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Question about IR in ponies (my pony was just diagnosed)

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  • Question about IR in ponies (my pony was just diagnosed)

    My 24 yo pony has a long coat that didn't shed out this spring (thanks Allycat for your recent thread).....so vet was out this week. ACTH test was negative but his IR test was 75. Pony's only systems of anything is the long coat. His weight is good, never any problems with his feet, no cresty neck etc. So vet wants to start him on pergolide. We'll leave him on his current diet of TC senior and grass. He did suggest we add a multivit.

    Question 1: can anyone direct me to info resources on IR that are written for the average person to understand? (I found a couple but they were so scientific they were a bit over my head).

    Question 2: I recall from a previous thread people buying pergolid on line? Vet said it will cost ~ $50 monthly. Seems a bit higher than what I read in other threads.

    I appreciate your time. I love this little pony and want him around for a very long time

  • #2
    I would really question the advice of leaving him on grass if he's IR. I'd rather try to control his problems via diet than putting him on Pergolide that can have side effects. If it was my pony, I'd dry lot him with soaked hay and then take it from there after seeing what effect that has.

    A very good site with lots of information is www.safergrass.org. The site's owner and author posts on here also and will hopefully stop by to check on this thread also.

    Comment


    • #3
      This site helped me out a lot

      http://www.equinemedsurg.com/Heiro%20article.html

      Obviously they're selling something, but just skip that and keep going. I've used this as the basis for my research in learning to deal with IR, and most of the info is very good. I do think they have their info wrong on the Fat/Oil Supplements. I looked up and read the study they quoted, and I got the opposite conclusion from it.

      Other than that, it's a very comprehensive site to start with.
      Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you both for the links - will look at them both.

        Daydream: re: grass, vet said right now the grass should be ok for him as it's tall and dry (I think that means less sugars?). Problem with the pony is that he really doesn't like to eat hay. He picks at it, will chew and spit out what he doesn't like. His teeth are ok - and he eats grass and alfalfa just fine . So finding foods for him to eat to keep his weight up are going to be challenging, especially going into winter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Not true on the grass. It has much more to do with time of day, amount of sunlight, etc... as to how much sugar is in the grass. Stressed grasses can be problematic also.

          That Safer Grass site will help you understand what you can do to make grazing safer for your pony but I'd be really really careful if I were you. You simply can't look at grass and tell if it's safe or not...same with hay.

          I have had great luck using alfalfa pellets, rice bran and beet pulp with my 21 year old stallion who cannot eat/chew hay. He will also get cresty and show IR symptoms if I let him have a processed feed of any kind...so it's my home mix for him. He does OK on some pasture but he really can't eat much where he is now...not enough to cause him metabolic problems.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by crazy gray horse View Post
            ... finding foods for him to eat to keep his weight up are going to be challenging, especially going into winter.

            Beet Pulp.
            Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Those were both very helpful sites. Thankyou. Here's a couple more questions.

              1) What is considered a dry-lot. Completed void of grass? Minimal, short grass? I'm asking because his night paddock is grazed down short. He's out in the tall grass during the day.

              2) How does pergolide help the IR horse? I always thought it was for cushings.

              Of course every answer just creates more questions. I can see this is the beginning of a very long, learning curve. Thanks again.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by crazy gray horse View Post
                Those were both very helpful sites. Thankyou. Here's a couple more questions.

                1) What is considered a dry-lot. Completed void of grass? Minimal, short grass? I'm asking because his night paddock is grazed down short. He's out in the tall grass during the day.

                2) How does pergolide help the IR horse? I always thought it was for cushings.

                Of course every answer just creates more questions. I can see this is the beginning of a very long, learning curve. Thanks again.

                Cushings is the only condition that produces a long hair coat that does not shed out......so one could assume that your horse is cushiod......and that the IR is a result of that condition........therefore you need to treat the primary reason. If this was my horse I would be using pergolide.

                Dalemma

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Dalemma View Post
                  Cushings is the only condition that produces a long hair coat that does not shed out......so one could assume that your horse is cushiod......and that the IR is a result of that condition........therefore you need to treat the primary reason. If this was my horse I would be using pergolide.

