Case Studies: Grace of Gold

Grace of Gold – 10 year old Kentucky Mountain horse, belonging to Melissa Tankersley, Senior Horse Health Advisor, For Love of the Horse

Health issue – Insulin Resistance with acute laminitic episode
Herbal Solution Protocol: EMS/Cushing’s/IR, Hoof Ailments and Natural Pain Relief

In October of 2008, Gracie had her first laminitic episode.  Her owner contacted us late in September of 2011, after her most recent episode began.  At that point, Dr. Thomas assessed her blood work and determined that she was moderately advanced on the IR metabolic progression curve, and definitely Insulin Resistant (IR) with almost a factor of three above the upper limit of the reference range.  Clearly this mare was in trouble.  Gracie was very sore and despite her owner’s best efforts was suffering so much that by January she considered “putting her down” rather than see her suffer.  Instead she chose to give her to Melissa Tankersley.  What follows is the timeline of events and changes that turned Gracie’s life around.

Gracie, 10 year old Kentucky Mountain Horse and MelissaGracie, 10 year old Kentucky Mountain Horse and MelissaJanuary 22 - Picked up Gracie.  Began giving her 6 scoops of EMS/Cushing’s/IR and Hoof Ailments immediately and then gave her 6 scoops of Natural Pain Relief when we got home.  Gave 6 scoops of all three of these Herbal Solutions every 4 hours around the clock until January 25th, then switched to 6X3.  She barely could walk, landing toe first very gingerly.  Initially she was unable to stand for more than minutes at a time.  When she was standing she would shift weight from one front foot to the other continuously.  Used Whinny Warmers and shipping boots (alternating) to keep her lower legs warm.  Poulticed hooves with Wintergreen Epsom Salt Poultice and used Softride Boots with the “laminitis” pads.

January 25 - First heel trim (while lying down)
January 27 – Gracie is standing more “'upright”, not so camped out.  Stayed standing past 10:00pm, normal time to lie down was well before 9:00pm.
January 28 – She is still shifting her weight from one foot to the other but standing more.

February 1 - Went all day without boots and poultice.  Did not lie down all day and was walking better.  
February 2 - Reduced EMS/Cushing’s/IR  and Hoof Ailments to 4X3 and Natural Pain Relief to 6X1.  Still out of boots during the day, put them on at night.  
February 6 - Turning point!  She was able to stand at her hay feeder, front legs completely underneath her and resting her hind leg!
February 12 - Weather turned colder and it snowed, Gracie was shifting weight again and putting boots back on helped tremendously.  
February 18 - Gracie had her first walk and turnout!  She was running and bucking (boots on). 

March 15 - Gracie still well.  Boots off since February 19th and was able to walk on gravel road with no soreness. Stopped Hoof Ailments and switched to Hoof Health and Growth 6X2 and reduced EMS/Cushing’s/IR to 6X2.

April 1 - First ride and no soreness!
April 4 - Melissa riding Gracie

May 27 - Began Gracie on 20 minutes of grazing, once a day. 
May 28 - Rode for 1/2 hour, mostly at a trot and canter per Gracie's wishes!

June 5 - Seemed a bit sore after an aggressive trim to roll toes, but was not at all sore by the next day. 
June 29 - Right now, Gracie is on 6X2 of EMS/Cushing’s/IR only.  She has not been sore at all.  She is on a 2 week “trimming” schedule where her toes are rolled and heels taken down very slightly.  She gets 1/2 hour of grazing (unless it's very hot) and the rest of the day/night she has all the hay she can eat.  She gets 1/2lb. of Purina Wellsolve LS once a day.

January 2013 – Gracie had a very minor laminitic episode.  She was sore, but was not lying down or refusing to move.  At this time, she received MMP Stop for 5 days (along with EMS – dosage upped to three times a day).  After the 5 days, she was given Hoof Ailments for one large bag at 4 scoops three times a day.  This soreness lasted about 2 weeks and then she was sound. 
January 2014 – Gracie started getting some “fat pads” over her eyes.  I did not recognize this as a “sign” of what would come next.  A couple weeks later, she seemed a bit sore.  I immediately upped her EMS and gave MMP Stop for a few weeks.  She only got minimally sore and was still moving about normally, just slower and “on eggshells”.  She came out of this within a couple of weeks, but this did give me a sign to look for.

June 15, 2016 – Since January of 2013, Gracie has remained on the EMS/IR Solution at a dosage of 4 scoops three times a day.  Beginning January 1 of each year, her dosage is upped to 5 or 6 scoops twice daily and continued at this dosage for one month.  At this time, I also look for any signs of swelling over her eyes.  She is 100% sound.  She is allowed out to graze for up to 2 hours (we slowly work up to this point by 15 minute increments) with her grazing muzzle.  Her care and diet is carefully managed and she continues on the EMS formula.  I will continue this until blood work is pulled to rule out IR, but I am not in a hurry to do so.  She is happy and healthy!

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