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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2009
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    Question HELP! Peroglide use questions!?

    What to do? My 18 year old gelding foundered last Sept. Yadda yadda, we did all the different shoeing, the diet changes, he got better, worse, better again, seems to be coming along better now.

    The abscesses stopped popping up endlessly... finally. I got a new vet/farrier last week because the last one wanted the wege boots to stay on, and the poor horse only went straight down hill from there. Now he's trimmed normally, and walking almost sound. This new vet wants to put him on Pergolide.... even as he, and the two other vets who saw him before DO NOT think he's a Cushings horse, just an IR.

    But so I've exhaustively researched this on Google and some forums and it seems everyone agrees that Pergolide in only effective in Cushings horses. Evidently this vet thinks it will help with the foot soreness. But I'm freaked, I'm scared of the reports of anorexia and worse founders in cases where it is not indicated. I can't go through another 6 months of this strain, the worry, seeing this poor boy suffer so!

    How can/does Pergolide help a non-Cushings, only IR horse, or does it make him worse? It's not too late - I haven't received the meds yet. PLEASE HELP HERE!!!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The only way to KNOW if a horse is Cushings, is to have an ACTH serum test done. Do not do the dex supression on a foundered horse, because it can create an acute situation again. No one can just look at a Cushings horse and know if they are Cushings or not. My horse did not "look" Cushings, and she was.

    My horse has been on pergolide 2x and 2x it has almost killed her. The first time she quit eating and drinking, then laid down and waited to die. I stopped the drug (no wean-off period as is recommended) and she eventually turned around and pulled through.

    This spring she went back on pergolide for the 2nd time, and after watching her appetite and demeanor dwindle day after day, I pulled her off again. She had again stopped eating completely and became extremely depressed. Only this time, instead of ceasing to drink, her water consumption jumped up considerably. She went from about 10 gallons per day to 40 gallons per day. I had to put a large rubbermaid tub in her paddock because I couldn't keep the buckets full.

    I put her out in the pasture so she could move around more, get out of the dirt lot, be with her buddies, etc. and she wouldn't even graze. She would stand by the hour with her head hanging down sleeping. Then she would lay down and sleep for hours, then stand up and graze for maybe 5 minutes, then hang her head and go back to sleep again.

    And this time she was even on 6 ml of APF which is SUPPOSED to prevent this "pergolide veil." IT DID NOT!

    I started her on 1/4 mg. and then she had a bizarre "neurological" type episode (panicky behavior, calling to herd mates, extreme trembling, acting disoriented). I decreased to 1/8 mg. for a while. Then went back to 1/4 mg. and that seemed ok for a few days, then back to 1 mg. then wham - stopped eating completely and became extremely depressed.

    She's been off the drug totally for a few days now and I am DONE with it. I won't go there again. I'd rather put the horse down than watch her go through this with pergolide. In my experience, it's a horrible drug with horrible side effects.

    Every horse is different and many horses have no side effects and it helps them to live happier, longer lives. If I were you, I would NOT jump lightly into pergolide. Get the test (it is expensive), get all the information you can, and if you start the drug, make sure you have as much information in your back pocket as possible.

    I used Chaste Tree Berry for a year and had great results. My horse became lame again this spring (turned out to be DSLD) but the vet wanted her back on Pergolide, regardless. I agreed to try and that's what happened.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    Cocoa, Fla
    Posts
    4,180

    Default

    If a horse has Cushing they can founder - but agree with previous poster - if he has not been tested for Cushing he needs to be tested.

    As far as pergolide for other uses - there are "Ask the vet" sites on the Internet - suggest you ask them. I've never heard of it used for anything other than Cushings, but then again I'm not a vet.

    If positive for Cushing then put him on Pergolide (I know a place where it's $15 on line - vet needs to call script in and you need to order - then they send you capsules containing the drug.)
    Sandy in Fla.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2009
    Location
    Penn Valley CA
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    633

    Default

    Ok I have a little Paso Fino gelding who developed IR two years ago from a very bad pet sitter and foundered. You name the supplement I've tried it, help from Vet and Farrier to no avail. I put him on a natural diet ie grass hay and a little bit of Safechoice and saw great improvement; no other supplement of any kind. Then he had that typical Cushings hair, had him tested, yes Cushings. Started him on Pergolide a month ago and now he's worst. So I just started weaning him off it. For my little guy it did more harm than good; he walks worst and lays down a lot. Before he walked around and laid down very little. You can see in his eyes he doesn't feel really good. Last blood work (same time as Cushings test) he was in the normal range for IR.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2006
    Location
    Northside of 40.
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    36

    Default

    Pergolide for horses must be obtained at a compounding pharmacy. If you do not use a reputable compounding pharmacy, you run the risk of an "off" or improperly mixed batch. Beware of so-called bargains...you may not be getting an accurate dose.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
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    10,571

    Default

    This farm has had horses on Pergolide that were clearly Cushings horses with great response and results. The ideal is to have the testing done. If the horse is simply IR Pergolide is not indicated, but diet, diet, diet is mandatory.Not that IR is simple to deal with)
    The endless abscesses are part of the laminitic syndrome, but if the laminitis can be interrupted, and the foot stabilized, they should subside. As you have found, a knowledgeable farrier is extremely important.

