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Arthritis management in the Cushings horse

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  • Arthritis management in the Cushings horse

    What has worked well with your horses? What have you done in lieu of corticosteroid joint injections? Adequan? Legend? Pentosan?

    **I have called the vet for an appointment**

    So my old pensioner has been a bit more off than usual lately. I have been trying to exercise him more (free lunging in the indoor a few days a week) working under the assumption that he is just stiff.

    Really, he's gotten fairly lame on his right hind. Lameness is not foot, looks like hock. Right hock is more swollen than left hock. (not hot) If he didn't have Cushings I wouldn't be so concerned because we could just inject. Obviously that is not an option. I **really** am hoping that he has Lyme.

    Horse is the picture of health other than the Cushings and the recent lameness. Gets a bit of Previcox daily for the creaky joints. Doing very well other wise. Still snorting fire after all these years

    Just looking for some ideas so when the vet comes I'm better educated about treatment options, and obviously I 'm worried about the old guy.

    Last edited by Judysmom; Aug. 29, 2012, 08:38 PM. Reason: spelling
    Unrepentant carb eater

  • #2
    IRAP. Expensive but steroid free--just did my older jumper's bad hock to buy him some time until his regular injection time. Didn't need it after the IRAP.
    Originally posted by EquineImagined
    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


    • #3
      I used Mov-Ease, a supplement recommended by the IR/Cushing Yahoo group. It's dirt cheap, like $10/mo. and many members swear that it's the only thing that has worked on their horses. Unfortunately, it's an icky powder and my horse usually left it in the bucket (and BO never wet his feed no matter how often I asked her to). So, I've gone with Pentosan and will never look back. It works. Period. Costs about as much as a multi-ingredient oral supplement.

      Right now my horse is also getting a double dose of MSM, and I've seen a noticeable difference. MSM is a bit of a no-no for Cushings horses (something to do with absorption of some mineral) but he's not on a soaked hay diet or gets minerals that go with tested hay.


      • #4
        MSM is great for cushings and arthritis. Look into it.


        • #5
          IRAP. Wonderful for my Cushings/IR horse!! Did his hocks a month ago and worked way better than the HA/small amount of steroid injection that he had 8 months ago! Pricey but IME well worth it!


          • #6
            IRAP - not cheap, but as or more effective than corticosteroid injections, with very little risk.


            • #7
              If he's retired and you're concerned about keeping him pasture sound, I'd probably start with the previcox and make sure he gets it daily. If the swollen hock is a new thing and you can't find an injury that might have caused the swelling, I'd also consider Surpass for a few days (check with your vet and be sure it's ok to use surpass if he's already getting daily previcox).


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the input everyone!

                Good to know about MSM, sadly he won't eat supplements, or powdered anything anymore. (or extruded feed, or beet pulp , or alfalfa cubes...the list goes on ) Doesn't matter what I dress it with. Thank God the prascend and the previcox seem to be non offensive and I only occasionally have to pill him.

                Antibiotics are real fun with him too have to dose syringe him, and well, he's not super cooperative. He may be old, but he's not feeble.

                Good to hear the positive experiences with IRAP on older horses. Do you think it worked as well as corticosteroid injections?

                Pony Baloney- How arthritic was the horse that you had good results with Pentosan? I like Pentosan, have used it on a different horse.
                Unrepentant carb eater


                • #9
                  My 32yr old isn't cushings, but he is very arthritic and responds very well to a cup of whole flax seeds daily. Works better for him than any feed thru joint sup, aside from MSM, which works nicely too.

                  He has just started Pentosan and is responding REALLY well. His tummy is too sensitive for previcox.
                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Judysmom View Post

                    Pony Baloney- How arthritic was the horse that you had good results with Pentosan? I like Pentosan, have used it on a different horse.
                    My horse is 27 and isn't crippled with arthritis, so I wasn't expecting a noticeable difference but there was one. My vet said she's seen horses barely able to walk improve a lot on Pentosan. He's been on a double dose of MSM for about 3 weeks now and the BO sees him running around a lot more than he used to. He seems much more forward and even under saddle as well.

                    I'm using SmartPak MSM pellets for one dose; I give him his second dose myself mixed with some soaked timothy hay pellets on the days I'm there. For this dose I use the cheaper powdered stuff.

                    It's a pain when they won't take anything orally. You may be better of doing something that doesn't involve ingesting.