Re: 35 Yr old QH mare died August 2013- Question

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Joyce,

So sorry to hear what happened to your girl. There could have been many possible reasons for what happened, with her age a complicating factor in any of them. Unfortunately, at this point all we can do is theorize.

Stopping pergolide abruptly, after 6+ years, was NOT a prudent thing to do. There are many compounding pharmacies that can supply the drug so having a supply issue from one was not an acceptable excuse for not providing life-altering medication. We generally recommend weaning on and/or off the drug to give the system time to acclimate to the hormonal changes. It is possible the sudden cessation of medication caused a "pergolide veil" effect, where horses go off feed, get lethargic, may seem out of it. This is usually a temporary situation that will correct with time but it can take a few days to a few weeks. APF, an adaptogenic formula from Auburn Labs, can be extremely helpful with this.

PPID is a progressive disease so if bloodtesting was not being regularly done to monitor how well/if her pergolide dose was adequately controlling the disease the tumor was likely growing more quickly and when the perg was stopped it was similar to a "last straw" that pushed her over the edge.

August is the beggining of the seasonal rise in the Northern Hemisphere, when all equines have a natural rise in their ACTH to prepare for winter. Because PPID horses generally have an earlier/larger/longer rise it is the most dangerous time of year for them in terms of complications from the elevated ACTH. That she had a voracious appetite before stopping the drug points to her possibly already being under-controlled, or IR in addition to the PPID, and the sudden jump in hormone output in a 35 yo was too much for her system to handle.

Again, sorry for your loss.

Would you please add your general geographic location and year of joining to your future posts as this allows us to help you better and more quickly. Appreciate your help with this.

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

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