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Getting the Cushing's horse on Prascend to eat

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  • Getting the Cushing's horse on Prascend to eat

    I'm wondering what has worked for everyone to get a Cushing's horse on Prascend to eat. We started SLOWLY - 1/4 pill every other day, but as soon as we get to 1/4 pill daily, the horse starts leaving grain. We tried a few different grains and ended up feeding TC Senior. She isn't IR (tested normal a few times now), so we've been using molasses treats mixed in her grain to try to tempt her.

    Anything else to try? Do we just live with the leftover grain as long as we can get the Prascend into her? Should we try APF? Any special treats that you've found your horse loves? I'm pretty much willing to feed her whatever she wants!

  • #2
    You could try fenugreek powder. Some horses really like it, others not so much My gelding LOVES it and it helps to get him to eat his grain and supplements. Sweet stuff has never worked with him. He was picky before the Prascend and is even pickier now I just buy it on Amazon, but any grocery store with bulk herbs should have it.

    Comment


    • #3
      APF. Adaptogenic herbs are recommended by the IR/Cushings list and usually work well.

      https://www.smartpakequine.com/ps/ap...n-formula-2285

      Comment


      • #4
        I feel for you OP. I just started the Prascend journey with my old (upper 20s lower 30s) mare. She is almost finished with her first month. I have noticed that she eats well some days and not the next. This is a totally new thing for her, as she is usually my little piggy!

        She has been on TC senior, a ration balancer, and some soaked beet pulp (no sugar) for a looong time. As of this week, we are refusing all beet pulp. We are still eating TC senior okay, but have started to turn our nose up at the ration balancer. She has been devouring grass hay as usual, but actually goes for that over grain now. (she just had a round of gastroguard after a corneal ulcer..so ulcers shouldn't be an issue)

        I am looking into APF now! How does that help their appetite? Not questioning...this is just a new thing for me too!
        Last edited by ladybugsbw; May. 21, 2019, 10:48 AM. Reason: typo

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        • #5
          OH and to feed the Prascend. My mare will. not. touch. grain with medicine in it.

          I called my amazing vet begging for an idea to get Prascend in her, and so far her solution is flawless!

          Get a piece of apple or carrot and a small drill. I have been drilling holes into the pieces of treat and feeding it to her, and it works like a charm! If I do not mix up the treats, she will catch on though..

          I have also heard the stud muffin treats are great to hide it in

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          • #6
            I'm dealing with this right now myself. I have a TB mare in her upper 20s, VERY hard keeper, that is living out her days in a huge grass pasture. Her ACTH levels were astronomical last year, so we put her on 1 tab of Prascend daily. Tested again about a month ago, and they were even HIGHER than last year. She is now moving up to two tabs of Prascend/day.
            Here's the problem. She is on 6 lbs of TC Senior per day, as well as a weight building supplement, but she never finishes what she is given. I know the amount of green grass she is on is contributing to her high sugar levels, but I don't want to cut her off and reduce her caloric intake as she is so difficult to keep weight on. All she cares about is the grass! Currently trying to find a balance between the two.
            I have heard Fig Newtons are good for hiding Prascend, but with their sugars levels would that be counterproductive?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HappyHorsey View Post
              I'm wondering what has worked for everyone to get a Cushing's horse on Prascend to eat. We started SLOWLY - 1/4 pill every other day, but as soon as we get to 1/4 pill daily, the horse starts leaving grain. We tried a few different grains and ended up feeding TC Senior. She isn't IR (tested normal a few times now), so we've been using molasses treats mixed in her grain to try to tempt her.

              Anything else to try? Do we just live with the leftover grain as long as we can get the Prascend into her? Should we try APF? Any special treats that you've found your horse loves? I'm pretty much willing to feed her whatever she wants!
              How long have you had her on Prascend? The "pergolide veil" will typically wear off within a few weeks. So it may be a losing battle to try to force her to eat until then.

