BET Labs, breeding cushings mares...

Robin <Eclectk1@...>

For whatever the information is worth... My Cushinoid mare, Tina
(Night Flight) is now 29 years old, diagnosed with Cushings
symptomatically (wouldn't ovulate & didn't shed out) about 5 years
ago. I've been treating her symptoms with thyrol-l quite well,
although I did try cypro about 4 years ago & it seemed effective for
about 6 months, then no longer seemed to work.

Anyhow, I spoke to a vet at BET labs today, just for grins and got
some quite interesting information. They recommend that you do NOT
do a dex supression test. I'm not sure if they feel its not as
effective, or if they feel that it may incite a bout of laminitis,
but anyhow here's what they recommend:

You get a couple of redtop tubes to draw blood, pull blood BEFORE
being fed any grain in the AM, feed breakfast, then draw blood again
8 to 10 hours later, again PRIOR to feeding dinner grain. The sera
needs to be separated, either by your vet or you can simply put the
tubes in the fridge on their side overnight then decant the sera into
some small tubes. OR you can overnight the whole blood to them with
a cold pack. Then they test the sera for T4, Cortisol, and Insulin.
Total testing cost is $75, including results and recommendations for

Depending on the insulin levels (oh, shoot, or was it the cortisol
levels? I'm sorry!), anyhow they feel they can determine if cypro is
likely to be effective or not, as compared to pergolide. So you
don't have to go the trial and error method. Then they recommend
periodic testing after beginning the recommended treatment to see how
the horse is responding. They indicated that about 75 to 80% of
mares WILL begin ovulating with the recommended treatment and follow-
ups to adjust levels as necessary (ie. successful response to

They thought that I might have some hope of actually getting her to
ovulate again to try embryo transplant, even tho she's 29!

Note: I am NOT recommending this lab over any others, I don't know
what others do or suggest, but am simply passing along information
that I was able to get for whatever it is worth to all of you...

Also: Welcome to our new members and I hope you'll take a few
minutes to introduce yourselves and your horses to us, we're glad to
have all the input we can get from others dealing with Cushings!

Desert Springs Sport Horses
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