Thyrol-L

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chandab

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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 🥰
How did you arrive at those weights? All seem light for the heights attached, even for in shape.
My 37" gelding was weighed a lot due to Cushings (he's gone now), and he was down right emaciated at 325#, just right at 350# and fat at 375#. My 31" stallion is not fat and he's 175# give or take 5#; he's also not in condition, so does have a bit of a belly (do need to get new weight on him, once I get the scale fixed and calibrated).
 

MindySchroder

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Zorro is 40" tall and weighs 338 pounds right now which is 38 pounds overweight. He weighed a nice 300 pounds last summer and was in beautiful shape. I think we see overweight ponies and minis so often they start to look normal. But what we should be doing is feeling them. If they have fat pads and cresty necks that is not healthy weight to carry and is the precursor to becoming metabolic. If you can press lightly and feel the front ribs, then run your hand down their side toward the flank and not have to press to feel the hind ribs that is ideal weight. For ponies this is difficult to achieve but entirely possible when weighing and measuring feed and exercising them.

Unfortunately many ponies simply can not live on grass 24/7. I do have a lovely little horse track that my ponies live on and I stash food all over the place to encourage foraging and movement. Their water is on the opposite side of the track from where I feed them. I feed low sugar low starch hay in slow feed nets. They get to graze on the grass for short periods most every day in the summer but I limit how much in the spring and fall. Once you have a pony founder, or become metabolic this becomes the #1 priority to prevent this from happening ever again. I have lost 2 ponies to Insulin Resistance because I was convinced they would be alright on limited grass. They were not. My last mini was 6 years old when her liver failed, she crashed and I had to put her down. This after struggling with laminitis and full on founder and elevated blood sugar numbers for two years. Poor mare. So young. It was horrible.

Two years ago I took Sky and Zorro to the vet to have a baseline blood test drawn so I could monitor for metabolic issues only to find they both had highly elevated liver enzymes, the precursor to liver failure, due to them being 100 pounds overweight. So I had to get super serious about how I was feeding them.

Do keep in mind that BOSS is high in Omega 6s which is the inflammatory fats. And there would be no reason to have her on that supplement if she is currently cresty necked and has fat pockets. There are better ways to get a nice shine on them. You may find that it really helps to take her off that.

Good luck with your balancing act! Managing ponies is one of the most difficult things!
 

Cayuse

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About weighing the alfalfa hay, can you get a bucket and figure out how much her portion weighs minus the bucket weight and mark the bucket. That way you don't have to weigh every single portion. Just fill and feed. Weigh it once in awhile just to make sure new hay is the same weight / volume.
Both my minis are on a dry lot, they can't have much grass. There is just enough grass clumps for them to nibble here and there but the lot is basically 90% dry. I throw hay and scatter it. I don't feed "grain" just timothy pellets as a carrier for their supplements. I tried a low carb feed at the lowest recommended amount for their size and they blew up on it and it made the irritable (it was soy based, I'm not crazy about soy, plus I'm allergic to it)
Did you ever look into Remission supplement for her? It helps mine I think with the weight, and it's got other good stuff in it for feet.
 
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Marsha Cassada

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I took Midnight to an equine hospital. Why didn't he suggest blood work to test for liver enzymes? I would not have known to ask for that. I read about the Thyr-L later and was also surprised he did not even listen to her heart. What are the symptoms of liver failure?
Sometimes I think it would be less of an emotional roller coaster to have no pets. You are all motivating me to resolve to keep them both on dry lot for now. And I will remove the boss.
I gave them both baths yesterday, then did our 2+ mile walk to dry off; I do think she is a little thinner. Must get her into the scale soon. I am thinking she seems quieter; not sure how to describe it.
 

Kelly

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How did you arrive at those weights? All seem light for the heights attached, even for in shape.
My 37" gelding was weighed a lot due to Cushings (he's gone now), and he was down right emaciated at 325#, just right at 350# and fat at 375#. My 31" stallion is not fat and he's 175# give or take 5#; he's also not in condition, so does have a bit of a belly (do need to get new weight on him, once I get the scale fixed and calibrated).
Mine were all weighed on March 10, 2021 at the vets office. They have a large scale there, the kind where they have to walk on. Vet said my little boys were in great weight/condition and reminded me not to let them get too fat.
 

MindySchroder

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Something else to keep in mind, metabolic "type" ponies and horses often do not do well with alfalfa. This is well known in the metabolic community. I was listening to a podcast by the Humble Hoof yesterday where they addressed this. The reason is that alfalfa tends to digest differently than grass hay. It will move through the small intestine and then ferment in the hind gut. This fermentation then turns into straight glucose in their system which is why ponies on alfalfa will often have hoof issues such as tenderness/laminitis, flaking hoof walls and disintegrating frog health, not to mention more weight gain. So even though it's a low sugar low starch hay it is not ideal for overweight and metabolic ponies and horses.

I always have to ask for blood tests. Vets never recommend it. I only know to ask because I have struggled with metabolic ponies so much. Having a baseline is so nice as they age and their metabolisms change. Plus, I was grateful for that one that showed the elevated liver enzymes so it didn't get too far as it did with Bonnie.

