Re: To breed or not to breed

Lavinia <dnlf@...>

We currently have a 13 year old morgan mare who was recently diagnosed with cushings after a slight case of founder at a horse show. She does not have IR in fact her levels where beyond low when tested. My question is that she is a great mare and we bought her for breeding. Should cushing mares be bred? She is currently on prescend and doing wonderful.
Hi Brianna,
Welcome to the list. We need a bit more info from you so we ask that you join our sister list ECHistory6 and put up a case history for your mare.

Breeding a PPID mare is not recommended as you will need to stop the Prascend/pergolide at some point to allow proper milk production to occur and this means the PPID will be uncontrolled during this period.
Also, there is no such thing as a "slight" case of founder. Founder is a serious issue as it means that the coffin bone has detached from its laminar connections and the hoof capsule has changed position relative to the bony column. It takes 6-9 months for the new connections to regrow properly IF the trim has been correctly addressed and there is no additional damage occuring during that time period.

We follow a protocol called DDT/E. This is shorthand for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim, Exercise. It is like the legs of a stool - if all are the same length and securely attached, the stool is stable. If not, it wobbles.

DIAGNOSIS: Thru bloodwork. How was the PPID(Cushings) diagnosed? How was the IR tested for? Sounds like the test results may be questionable as values that are that low suggest the samples were degraded or not drawn properly. PPID is treated thru meds while IR is managed with diet. Pregnancy will induce a degree of IR so that is also a consideration, esp if there is uncontrolled PPID for a time due to stopping the meds.
You say she is doing wonderful - this is great. Has there been follow-up testing to assess whether her bloodwork is also wonderful?

DIET: Low sugar/starch/fat forage-based with minerals balanced to the forage analysis. This is a sensible diet for any horse and is especially important for IR/PPID horses to keep them healthy. Morgans are a poster-child breed for IR so keeping her diet tightly controlled will have benefits even if she is not currently IR.

TRIM: A balanced foot with the toes backed and heels low. In the case of founder, it is extremely important to make suer the trim realigns the hoof capsule with the new position of the bony colum within. Please post pics in the ECHistory6 photos section and the hoof gurus can help determine if your mare's trim is optimal to help her grow out the founder or not. Here is the link to taking good pics:

EXERCISE: Best IR buster there is but never force a foundered/laminitic/sore horse to move. Be esp careful if there are any NSAID's being used as these will mask pain and allow a horse to do too much too soon, thereby tearing the already fragile laminar connections even more.

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Lavinia, Dante, Georgwe Too and Peanut
Jan 05, RI
EC Support Team

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