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Just what does Pergolide do for a horse that has Cushing's?

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  • Just what does Pergolide do for a horse that has Cushing's?

    What kind of effect does it have on the horse's body??? Enquiring minds want to know.

    And what are some of the side effects????
    "We want to raise our children so that they can take a sense of pleasure in both their own heritage and the diversity of others." ~Mr. (Fred) Rogers~

  • #2
    “Pergolide, a type 2 dopaminergic agonist, is now the most commonly used therapy for equine Cushing’s syndrome. Pergolide replaces dopamine, which many cushingoid horses lack. It’s more effective than cyproheptodine, which is an antiserotonergic and antihistamine, and it provides better control of the disease.
    From http://www.islandpharmacy.com/site/1420401/PAGE/768342

    The cushings horse that I know acts sedated and out of it when his pergolide dose is too high.

    Comment


    • #3
      Have you ever heard of the herbal supplement Chaste Tree berry?

      I have a 25yr old OTTB that has been diagnosed with Cushings and pergolide recommended. HOwever, before I shelled out $100/month I happened across a website that mentioned treating horses with Cushings with two teaspoons 2x day of ground up chastree berries. 3 weeks on and 1 week off. I found it for about 8 dollars for a pound and used my coffee grinder to grind up the berries into a powder. I thought, well, what have I got to lose? It worked for these equine rescue folks and might work for my guy.

      I must say, in the 3 weeks I've had him on it, he has shed out much of his extremely long wavy coat and is beginning to show signs of a top line again and less of the pendulous abdomen. He isn't really "rideable" due to an old suspensory injury except to walk on the trails which gives him a change of scenery but he seems much more alert and certainly much shinier than before.

      Obviously it is not going to be as effective as pergolide but something in those chastetree berries IS making a difference for some horses including mine for whatever reason, so I wanted to pass along my experience in case it might help you as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        The chasteberries work for a while and then I heard they are not effective any longer. i have a 26 yr old Cushings horse on high doses of Pergolide. At one time I had him on Evitex which was expensive too. It is the Chasteberries and other stuff in it.He started to develop his symptoms of Cushings again. I started him on Pergolide only 2 ml then. He kept having increased digital pulses and absess type symptoms. This went on for a year and a half. I took him to another vet and it was determined that he was laminitic in his hind feet.It took 4 mls of Pergolide and corrective shoeing to stabilize him. He got really bad and then turned the corner. When his ACTH levels were stabile we tried to drop his dose. He started developing absesses again and increased digital pulses in his feet. No more fooling around with the doses any more. Cushings can be like a time bomb for laminitis. He is doing great now.

        Comment


        • #5
          ooooohhh. sigh. I knew it had to be too good to be true that a cheap herbal supplement would actually do as well as the super expensive drug. I guess I'll see how long it works and then go to the pergolide after that. Thanks for the input about the chastetree berries.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MediaMD View Post
            HOwever, before I shelled out $100/month I happened across a website that mentioned treating horses with Cushings with two teaspoons 2x day of ground up chastree berries. 3 weeks on and 1 week off. I found it for about 8 dollars for a pound and used my coffee grinder to grind up the berries into a powder. I thought, well, what have I got to lose? It worked for these equine rescue folks and might work for my guy.
            Chastetree berry can be very effective, and it's probably a good idea to use it while you can. Unfortunately, most horses end up needing Pergolide if they live long enough.

            If/when you decide to switch to Pergolide, you shouldn't need to pay $100/month, though. Try Vet Pet Solutions out of Colorado. They are a mail order pharmacy, and I get a month's supply for $46, including shipping to South Carolina. And my horse is on a relatively high dose - three 0.5 mg capsules a day. Most horses start on 0.5mg or 1mg a day, so if that was the case for your horse, you'd be paying even less.

            A word of caution: You do want to get the capsules when you go to Pergolide because the liquid suspensions have a very short shelf life. 30 days if they're made with oil, 14 if they're made with water. Also, the capsules are easier to administer than the liquid, and you can know concretely whether the horse has spit any out or not. For years my horse would eat her capsules in a handful of feed. She's stopped doing that now, unfortunately, but I just poke them in the corner of her mouth and watch carefully for a minute to be sure she doesn't spit them out.

            Comment


            • #7
              I had a horse that was also on Pergolide for a period of time, and personally, I saw no change in his symptoms. He was a low grade Cushings - Insulin and ACTH just out of the normal range....So instead of spending a bundle for meds, I treated him with diet only.

              He was diagnosed at 20 and lived until 26, dying of a twisted intestine. He was happy and spunky until the day he died.

              Anyways, I did not try the chasteberries because they were *just* starting to be used at the time and I wanted something "tried and true".

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by joharavhf View Post
                I had a horse that was also on Pergolide for a period of time, and personally, I saw no change in his symptoms. He was a low grade Cushings - Insulin and ACTH just out of the normal range....So instead of spending a bundle for meds, I treated him with diet only.