    That your horse is stable and has a nearly normal looking foot externally, you are on the right track.. I hope your farrier is using pads with a blue filler under them.. His filler may be a different color tho. It's a two part epoxy type compound that forms a rubber cushion molded to the individual foot. That will help with the soreness.
    Also keep in mind that if your horse's feet have had a substantial angle change a short time ago, the soft tissues that support those structures are going to be unhappy with the change. Imagine wearing high heels and the going to flats in one day. Ouch!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,517

    Default

    Our insulin resistant horse has been on pergolide and thyroid for several years. I do think it helps him. He no longer drinks huge amounts of water. He hasn't had any laminitis since the first episode that caused us to start the pergolide and thyroid.

    We get our pergolide and thyroid in Smartpaks. I wonder if some of the problems that people have with pergolide relate to the compounding. It is good to get pergolide from a reliable pharmacy. Also, get it in a form that minimizes your exposure to the pergolide. In humans, pergolide is linked to heart valve problems.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2005
    Location
    Ojai, CA
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    1,079

    Default

    Wow. Having nearly lost a horse due to a bad reaction to pergolide, I can't imagine using it without testing to first find out if it's needed. I've never heard of using it for anything other than Cushings. I'd be very, very, very leery of trying it w/out testing.
    R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

    Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Posts
    2,607

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    Pergolide saved my mare's life -- She has Cushing's -- Vet had pulled blood to test before starting her on Pergolide, but she was so close to rotating through that when I consulted a senior vet in the practice, we ended up starting the Pergolide before the test results came back -- My mare's never shown any signs of having issues with the drug, and she's been on it for 8 years --

    If you have time to have the horse tested, that's obviously the preferred option -- If not, I'd start the drug and keep a close eye on the horse --
    "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2009
    Posts
    560

    Default

    Whew, thanks for all the comments! I'm still going back and forth on this - the compound is due to arrive tomorrow, from Frank's pharmacy in Florida, supposed to be a top notch facility.

    I haven't had him tested yet.... maybe I'll just refrigerate the med while I get the test done and all.

    What is it supposed to do? Take the foot soreness away? Enough for them to eventually be lightly ridden? Can they ever go back on pasture, (carefully and sparingly of course)?

    You're right - he is sore now, after the trim. Not terribly, he's pretty alert and moves around the deeply bedded stall fairly well, on day three after the trim. His rotation isn't horrible; well, not through the sole or sunken. Once led out on the soft ground he moves fairly soundly, but gets gimpy as heck when led back in across the aisle to his stall. I just want him comfortable! I'm sick of seeing him rock back on his quarters to make turns!!! Will he be able to go off Bute and all pain dullers if the Pergolide does the job?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2009
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    560

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FancyASB View Post
    Ok I have a little Paso Fino gelding who developed IR two years ago from a very bad pet sitter and foundered. You name the supplement I've tried it, help from Vet and Farrier to no avail. I put him on a natural diet ie grass hay and a little bit of Safechoice and saw great improvement; no other supplement of any kind. Then he had that typical Cushings hair, had him tested, yes Cushings. Started him on Pergolide a month ago and now he's worst. So I just started weaning him off it. For my little guy it did more harm than good; he walks worst and lays down a lot. Before he walked around and laid down very little. You can see in his eyes he doesn't feel really good. Last blood work (same time as Cushings test) he was in the normal range for IR.
    Now that he's in the normal range for IR, and off the Pergolide are you good to go? I mean are you now forced to try something else? Wow, this is SO hard! I'm frustrated, I can only imagine how my poor boy feels!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2009
    Posts
    560

    Default Frank's Pharmacy.....

    Great.... I just Googled Frank's in Florida and see that it's the same compounding outfit that screwed up the doses for those polo ponies that all died last year...... ugh.

    Now I'm REALLY scared. I wonder if I can return the package if unopened?????? Sigh. What to do???????????

    Anyone know of a super good compounding pharmacy that doens't have a bad, bad taint like this? Granted, anyone can have grave errors, and maybe Franks has better controls on their mixes now. ack.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2006
    Location
    Northside of 40.
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    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ILuvmyButtercups View Post
    Great.... I just Googled Frank's in Florida and see that it's the same compounding outfit that screwed up the doses for those polo ponies that all died last year...... ugh.