With Bonnie, she became weak and had trouble keeping her balance. If another pony bumped her she would often fall over. She started to rapidly lose weight. Her hair coat was beautiful but she could not keep weight on. Keep in mind this occurred over time. At the beginning, when she was diagnosed as IR she was obese. Overweight with fat pads on her body and a cresty neck. I thought she looked fine at that time 😢 and was offended when someone would say she was fat. Then she foundered and then became IR. These things really sneak up on you! So now I take everything very seriously.

There really isn't an equine vet here that understands IR. My vet wanted me to feed Bonnie a bagged feed in which the first three ingredients were corn, barley and molasses but because it was sold as a low sugar feed she thought it would be fine. Of course it would not have been. There were lots of things she suggested that I am so glad I did not do! I went out and did my own research and contacted vets in other parts of the country that specialized in metabolic ponies. There are lots! They were great help!

Here is a link to a podcast about metabolic horses and ponies you may find useful: The Humble Hoof: Managing the Metabolic Horse: Dr. Jaini Clougher and Dr. Kathleen Gustafson of ECIR
 

Marsha Cassada

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I've called the vet this morning to request a blood panel. Vet is supposed to call me back to find out what I'm looking for (office staff didn't know).
 
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Marsha Cassada

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Mindy, I listened to half an hour of the presentation and my poor brain turned off. It is too much information for me at my time of life. Hopefully when I get her tests back, I will be able to feel more confident.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Took Midnight in for the blood test. Vet took 4 vials. We talked about a few issues and she agreed that Midnight is a candidate for a problem. Vet called me later and said they were only doing the thyroid test, as she was not aware of the protocol for doing insulin resistant test when I came. The blood has to be refrigerated and tested quickly (something like that). She is going ahead with the original tests, and see what the results are to better know how to go forward. This is a local vet. We are very fortunate to have two wonderful local vet clinics. She said she has never done thyroid or IR on horses before; no calls for it in "cowboy country". Only for dogs. I'll bet now that she has it on her radar, she will be alert to it for fat ponies in the future.
Took both horses to the elevator to weigh. The dog scale at the vet is in an examination room, so we were not able to weigh there. Midnight was the same weight, but Dapper Dan had gained. So, back to the dry lot and no pasture for them.
I asked for an appt when the tests come back, so she will have time to explain everything to me.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I've been thinking about the recent scale results. They have both been eating the same, and Dapper Dan gained weight but Midnight actually lost maybe 8#. So, she might have gained weight also if she had not been on the Thyro-l, so maybe it is working. Just a good thought...
 

Marsha Cassada

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Vet called me this morning with blood work results. Midnight is super low on thyroid. Her glucose level was okay, showing there is probably no trouble with insulin resistance. So actually this is good news. I am to double the dose of Thyro-L and take away the vitamin supplement (not sure why; I didn't get my brain together to ask). Bloodwork followup in two months.
When I commented that I heard it was uncommon for horses to have low thyroid, she seemed to think miniatures may have unique issues and not as much is known about them as big horses. I am very happy that this vet is willing to investigate and work with me.
 

Abby P

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Horses don't get high glucose until they are really far gone. So it's common for IR horses to have normal glucose. What is more important is the insulin level. If a horse has a crest and fat pads they are usually IR. The low thyroid is due to a conversion issue that happens because of the IR - it's not an actual problem with the thyroid itself, in most cases.

It would probably be helpful to get the insulin levels checked if you can swing it. It makes it a lot easier to get your head around making these inconvenient lifestyle changes if you have a real handle on what the issue is that you're working to manage.

The only real thing WRT all this stuff that I have heard that is particular to minis is that they are prone to hyperlipidemia under certain conditions, and that isn't as big of a risk for big horses. Otherwise, I think they are pretty much the same metabolically except of course that any pony-type equine is going to be more predisposed to these problems. But IR in a mini won't manifest any differently than it would in, say, a Morgan. All the diagnostics and management are the same.
 

Abby P

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I definitely don't have all the most updated information since it's been a long time since I had an IR horse, but if it hasn't already been linked, this is going to have a lot of info and might be worth referring your vet to also if she is interested:


There's an associated discussion group as well. There may be new info on some things and at the very least there are some helpful articles, definitions, and protocols there. I know it seems really overwhelming at first but it's actually not that complicated although it is of course a pain in the backside.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I was concerned about the vets both insisting on a drastic weight reduction. I know that is dangerous for miniatures. I think I will just keep her on this minimum Thyrol for a few weeks, as she is losing weight very slowly. With the dry lot and no boss, I will see how she is doing while I digest some information. I thought it was odd that the vet made no connection between the low thyroid and what could be causing it. Meanwhile, Midnight seems to be doing fine and is her happy and sweet self. We are exercising every day and she seems fine with that.
 

Willow Flats

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I definitely don't have all the most updated information since it's been a long time since I had an IR horse, but if it hasn't already been linked, this is going to have a lot of info and might be worth referring your vet to also if she is interested:


There's an associated discussion group as well. There may be new info on some things and at the very least there are some helpful articles, definitions, and protocols there. I know it seems really overwhelming at first but it's actually not that complicated although it is of course a pain in the backside.
Thank you for posting these articles. Some good explanations.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I made an appt with the original vet for next week to have the blood work explained. When the local vet admitted she didn't have any experience with metabolic issues in horses, I panicked a little. One test that was flagged as low is bilirubin conjugated. Can anyone tell me more about that? Something to do with the liver, which is scary.
 
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