              I agree that many horses will not eat the meds out of their food. So they may leave grain behind if they think the pill is in the food. You can try to syringe the meds into her instead, so at least they know the food is drug-free.

              Comment


              • #8
                Friend of mine sticks the pill into a piece of apple - no other chance to make the horse eat prascend

                Comment


                • #9
                  Generally horses are back to eating after a few days or a week, the not eating well doesn't last long.
                  The not eating well may repeat here and there, but they go back to eating ok.

                  An apple/cinnamon fig newton in little pieces worked fine for my horse and doesn't add hardly any sugars to a 1000# horse.
                  I used to break off a few marble sized pieces, give one, then the one hiding the pill and another or two as chasers.
                  That used up 1/2 of a fig newton.

                  If you only give one treat with the pill, they may catch onto it, hide the pill in one, give several treats as chasers.

                  When I had surgery I boarded my horse for a couple weeks and they were supposed to follow my exact instructions.
                  I don't think they did, because he came back not eating his treats.
                  So now I use other for treats, drill a hole in one and put the pill in it and close the hole with a little senior feed and has worked fine for years now.

                  Most anything your horse likes for treats will work, if you do the multiple treats tricks consistently.

                  What really helped our Cushings horse is adding a thyroid supplement.
                  He finally could lose weight and stay down without needing to almost starve him into staying thin.

                  Ask your vet about testing for that and adding that supplement, is a powder, if it may help your horse.

                  Please all of you, even if you never use treats, if you have pushy treat monsters, still consider teaching a horse to take treats, so if you ever have to use some to give pills, your horse will know to eat treats.

                  Even figuring a way to put a few treats in a feed bucket if you won't hand feed them, teach a horse those are very good stuff, don't wait until you have to feed them medications thru them.
                  If you have to, teach first to eat treats without the medication, then add it later, once the horse is looking forward to them.

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                  • #10
                    I use an old UlcerGuard tube as a pill pusher to dose my Cushings mare. Pull the plunger back about 1/3 of the way, drop in the tablet (they fit perfectly), add a little water, let sit upright for a minute or two to soften the tablet, then dose maresy.

                    This mare has been on Prascend / Permax / Pergolide for years and still cycles through periods of not wanting her grain. I have tried dozens of different combinations of feeds, ration balancers, supplements, treats, etc, etc, etc, to tempt her back into eating. My best successes have come with treating her for ulcers with one-half tube of UlcerGuard per day for 10-12 days in a row. Otherwise, I just wait her out, reducing her grain ration to whatever she will clean up at that time. She does cycle back to eating well at some point.

                    *star*
                    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

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                    • #11
                      APF worked for me. I kept him on it for 6 months, and after that he didn't need it any longer.
                      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Hi all, thanks for the great suggestions. We've been pretty successful getting the Prascend eaten when hidden inside a treat. It's the 'pergolide veil' that's been the problem for a few months.

                        ladybugsbw, I wondered the same thing - what exactly is it about the APF that helps appetite? I've never heard of the ingredients before. The SmartPak link says 'A water-alcohol extract of: Eleutherococcus senticosus, Schizandra chinensis, Rhodiola rosea, Echinopanax elatus.'

                        ShotenStar, I think we're going with your strategy at the moment - just reduce grain to what is eaten and wait it out. The ulcer suggestion is interesting - do you think ulcers may be common in Cushing's horses?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HappyHorsey
                          what exactly is it about the APF that helps appetite? I've never heard of the ingredients before. The SmartPak link says 'A water-alcohol extract of: Eleutherococcus senticosus, Schizandra chinensis, Rhodiola rosea, Echinopanax elatus.'
                          The herbal ingredients are adaptogens, substances which improve the body's resilience to stress, combat fatigue, and increase energy. Here's a lit review from Pharmaceuticals which discusses how adaptogens are thought to work and specifically discusses study outcomes for the first three herbs on the list. My vet, who uses a number of Eastern medicine techniques in her practice, calls it "voodoo"... and continues to recommend it to her Cushings patients because the anecdotal reports from her practice suggest it does improve appetite. It certainly worked for my guy.

