Re: New here and to cushings.

Sandra Su

At 2:27 PM +0000 1/20/08, stufflebeam61356 wrote:
I have a 21 year old QH/draft gelding. I have only had him alittle
over a month. And he was tested about 3 months ago for cushings. I
am working on getting the results back.
It's important to get those test results. Find out what kind
of test(s), and ask for the units of measure, not just the numbers,
and also the lab's normal ranges.
What we like here is the ACTH test to find out about
Cushing's, the insulin and glucose to find out about IR (which
sometimes comes with Cushing's or even w/o), and thyroid tests,
because often that's skewed, too. So, if you don't get the results or
if the info isn't complete, you may want to test again and get your
vet to do these tests. There's info in the files about testing, which
you should read first and share with your vet if you need to retest.

And he was put on 1 mL of Pergolide.
If his coat is still long and curly, you may have to increase
the dose. But you may want to retest to see how the ACTH is or wait
and see how he sheds out.

My hay is about 80% alfalfa and 20% grass. So I have him on mare &
maintenance by Nutrina.
Till you can get a glucose:insulin ratio from the 2 tests to
see if he's IR, it's wise to act as if he is. You need to test the
hay to see how much sugar and starch is in it. Till you know that
number is low enough, soak the hay. See the files for details.
Also, Mare & Maintenance is too high in s/s, I think, so you
may want to switch to one of the safer feeds listed. Beet pulp is
good, but if you can't use that for some reason, in the files under
Beet Pulp Sources is a list of places that sell other feeds that are
low enough in s/s. However, most of his diet should be hay.
Also, when your hay test results are in, you can calculate
what other nutrients need to be added to balance the hay. Till then,
follow the emergency diet. When you joined, I think you got details
about this among a series of e-mails. If not, you can find info in
the files section.

I am looking into having my hay tested. But I never have had it done before.
Your first step is to find a hay corer aka a hay probe.
Sometimes you can borrow one from the county extension office or a
feed dealer or your vet, but you may have to buy one. It's important
to use a hay probe to get accurate hay test results. So your first
mission is to locate one.
The amount of info you will have to digest is overwhelming.
Don't despair! We all went through it when we joined. I find it's
better to just learn what you need to know now and absorb more info
as you go. Don't try to tackle everything at once. And don't feel
alone if your head is spinning from everything. You'll be an old hand
at it in a matter of months. Ask questions when you don't understand
stuff. People here are very helpful.
So first, read up on the emergency diet and start your horse
on it, try to get the test results, and look for a hay probe.
Oh, yes! Exercise is important, if your horse is sound. Try
to ride consistently, and if he's out of shape, work up to it slowly.
But do exercise him. It really helps them.

Sandy Su

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