Re: Would you test for Cushings and/or IR? - history, photos added


No, Lavinia, the vet did not draw blood for IR testing. I didn't willfully ignore the generous advice given here. I wrestled with different advice from difference sources and decided to rely on my on-site, real-life expert whose training and expertise I respect. I'll confess I harbor lingering doubts. We will get to the bottom of this until those concerns are resolved. I'm aware that IR cannot be ruled out without lab testing.

If it helps explain my thinking, I look at this visit as the first step. I will be reporting to the vet over the next 10 days as Satra responds to the meds. After the Cushings test results are in, I will have another conversation with him. As for testing for IR...This equine vet has extensive experience and specialization in ancient horses, rescue horses, IR/Cushings, neglect and lameness. In a nutshell, I trust him completely with this situation and respect his clinical findings and opinion. He's well-respected, well-informed and up-to-date in an area where there's a reasonably high standard of care (San Francisco Bay Area). He was very familiar with the hind end weakness we were seeing, knows it is progressive, and chose to focus on managing it first. The fact both my horses were foot sore after the trim, in his opinion, points to the trim as the most likely cause of lameness. He knows a good amount about gaited horses (e.g. hypersensitivity to sedation), so I assumed he was aware of a higher incidence of IR. Best to be explicit.

When we talk, I'll ask him specifically to do a blood draw for IR testing at Cornell. We'll see if he thinks it's a wasted effort in light of the fact Satra is a RMH and we're headed for grass growing season. I also don't remember if I mentioned that I think she's drinking a lot of water and urinating a lot. We covered a lot in an hour! In the meantime, I'll feed Satra as if she were IR, as best I understand it. Sorry for the dissertation.

When I specifically asked, the vet said the coffin bone looked just fine, no sinking. He observed the broken angle (sorry, my anatomy is pitiful) of the front of the coffin bone and front of the fetlock and said a better trim would fix that by lowering the heel. Yes, both my mares have a stinking pasture trim, which is not my favorite, but I'm not informed, trained or educated enough to expound on why I'd prefer a barefoot trim. This pasture trim was done by a barefoot trimmer! If anyone can refer me to a qualified, certified barefoot trimmer willing to trim 2 horses near Santa Rosa, California, I'd love to contact him/her. I'm not looking to shoe this mare. I want her balanced with more foot under her, which doesn't mean long toes and heels. The farrier I am trying to engage, I learned, is a proponent of the type of balanced trim described by That, at least, is something I understand. When I spoke to him as he was shoeing a foundered horse, he said he was completely conversant with the barefoot trim with Mustang roll and would be happy to do it if it were in the best interest of the horse.

Thanks for helping me clarify my thinking and worries. I have a flight path.

Sonoma County, CA
Oct. 2012

--- In, "Lavinia" <dnlf@...> wrote:

Has she had bloodwork done to see if she is IR? Because it is common in RMH it would be wise to know for sure. That you are managing her for it is good - helps to know if things are tight enough.
The trim looks like a pasture trim as opposed to a correct barefoot trim. From the pics and xrays, the thick sole may be at least in part unexfoliated dead sole giving a false impression of actual sole depth. That is not a bonus. Unfortunately, the vet didn't mark the dorsal wall surface and the coronet band but it appears that there may be some sinking. Was that mentioned? Toes are a bit too long/heels a tad high but we've seen much worse here. These aren't difficult fixes.
Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut
Jan 05, RI
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