    Now I'm REALLY scared. I wonder if I can return the package if unopened?????? Sigh. What to do???????????

    Anyone know of a super good compounding pharmacy that doens't have a bad, bad taint like this? Granted, anyone can have grave errors, and maybe Franks has better controls on their mixes now. ack.


    pm sent.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Location
    Orlean, Va
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    2,058

    Question

    where are you located?

    I have had several horses on pergolide and never had a problem.
    aybe I have a good pharmacy as well as an excellent vet.



  15. #15
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    I've never heard of pergolide reducing or eliminating an episode of acute laminitis. What it does do is help to suppress the ACTH hormone being produced in excess by the putuitary tumor. This helps other hormones to stabilize and maintain more normal levels. That over the long term helps to reduce or eliminate episodes of laminitis. But what you have going on right now isn't going to be resolved with pergolide.

    I would take more prudent measures NOW to reduce or eliminate the discomfort your horse is feeling. That would mean not walking over hard surfaces unless the horse is well padded. I love Cashel brand foam for this. Buy the 1" thick western saddle pads and cut them into hoof pads. Secure them to the feet with vetwrap and duct tape. In the absence of that, you can use any kind of supportive cushioning (garden kneeling pads, neoprene, or even thick felt). Easycare 12MM soft density pads, Soft Ride gel pads, or any other type of foam or gel hoof pad is beneficial. But whatever you do, don't force the horse to walk across anything hard without adequate cushioning and protection. Doing so only increases the pain and inflammation and slows healing.

    Boy I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. It really bites, doesn't it? Hang in there!!!

    P.S. - my pergolide, both times, has come from Thriving Pets, which is the most recommended pharmacy by everyone on the yahoo Cushings list. I'm thinking my horse just couldn't handle it since it was 2 different batches, a year apart with the same reaction.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2005
    Location
    Ojai, CA
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    Another vote here for Thriving Pets. They are absolutely wonderful and I cannot recommend them highly enough. If I had listened to Ian from that site, maybe my horse wouldn't have gotten so sick!!!!
    R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

    Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

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    In my opinion it's the oddest thing ever to start medication without actually having a diagnosis.

    It's what I call treatment by guesswork!

    I'd suggest first and foremost you get good diagnostics and then take that to inform best treatment protocol.

    If you do a search on cushings or pergolide on this forum you'll turn up a mass of postings about it.

    Just remember though that not everyone that posts actually is informed or knowledgeable.

    You'd be well advised to get an equine vet and particularly as your horse has already got pedal bone rotation and sinking of the bony column.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2009
    Location
    Penn Valley CA
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    633

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    Quote Originally Posted by ILuvmyButtercups View Post
    Now that he's in the normal range for IR, and off the Pergolide are you good to go? I mean are you now forced to try something else? Wow, this is SO hard! I'm frustrated, I can only imagine how my poor boy feels!
    Today it was a rainy windy day so I was online shopping naturally horse stuff when I looked out the window and here came my little guy. Not quite gaiting but he was moving good. There was a break in the rain and he was having a good time walking around. I haven't seen him move like that in sometime and he seemed to be enjoying himself. I enjoyed watching him....he is completely off the peroglide. Vast improvement for him, no more meds for him now. I'll keep a close eye on him but the spark is back in his eyes. He can be a little devil at times and he has been biting his "girls" and making them squeal so yes he does feel better now.



  19. #19
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    Apr. 4, 2009
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    560

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    Quote Originally Posted by whicker View Post
    where are you located?

    I have had several horses on pergolide and never had a problem.
    aybe I have a good pharmacy as well as an excellent vet.
    I'm in Northern Va. Leesburg, M.burg, Warrenton area. Please recommend a GREAT vet! I can haul my horses to clinics, but would prefer someone to come here for my sore boy for obvious reasons! You can pm me if you are uncomfortable posting vet's names here. Thanks!!!!!!!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2009
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    560

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    Quote Originally Posted by FancyASB View Post
    Today it was a rainy windy day so I was online shopping naturally horse stuff when I looked out the window and here came my little guy. Not quite gaiting but he was moving good. There was a break in the rain and he was having a good time walking around. I haven't seen him move like that in sometime and he seemed to be enjoying himself. I enjoyed watching him....he is completely off the peroglide. Vast improvement for him, no more meds for him now. I'll keep a close eye on him but the spark is back in his eyes. He can be a little devil at times and he has been biting his "girls" and making them squeal so yes he does feel better now.

    That's wonderful, I'm so glad to read this! My boy loves to romp and play too, just loves life - I'm anxious to see him be able to do this again, ever! I'll do whatever it takes!



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