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At what point do you medicate when you don't have a definitive diagnosis of Cushings?

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  • #21
    I have a horse that had all the classic symptoms of Cushings...fat pads; winter coat that didn't shed; laminitis in spite of my extreme efforts to control diet, etc. After multiple negative Cushings tests, we put him on Prascend anyway. All of the symptoms have lessened/stopped. While he still develops a woolier coat than he used to, it sheds out on its own each spring, fat pads are gone and he hasn't had a laminitis episode in 3 years.

    My vet seems to feel that when all the symptoms are there, it's worth treating in spite of what the tests say. I have to agree with her.


    • Original Poster

      Yes, S1969 . it was the bizarre shedding (along with the weight loss) this spring that I found most alarming and why I insisted on having him tested. I did not take pictures of Bud with his shaggy hair coming out in clumps and simultaneously growing those freakishly long hairs under his jaw - really wish I had. I was relieved that he shedded out totally normally in the end. It just took a little longer than normal. He was the first of my three to start putting on his winter coat this fall.

      The battle to get weight on him did stop once he shedded out completely and he is now just getting his ProElite Grass Advantage ration balancer, a few alfalfa pellets and flax. But for two months I had to supplement his feed with senior feed, more alfalfa pellets and canola oil - which I have never had to do before.

      I have put a call into the vet to get a script for the Prascend. They don't actually carry it. I'll get it from Allivet where I get my other prescription meds for my animals.

      What is a typical dose for a small, 11hh pony (approx 625 pounds)? I'm assuming they wouldn't take as much as a full sized horse? Or is this like Equioxx, where size doesn't matter and 1 pill a day is standard, regardless of size/weight?
      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


      • #23
        Well the cushings "worm" sure has taken a turn at my farm

        Today the farm vet was here for the other horse because his sheath swelled up 3X normal, at the head last Tuesday and was still like that last night. It's happened before but the swelling has always gone down in 24-36 hours.

        While the vet was here, I asked him to please read the test results that took that famous lab six months to send back to the clinic.

        whaddayknow, my IR's horse's ACTH numbers were high enough that he should have been started on Prascend months ago.

        I called the clinic as soon as the vet left to make sure they know I want Joker on Prascend and to order it right away. They don't stock it either --Prascend must have a short shelf life???

        He will start Joker on the weakest dose and re-check Joker in 4-6 weeks. I asked if that would be 1/4 of a tablet and he nodded yes. He said it's safer and easier to go up than to have to go back down.

        Joker is ~1,100 lb Tennessee Walker, so it's very possible 4leafclover your ponies may need a lower dose.

        I am sick -- I knew this was coming because there are too many Cushings indicators but I am still sick.

        I am waiting to see how much the pills cost thru the vet -- they look to be an average of $150 for a 60 count of 1mg tablets. If the vet comes close to that, I will order tnru them, unless they prefer I do my own ordering.


        • Original Poster

          walkinthewalk my vet doesn't carry many prescription meds. Maybe they don't have enough clients to stock them? They didn't have Equioxx either. I have to get that from Alivet for my 28 yr old draft cross. For small practices, I guess I can see how they couldn't carry everything prescription any animal might need. Looks like the 60-count of Prascend is $142.50 at Allivet with the "autoship" option (with free shipping).

          Don't beat yourself up over Joker. You got him tested and are moving forward with his meds - that is what matters. Jingles that the Prascend works for him.
          ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


          • #25
            Size doesn't determine dose; the lowest dose that works is what you use. My 14.3 Arab was on two pills a day.


            • #26
              Originally posted by pony baloney View Post
              Size doesn't determine dose; the lowest dose that works is what you use. My 14.3 Arab was on two pills a day.
              Right, the amount of dysfunction managing hormones by the body is what determines how much to use.
              Some horses still have plenty of natural hormones, just not quite enough.
              Others don't have hardly any natural production left, they need more.
              Our Cushing's horse is in the middle, he has been on half a pill in the winters, one in the summers, until now, when we are staying on one pill this year, some symptoms have been wanting to come back lately.

              He is also on a thyroid supplement, that really has helped keep him stable over several years now.

              Each horse is different and different at different times, Cushing's takes much management and we can't really do that well, just the best we can manage for each horse.