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Cushings/laminitis advice

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  • #41
    Wow Slb - that's a wealth of information - thank you. I'm actually waiting on the test results to post to the yahoo groups. It's a lot to absorb - will let you know what happens! Thanks again.


    • Original Poster

      Many, many thanks for all the information and links you all have provided. It has been a tremendous help!

      Bobby - the pony came home Saturday and settled in well. We do test hay since we raise young horses, so I was able to immediately put him on an appropiate diet. He's not exactly thrilled with the beet pulp - especially with his supplements in it so I have been syringing them into him until I can convince him to eat the dreaded beet pulp better. He's eating his hay well though so that's good.

      Here's a question I haven't found the answer to anywhere yet though - is it okay to keep him under lights? SBT mentioned it, but I didn't catch whether it was positive or negative. I have him in the bank barn now because its the warmest and I think he'll be the most comfortable there. That whole barn is lights on 16 hours/day though. I'm thinking it should be okay but does anyone know for sure?


      [This message was edited by MeanderCreek on Dec. 04, 2003 at 09:25 PM.]


      • #43
        I don't think it will do any harm, but some have found that lights help with shedding and seasonal metabolic issues, others found that no lights help. So, it really depends on the horse. I found with my IR and other metabolic, but non-Cushings horse that lights didn't help, but didn't hinder either.

        Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
        December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
        Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *


        • #44
          Back to the prices, I got pergolide suspension for $105 a bottle, it lasted about 2 or 2 1/2 months; ask your vet. If your vet can't find it, email me coreene@yahoo.com and I'll get you the contact info.

          As for side effects, the only thing I noticed with Willem was that for the first four or five weeks he was completely uncontrollable, acted like Thunderbolt The Wild Stallion and kept trying to put me in the dirt. A few friends noticed the same with their guys; fortunately that subsided.


          • #45
            I don't know if someone already mentioned this, but do have the insulin and glucose tests done at the same time, one is worthless without the other. I learned that the hard way. Sometimes you just have to tell your vet, 'just humor me, ok'.

            Addition to previous

            Per Dr. Kellon many IR and Cushings horses can have a prob with Glucosamine.

            [This message was edited by accidental buckaroo on Dec. 05, 2003 at 05:41 PM.]


            • #46
              What are the general sign and symptoms in Cushings?


              • #47
                Generally, the first visual sign is non-shedding or patchy shedding. But, there are many others that are related to Cushings, but not neccessarily exclusive to Cushings (neither is non-shedding):
                <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
                weight gain
                weight loss
                muscle wasting
                excessive drinking/urination
                cresty neck
                fat deposits on shoulders/withers/tail head areas
                compromised immune system
                chronic laminitis
                runny eyes
                behavior changes (some become agressive, especially later as the tumor grows)
                "pot" belly (not like a hay belly)
                sagging back
                curly coat (especially when wet)
                poor coat quality
                "greasy" feeling coat
                pungent odor (especially when sweating)
                excessive/patchy/non sweating
                manure has strange odor
                lack of energy
                some do not want to eat or eat very little[/list]
                I'm sure there are more that I am not remembering.

                Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *


                • #48
                  Yep slb, you forgot about:

                  Hypertension (high blood pressure; if you look at the carotid you can SEE it pulsing)

                  Heat and/or cold intolerance. Cushingoid horses can have a hard time thermoregulating, and get cold in the winter despite a thick coat.

                  Fatty deposits on the belly (contributes to the pot-bellied look) and above the eyes. Prior to pergolide treatment, my mare looked like a puffer fish.

                  Loss of cycling in mares, along with a "boggy," poorly-toned uterus and the presence of watery milk in the udder (At times, my mare had to be "milked" every few days to relieve the pressure...not sure if it was the right thing to do, but she seemed to appreciate it.)

                  Mouth ulcers.

                  Blindness and dementia are other effects of Cushing's, but depend upon the adenoma's location and which area of the brain it presses on. If the optic nerve is involved, blindness can result. The size of the tumor has been found to be less important than its location.

                  Despite the lack of energy, Cushingoid horses often appear quite cheerful and content. They generally resemble very cute senior citizens.

                  I think that's it...slb covered all the rest.

                  Heart in a horse is every bit as important as it is in a person. ~Jimmy Cruise


                  • #49
                    I'm curious to hear more about the agressive behavior after treating with pergolide. Is this common or a rarity? My mare is being leased right now to an adult beginner rider. This lease is very new (she's only been leasing her for a month) and the girl is a worry wort (which is a good thing for my mare - I know she'll do right by her).

                    Originally, she came out to look at buying her, but because of Cali's age (21) she decided to try a lease for awhile. We ran into some complications with ulcers the first week of the lease - we think because of stress - change from field to stall board and leaving her best buddy.

                    At any rate, I was seriously considering just paying for the meds if needed and see how things go. I was hoping that some of her symptoms would improve and I wouldn't have to "freak" the leasee out by telling her about the test results....

                    I'm worried though that the side effects of agressive behavior could hurt me in the long run and know that I should be upfront about things - I was just really hoping to take care of the treatment and avoid the whole thing for awhile to see how things went.

                    Any ideas on what to expect - or what is the norm? I think I will have to tell her but in a perfect world, I'd rather not rock the boat (the thought being that I could take care of meds and anything special Cali needed). This girl has been great with Cali - she's so excited to have her own first horse to ride and it's really kinda cool to know that someone loves her so much and is giving her senior years some joy.


                    • #50
                      xena, I think a horse would have to be on a pretty high dose of pergolide to make them go bonkers. I've known several horses that were on low doses, and NONE of them ever exhibited any aggressive behavior. Regained some pep, yes...but nothing abnormal or dangerous.

                      Remember that this is your horse, and you have control of her situation. If pergolide had a negative effect on her, you could simply take her off it (slowly) or try a different medication.

                      However, you need test results to work with before you make any decisions regarding medication or diet. Get the tests done and see what you have. Then work with your vet to determine the best course of action for YOUR horse. Pergolide might not ever come into the picture at all. So don't guess, and don't jump to conclusions; get the tests done!

                      Heart in a horse is every bit as important as it is in a person. ~Jimmy Cruise


                      • #51
                        Ditto Sbt...
                        From my experience aggressive behavior is rare and probably has more to do with advanced tumor growth rather than medication. The worst case that I have heard of is a mare that was not responding well to Pergolide, so was weaned off to Hormonize and responded very well. She did very well for a number of years and then suddenly became agressive to other horses, then finally to people. Although it was rapid in a sense, there was a noticable progression. At that point they euthanized her as she was apparently becoming very advanced and things were deteriorating rapidly. She most likely was in pain or perhaps the meds no longer kept her hormones in balance.

                        Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                        December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                        Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *


                        • #52
                          Yes...I'd have to say I'm jumping the gun a little. I am anxiously awaiting the test results which should be here any day. I had her tested last Wed/Thurs so hopefully I'll hear something tomorrow.

                          Thanks for the info and I'll update you on things when I hear.