                  Dalemma
                  Now I'm confused. How could he test normal on the ACTH (that is the cushings test, correct?) and still be considered cushoid?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't know re: the non-Cushingoid and Peroglide recommendation. As far as I know, Peroglide only helps with Cushings. But a long coat is not a symptom of IR that I'm aware? I would ask the vet.

                    My mare was borderline IR when tested two years ago, but exhibited a lot of the characteristics: air fern keeper, overweight, and cresty neck. Never a bought of laminitis or founder though.

                    Since then, she has been dry-lotted 90% of the time (I board, dry lot is a paddock with crushed lime footing), and I've added the supplement Smart IR to her diet. I only give 1/2 a dose per day. I can tell a difference in her since starting the supplement....actually I could tell a difference in the first month; her neck became much less cresty. I've not needed to soak hay, and she does great on a pound of ration balancer per day (but this may not work for all IR horses). She's lost a lot of weight, and does not even look IR at the moment.

                    Caitlin
                    Caitlin
                    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by crazy gray horse View Post
                      How could he test normal on the ACTH (that is the cushings test, correct?) and still be considered cushoid?
                      Because a non shedding hair coat is considered more definitive for PPID than any testing protocol, all of which are prone to error.
                      Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        $50 does seem high...my mare is on 1.5mg of pergolide (capsules) and it is less than $30 a month. Pet Health Pharmacy does my mail order http://www.pethealthpharmacy.com/ and were recommended by the Yahoo Equine Cushings Group. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings/

                        I strongly recommend joining that group for the wealth of information they have on IR and Cushings.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It sounds like your horse is cushingoid, and not IR, despite the ACTH test. Going by his haircoat signs. These test are not always sensitive enough to detect beginnings of disease.

                          To answer your question yes, pergolide is for the Cushingoid horse, not the IR horse. So it sounds like your vet got the diagnosis wrong but the treatment right.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Katy Watts View Post
                            Because a non shedding hair coat is considered more definitive for PPID than any testing protocol, all of which are prone to error.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              JLR1 - I will definitely join the yahoo group. I have much to learn.

                              Thank you all for your input - it is very helpful. I will continue to research and I'll be talking to my vet again the beginning of the week. It's all just a little overwhelming right now.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by crazy gray horse View Post
                                Now I'm confused. How could he test normal on the ACTH (that is the cushings test, correct?) and still be considered cushoid?
                                My mini never tested high for ACTH but pergolide definitely helped her. She was severely high IR and was also on a very strict diet.

                                I'd keep your pony off grass. It can be high in sugar if it was stressed (have you been as dry as those of us a bit farther south?) and then gets rain. Sugar in grass is very tricky.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Bezysmom View Post
                                  My mini never tested high for ACTH but pergolide definitely helped her. She was severely high IR and was also on a very strict diet.

                                  I'd keep your pony off grass. It can be high in sugar if it was stressed (have you been as dry as those of us a bit farther south?) and then gets rain. Sugar in grass is very tricky.
                                  Yes it has been very dry and then of course a thunderstorm. So one more question. Does his paddock have to be dirt? His paddock has very sparse, grazed down grass. Is this still unacceptable? Sorry for my ignorance.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by crazy gray horse View Post
                                    So one more question. Does his paddock have to be dirt? His paddock has very sparse, grazed down grass. Is this still unacceptable?
                                    If you pay attention to your pony he will tell you. If pony develops symptoms, it's too much. If he is galloping around and no symptoms develop, than it's acceptable. There is wisdom in saying 'don't treat the blood, treat the horse.' The blood test tells you to be watchful. The pergolide can control IR driven by PPID. To prevent needless worry, retest after a few months on pergolide and see where he's at.
                                    Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by crazy gray horse View Post
                                      It's all just a little overwhelming right now.
                                      Hang in there, it all sorts itself out. It took us about 3 weeks to wade through all the info and figure out a plan. We've refined it from there, and our IR horses have never felt better.
                                      Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by crazy gray horse View Post
                                        Now I'm confused. How could he test normal on the ACTH (that is the cushings test, correct?) and still be considered cushoid?
                                        The test is not always right .......you can have a false negative.

                                        But a long coat that does not shed out is a conclusive........there is no other condition that this happens with.

                                        Dalemma

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