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Discussion on Jiaogulan and insulin resistant horse

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KELLIE FORSE
Member
Username: Kel4s

Post Number: 4
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Sep 4, 2003 - 12:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My vet was out today to inoculate my horses for West Nile. He noted that my Morgan/Quarter is overweight. I said she's been overweight ever since we got her seven years ago. We've had her tested for thyroid problem, but that came back negative. He wondered if she might have a high insulin/high blood sugar level. He took a blood sample and I'm waiting on the results. He said he's had good luck with a new herb, Jiaogulan. He said it's not proven yet, and they are still running trials.

Has anyone heard of it? I looked up high insulin on the internet and she fits the profile. She is overweight and cresty. She is on 15 pounds of alfalfa/bermuda pellets (10% protein), so I don't think she's overfeed, neither did the vet. She has a shiny/healthy coat, good hooves, and has never had a problem shedding out.

Kellie
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9038
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Sep 5, 2003 - 8:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I cannot find any information on the herb, as you spell it. I checked serveral large medical databases and my PDR of Herbal Medicines. Are you sure this is how it is spelled?

I believe insulin resistance problems (sometimes referred to as peripheral Cushings but more to the point a type 2 diabetes) is real and does make the horse (or human) a very easy keeper >> overweight >> prone to founder. We are just beginning to recognize this problem which in the past has been misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism, a practically nonexistant problem in adult horses, see article on hypothyroidism for more on this.

More important is the megacal / lb of your pellets and what other forage (type, quality, and amount) is she accessing? It is a simple fact that if she is overweight she is receiving too many calories or too little exercise and this is where changes will need to be made to correct the problem.
DrO
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KELLIE FORSE
Member
Username: Kel4s

Post Number: 5
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Sep 5, 2003 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,

Thank you for checking on it. I'm not certain what the megacal of her feed is, I'll check tonight. I weigh her feed to determine the weight. It is simply alfalfa hay and bermuda hay, no corn or other additives. She doesn't have access to any other forage, she's in a dry paddock. She is not exercised enough, I haven't had time this summer. However, when I have concentrated on riding/lunging, she still doesn't lose. Listed below is the website I went to. I wouldn't consider putting my horse on it without the recommendation of my vet. Nor had I ever heard of this herb before. I'm leary of "all natural products." A snake bite is all natural, but I wouldn't want that.

www.naturalhorsetrim.com/Jiaogulan.htm

Thanks
Kellie
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Melissa Smith
Member
Username: Ryan

Post Number: 69
Registered: 12-1999
Posted on Thursday, Sep 11, 2003 - 12:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kellie,
Their is a yahoo group under EquineChushings. It has more insulin resistant type horses though than actual cushings. Dr. Eleanor Kellon is the vet on that group who has done a bunch of studies on Jiaogulan. I have a friend that I trim her horses, and one was a very serious founder. My friend used the herb on her horse. It seems to help with the circulation in the hoof. We noticed quite an improvement in her attitude and movement within about 4 days of starting to use the herb.
Their is an article about the herb in the files section on that group.
That is quite interesting that your vet has heard about it.

Also, the Horse Journal had a very informative article about insulin resistance. It has received quite a bit of attention. My friend with the founder horse follows the guidelines in that article. They are working great. The cresty necks are coming down, and her horse who was starting to become laminitic is doing excellent. She has lost the fat on her neck and around her tail head.
I cannot remember the date of that article off the top of my head right now, but if you went to their website and asked, they could tell you what date it was.
Melissa
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9076
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Sep 11, 2003 - 7:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Going to the site I found the name Gynostemma pentaphyllum. This is a very common Chinese herb and there has been some preliminary western research into this herb and there are some measured antiinflammatory effects with in vitro experiments. But these are very preliminary.

Melissa, I am cautious about the medical reporting in the Horse Journal after members and our personal experiences with Horminase in the treatment of Equine Cushinoid disease. We did not find it more useful than good management alone. The lack of careful control and double blinding makes the reporting subjective.
DrO
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KELLIE FORSE
Member
Username: Kel4s

Post Number: 6
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 16, 2003 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Melissa,

Thank you for the information on the Yahoo site. It is very informative. I'm going to have the grass hay that is available in our area tested.

Dr. O,

The vet on the Yahoo site is adament that an herb must be treated like the drug it is. She highly stresses the control of environment and diet to help an insulin resistant horse. I will be very cautious in its use and only under the direction of my vet. Thank you for your advice. I'll keep you informed of how she does. I'm still waiting on the blood test to see if she is truly insulin resistant. She fits the criteria, though. Heavy crest with hard fat, milk in udders even without being pregnant, et al.

I swear, I think I'm going to rename her from Rosebud to "Expensive Hobby". Oh well, I could have worse hobbies.

Kellie
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9122
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2003 - 4:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We treat these horses, whether insulin resistant or not, just like overweight horses Kellie, see Care for Horses Nutrition Fat or Obese Horse Nutrition for specific dietary and exercise information.
DrO
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Nathalie Van de Voorde
New Member
Username: Nathalie

Post Number: 1
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2003 - 6:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post



For your hobby....
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Christine Sizemore
Member
Username: Gingin

Post Number: 30
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, Apr 25, 2004 - 3:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O,
the last issue of the Horse Journal (May 2004) reported on a field trial with Jiaogulan in chronic laminitis....I would be very interested in your opinion about the results of this trial and whether you think that the results warrant a try...my mare is prone to laminitis but has been "sound" ever since her last attack about a year ago....the only indication of her condition I get is that she steps very cautiously on hard ground and gets immediately comfortable when on soft ground.
I am trying to keep her condition in check and prevent a new laminitis attack by her going out with a grazing muzzle for half the day with the other half in the barn eating hay...she also gets ~ 1 lbs of Tiple Crown lite, a multi-vitamin supplement (Accel), biotin and extra magnesium. Her feet look great now but I would like to do whatever else I can do keep her comfortable and hopefully avoid another episode.....oh...she also went on a "diet" after her last laminitis bout and now is no longer overweight and does not have a cresty neck. She gets ridden at least 4 times a week (light work, occasionally trailrides up to 2 hrs, mainly walking, some trotting and cantering). Anything else I could/should do better? Would it make sense to put her on this herb or would this be overkill??

Thanks much!!
Christine
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 10335
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Apr 26, 2004 - 6:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have not received any more information to change my comments already from above Christine. Considering other recommendations you should start with the articles in the section on founder at, Equine Diseases Lameness Diseases of the Hoof Founder & Laminitis.
DrO
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