I acquired an older mare about 6 months ago. She came to me with a Cushings diagnosis, as well as her supply of pergolide. Oral, "apple-flavored" powder, 1 mg dosage. Her previous owner sprinkled the dosage on her feed and she would pick at her feed. She was on a generic mill-mixed, corn looking feed that she didn't care for on a good day. I weaned her off of her old food and moved her into my feeding program.
If I add her pergolide to her feed, she will not eat. For days. I have tried 4 different feeds. I have tried to hide her meds in cored apple pieces. Pears. Bananas. Jelly sandwiches. Peanut butter sandwiches. Apple sauce. Jelly. Pergolide cookies. (a sample from the vet.) She will not eat her hidden meds, then she will not eat her feed. She grazes very well. She works on her hay in her stall at night. Her weight is OK, but, I am worried.
Giving her dosage as a liquid I just don't think is an option as she practically puts me into next week when its worming time. I can't imagine it daily. Plus, this old gal is really good at spitting.
I'm going to have the vet out, but, I really don't know what to do. I understand the risk of her not being on her meds, but, I don't know how to get it into her. Help!!
My horse who has cushings, and gets 1 mg a day of pergolide also has a problem with it.
He gets a powdered apple flavor too. I just put it in his triple crown senior, shake so it distrubutes and give it to him at night. He might not eat it right away, but by morning it is gone.
In the beginning, he would go off feed, so I'd stop for a week or two until he was eating his grain, then slowly add a pinch and gradual add up to full dose.
He has been on pergolide now for at least 5 years, and the first couple I had to stop and restart a few times.
My mare is extremely fussy too! What works for me is shoving a capsule in her mouth (along the side where there are no teeth )while she is chewing on a treat. The capsule sticks in her mouth and there is just no spitting it out.
I've got another one that won't eat anything with powdered pergolide on it, no matter what flavor it is. I found that the alfalfa flavored Gourmeds (from Wedgewood Pharmacy) along with a small scoop of alfalfa pellets added to his regular senior worked. It's been several months now (knock on wood) with no issues. I think the alfalfa flavor is close enough to the alfalfa pellets that he doesn't get alerted to the difference. I don't dare try it without the pellets. This is the only combination that has worked for me. It's economical too. My vet wrote me a prescription for 2 mg. I break them in half and 30 Gourmeds last 2 months. The 30 Gourmeds are only $54, so it comes out to $27 a month.
Last edited by ptownevt; Dec. 13, 2010 at 08:09 PM.
"The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp
I feel your pain. I am trying to dose a pony who can find the apple flavored powder in anything. Currently I am mixing it with applesauce and shooting it in his mourth - when I can catch him that is. My vet is going to get a non dosed gourmed for me to add to his little bit of grain to see if he will accept it. At this point he is very suspicious of anything I try to give him.
Time to desensitize her to getting liquid meds orally. You can buy oral dosing syringes for goats and calves at a farm supply, train the mare to tolerate it using something innocuous and non-medicated, and get her to the point where she will deal with it. It's like trailer loading, pulling manes or standing for the farrier: a matter of teaching and desensitization.
I'm with deltawave, my guy was never good about deworming but he wouldn't eat his peroglide so we just worked on it. Eventually they get over it. I got really far by simply going up to him, sticking an empty syringe in his mouth, then give him a cookie. Rinse and repeat a million times (I'd go out about every hour at first). Now he's at the point where syringe=cookie, so he's pretty eager for it. I don't even have to halter him. I found spending some time training him to get over the syringe far easier than endlessly trying to devise ways to disguise the medication.
We are good with the old guy eating Pergolide as a liquid top dressing mixed in flaxseed oil on top of sweet feed. Having been down the "mikey won't eat it" road for a few other things I think that our next step would be to train to the syringe if he should get tired of the current method. I did take a stab at desensitizing but just didn't stick with it long enough. He's better about the syringe now but no trooper, that's for sure.
The problem with pergolide is that a common side effect is going off feed and depression. My horse got pickier and pickier about eating, finally went off all feed and water completely, then laid down and just waited to die. I had to get her off the pergolide and she eventually came back around. Same thing happened the next time I tried to put her on it. Some horses never have this problem, some eventually develop it, some start showing it right away after being put on the drug. The Yahoo Cushings group has some info on this but beware - some of the people there are out to lunch radicals.
When Monstr was on Pergolide liquid, it was a very small syringe. The dose was only 1 ml, which isn't much liquid. He was also fussy about worming, and, at 17.3, could easily have his way. But he got to where I could walk up to him in the paddock, stick the tiny syringe in the corner of his mouth, and squirt. He barely knew I'd put anything there. If it isn't a problem for you to give it daily, doing the liquid might be worth a try.
"One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine
Over the years I have known numerous horses on pergolide. Usually the method of choice was a liquid, which amounted to a 1 ml of volume, the dosage being adjusted to that. This was a compounded medication, made up by a pharmacist by prescription.
I never saw a horse reject it in grain, nor did I see any of the adverse effects cited by Adventura Two. I did see horses eventualy decline despite the patient efforts of everyone involved.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.
Pergolide is a known appetite suppressant. As Adventura states. Documented, just google it. To the OP about changing over the horse's feed...change it back for the simplest solution although I can't believe they had the horse on a corn based feed for a Cushings horse. Or go thru the protocol of starting with very low dosages and slowly increasing the Pergolide. Again, the cushings yahoo group has some extremely good advice.
Pergolide IS a known appetite suppressant. STEP 1: Take equine off pergolide and get him eating a low-starch feed that he likes
STEP 2: Gradually reintroduce pergolide in small increments until you reach the desired dosage (we found that the Smartpak pergolide was very unpalatable-people here are correct that Wedgewood is the way to go; they will send you samples of the treats and also have capsules and a variety of flavored powders)