                          Anything that increases energy and promotes physiological homeostasis can be implied to restore decreased appetite in line with increased energy expenditure, particularly if the horse's whole character is depressed. Lethargic horses aren't burning, and don't need to restore, as many calories as energetic horses.
                          "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                          • #14
                            I wonder if plain alfalfa hay does the same than those supplements?

                            That is all our horse gets, plus a bare handful of senior grain to get the thyroid supplement to stick to something.

                            He has a few sprigs of grass and weeds try to grow in his pens, but not for more than a bite here and there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is it the actual pill that you can’t get her to take? Or you get her to take it and she’s lost her appetite?? I’ve had the most success using a hoofpick and slicing a little slit into a piece of carrot ...I started 1/4 pill and would increase by 1/4 every 4 days until I reached the target dose ...Apf might help -that doesn’t taste good so you should dose that and squirt into her mouth...unfortunately Prascend has some not so great side effects ...I had a pony that couldn’t tolerate it..I also agree about trying an ulcer supplement
                              R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Renn/aissance - Thanks for the adaptogen information. I agree, it does sound a little bit 'voodoo,' but I don't think it will hurt to give it a try.

                                ladipus - It's the loss of appetite due to the Prascend. I think we might give APF a try. I also happen to have some SmartGut Ultra on hand, just to see if we think ulcers could be a possibility. Thanks!

                                Bluey - We did try feeding alfalfa cubes, which she actually wasn't very excited about. I was thinking we might try regular alfalfa hay or pellets - maybe there was something about those cubes! Thanks!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  sorry to hear about Custhings. Been a few years since my old Good Horse passed and he was a Cushings guy. I know he stopped eating when he started, so I think the vet cut his dose (to 1/2 pill) which helped (and his symptoms were managed He loved Purina Senior Equine "soup" - hid a LOT of meds in there - ate a ton of it. For his meds, I remember taking a handful, adding water to make a paste, and putting in that little pink pill! Also liked and ate Tractor Supply Alfalfa Tim bagged denjy hay, also in "soup" form. TS wouldn't be my first choice but it was the brand he really liked.
                                  Good luck with your boy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My low maintenance pony that is on Prascend is funny about eating his grain. He won't eat the Prascend in feed or treats so I dissolve half a pill in warm water and dose him with a syringe. I try to do that after he eats his grain. It doesn't seem to affect his appetite for hay. He will turn up his nose at breakfast and chow down on his hay. He ALWAYS wants alfalfa but the leaf shatter I have in the alfalfa hay I can buy makes him cough so he can't have that. He is at a good weight - not too fat or thin so I am not worrying too much.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19

                                      ShotenStar, I think we're going with your strategy at the moment - just reduce grain to what is eaten and wait it out. The ulcer suggestion is interesting - do you think ulcers may be common in Cushing's horses?
                                      I have no idea. I have a data set of 1 with this mare and can only tell you that this has worked for us.

                                      *star*
                                      "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                                      - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I had the same issues. My horses we always hearty, definitely not picky, eaters. Once on Prascend, one of my guys refused to eat his usual grain. After much trial and error, he decided Strategy Healthy Edge would be OK. The other guy (on 1/2 Prascend a day) would not touch any grain at all for a year and a half. I ended up giving him his meds in Minty Muffin "pill pockets" and just let him go. He would eat his hay and grass fine, so he didn't starve.

                                        One day, 1-1/2 years later, he asked for grain. And he's been eating it fine ever since.

                                        Both have outright rejected treats they used to love and will not touch many kinds of grain/alfalfa pellets, etc. Neither one will eat powdered bute in their feed, which they never minded before Prascend.

                                        It's pretty much trial and error and sometimes waiting it out, in my experience. From what my vets have told me, inappetence is Prascend's most common side effect.

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