry lot is slippery mud right now, so I'm not going to use it until it dries up. I have one other confining option I can use, so will try it tomorrow. I couldn't get her to pose well, as the two were so busy thinking of their supper and it was threatening a downpour any minute. mid 1.jpgmid 2.jpg
 

chandab

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It's hard to really judge from this angle (profile is a bit better); but she does not look 80# overweight; possibly/probably overweight, but not 80# worth.
I do not have weights, and Misty is a 38" mare; but she was FAT when I got her, I put her on a diet (I do have dry lots, as we have cattle fattening grass and coyotes, so the little horses on dry lot at night for safety), I made a picture collage of her progress at the time (like 12-14 years ago, now). She's had her up and down weights since then, currently in a down due to lower quality hay (weather has not been conducive to growing nice hay lately).
 

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Willow Flats

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Chandab -
I thought I was seeing an angel touching Misty in the first photo!! Maybe you blurred yourself out but it left a cool effect! 😊

Good example of her weight change.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I have had no experience with IR but it makes sense that the fat pads/cresty neck could still be there even with weight loss. Ever since I've had Midnight, there has been a niggling thought that something might be awry. She gets a hoof trim every 4 weeks, and I am thinking this has done a lot to avoid laminitis. I never feel any heat in her feet.
I have cut her grain in half (by "grain" I mean 1/4 c oat groats and 1/4 c boss.) In addition to this, she gets the ration balancer that fits in a half tsp (the recommended amount for her size/weight). So far she seems to be getting the Thyro-L. Some powder residue in the rubber tub, but I think she is getting most of it. I'm also giving a small amount of the crimped alfalfa (to balance the oat groats) and today I sprinkled the powder on that to see if she eats it better. I need to weigh/measure that alfalfa as it is difficult for me to be consistent with it.
I've been keeping both in the dry lot during the day. Trying to get her out for exercise frequently, but Life happens to interfere with that.
This is the best I can do at this time. I will try to become more stringent as I go along. It's been 2 weeks, so hopefully I can get her to the elevator scale to weigh soon.
 

Kelly

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I don’t know anything about Thyrol-L, but I’ll be honest with you, I don’t like fat ponies :p I like my ponies slim and trim.... mine are on a dry lot now until this spring lush grass is over. Here are the weights (had them each weighed on the vets scale) and heights of my ponies.....

Shadow 243 pounds, 35 inches
Stormy 146 pounds, 32 inches
Breezy 124 pounds, 30 inches
Thunder 118 pounds, 28 inches

I plan to take pics of them and post to your 2021 CLIPPINGS thread real soon!! 😍 They all get a weighed portion of ration balancer along with free choice (in a 1inch hay net) of coastal hay.

Good luck to you 🥰
 

Kelly

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PS. Breezy is a baby, he is a yearling...... & i think Shadow is too fat, we are working on that 😘
 

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