                He was diagnosed at 20 and lived until 26, dying of a twisted intestine. He was happy and spunky until the day he died.

                Anyways, I did not try the chasteberries because they were *just* starting to be used at the time and I wanted something "tried and true".
                Could you tell me what his diet consisted of? I know someone with a pony on pergolide, and this might help.
                "Humans will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple,
                or more direct than does Nature." ~Leonardo da Vinci

                Comment


                • #9
                  I use another pharmacy in CO, and their pergolide is excellent, and runs .50/mg, making it $15 to keep a horse on it, each month, assuming 1MG per day.

                  Their website is www.thrivingpets.com I have been using their product for over a year, and the horses and ponies have done well on it.

                  I have used Chaste Tree Berry with varying levels of success, on a number of horses/ponies over the years. I do not keep my horses on pergolide year round, currently, and they are doing well on a careful diet, and pergolide during the "danger" times of the year.
                  When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                  www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                  http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Do you gradually wean your horses of the pergolide and then gradually put them back on or do you just stop one day and start one day with the "normal" dose? How do you know when to stop and start? Do you test first? I would like to try this with my mare as she is also not a full blown case at this time!
                    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
                    Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

                    Originally posted by mbm
                    forward is like love - you can never have enough

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Try to keep the pergolide til you need it

                      Pergolide is the dopamine agonist, and it does have side effects in some horses.
                      Convulsions., loss of appetite, behavioral changes etc.

                      I'd suggest changing the diet first, then adding in the herbals, chastetreeberry, jiagoluan, etc.
                      ANd finally when they don't hold the symptoms go to the pergolide.

                      Horses can live a long time on pergolide but it isn't cheap and then there are the side effects.

                      If you want an article on how to feed and manage the Cushings horse go to my website www.foxdenequine.com and we have several you can read and down load.
                      MW
                      Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                      Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                      New edition of book is out:
                      Horse Nutrition Handbook.

                      www.knabstruppers4usa.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        FYI, a US drug company is currently sponsoring a trial to get pergolide FDA approved for horses. Pergolide in horses has always been an off-label use (it was developed for use in humans, but then taken off the US market in 2007, which is why most people are using compounded products). The drug company will pay for the testing for the horse, followup visits and pay for the drug for six months. Many vet schools are participating. I know that Universities of Oklahoma, Michigan and Louisiana are participating http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle....2&nID=1&src=RA, as well as my vet at Littleton Large Equine in Colorado. You may wish to contact these places to find a local study.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What does pergolide do for a horse that has Cushing?

                          Keeps them alive! Side affects? Hard to tell because how do I know the side affect isn't from the disease and not from the treatment?

                          So my best answer is it keep him alive, 36 years and counting.
                          No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ^ Was that a typo? Surely your horse hasn't been on Pergolide for 36 years????

                            Last research I read said there was not significant difference in life expectancy with horses on Pergolide and the control group that was managed without it.

                            Though it said symptoms could be relieved in some horses.

                            What's your experience or knowledge re that?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For those interested in a real comparison of pergolide vs chasteberry for the treatment of Equine Cushing's Disease here ya go:

                              http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaep...0102000175.PDF

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My horse is 36 years old.

                                I believe Pergolide works very well for him as does my vet. He has been on the same dose since he started on it.

                                I will be interested in seeing the results of the new study but in the mean time i won't mess with success. He did improve when put on Pergolide.
                                No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MSP View Post

                                  I believe Pergolide works very well for him as does my vet. He has been on the same dose since he started on it.
                                  Which was how long ago?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                                    For those interested in a real comparison of pergolide vs chasteberry for the treatment of Equine Cushing's Disease here ya go:

                                    www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaep/2002/910102000175.PDF
                                    I always refer peeps to this article when they tout Chaste Berry for horses with cushings. I too used Evitex until Bodie was finally positive for Cushings.

                                    Bodie has less hair coat, carries less weight and is much livelier?? He just seems more alive since he went on Pergolide in August of 2008. he gets 1.5 mgs per day. He has been metabolic for over 6 years!
                                    Steph

                                    http://community.webshots.com/user/stephanne014

                                    Rerider/Haydunker Clique

                                    RIP Barbaro, you were my hero!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly, is the company sponsoring the study. My neice's 27 year old arab is in the study. He is borderline (he tested positive on the dex suppression test and negative on the other tests), but has some symptoms of Cushings including a long hair coat that does not shed and the pot belly. In the study, they do not change anything except add the medication. The side effects we've seen so far are tiredness and some anorexia (he's left his breakfast a few times, but always eats the hay). My neice's horse is getting just one little pill (and I can't tell you the mg) per day. The bugger has figured out that we are hiding the pills in treats and now demands only stud muffins. LOL!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Does anyone know if you can use Chasteberry and Pergolide at the same time? My horse is on pergolide but it's just something I was curious about.

                                        Comment

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