Re: I have a positive diagnosis of cushings, but can't create a case history for my mare

Mandy Woods

Hi Marion,


1.  The lab that was used I believe was Cornell.  My vet has a great network regarding trends, etc. 

>>>>>>Good you’re using Cornell.  We know the units from them.  That IS a very high ACTH.  Please start her on pergolide by tapering on.  Your vet should have some ideas on how to do that like a short bottle of liquid (only good for 14 days) to get her started towards  the lab normals (9-35) pg/ml   You may see a change in her if you use CTB but its not going to control her tumor.    Is CHB what you meant for CTB?  or What is CHB?

3.  When I scheduled the appointment, the staff did not tell me to fast her before the blood draw.  She was given her breakfast around 6am that morning and the blood draw was around 1:00pm.

>>>>>>>Good that she was not fasted.   For the I/G/Leptin test just feed her soaked/drained grass hay the night before and the day of the test. 

4. Name of the meds prescribed?  I am having a brain fart at the moment because in our discussion, it was more about treatment, questions about chastetree powder and another horse I have with a different problem.  I wasn't ready to write down the name of the medication other than to make sure they ordered it for me.  Once I have the med, I can update the CH.


5.  I don't have a reliable hay supply for winter.  The hay suppliers in my area don't always get their hay from the same place all the time, most import from out of state, and every time I do order hay, the prices are all over the map so costs can skyrocket before my budget can absorb the last increase.  Buying the baged hay cubes has saved my budget by keeping feed costs stable.  I have several horses so managing a feed budget is important to me.  Every source I have found - none grow the hay locally.  So its darned if I do, and darned if I don't.

>>>>>>>>>>>>What state do you live in?  Colorado?   Call your county extention agent or Google Hay sales in your state.   I know you can find enough hay even if its just for her,  to make a hay test worth your while.  The secret to this diet is low s/s and minerals balanced.   You can only tell if you test your hay!

6.  I work full time and my mare has a herd of 5 other horses so free feeding her is not going to be easily done.  She is the alpha mare in the group so I don't worry about the others stealing her food, but if she is getting something different than the rest of the herd, she will likely push the others off and eat what she wants rather than what she needs.

>>>>>Now this is going to take some brain storming but this group is famous for this.  You need to feed her seperately or you feed all  your horses the same feed.   

7.  Bahj is a 15/16ths Morab, not that it makes a difference.  But we have been together since she was a baby and always a sweet heart.  As far as her feet go, back when she was 3, she foundered when she had her first baby and her feet have always had a dish.  It is something I have managed with consistent trimming her entire life.  When we were competing in endurance, she was shod all of the time and we worked out the dish.  But she has been retired for the last 15 years from endurance and I don't keep her shod and her feet are back to where they used to be.  She is not lame and continues to run and trot around her area, chasing the youngsters and keeping them in check.  She is pretty busy for 28.  Currently she is not lame, she has no pain and is doing really well, considering.   We are lucky there.

>>>>>>>Will you post photos of her feet?  We will then have a baseline then to go by. 

8.  I don't feed her commercial feeds, especially sweet feeds because the excess sugar caused a stomach ulcer in her and in the rest of my herd.  I keep everyone's diet relatively simple and make sure they get what they need nutritionally.  We even had to stop feeding beat pulp for the same reason.  It didn't matter what I did to it, the added sugars created a problem for her and her son.  That's why they only get cracked corn and not a ton of it anyway.

>>>>>>>Can you get Triple Crown products?   A half a cup of TCLite could be your carrier for her Temp ER Minerals of VitaminE,  isalt, mag/ox and flax.   

9.  She LOVES apples, but then again she only gets one as an occasional treat.  They are not a staple in her diet.  My order for CHB came last night so I gave her some and she is not impressed.  Tonight we are going to start with smidgens of a dose to get her used to the taste and see how it goes.’

>>>>>I would save that apple till your pergolide gelcaps arrive so you can hide it in a slice of apple.


My next question is - have you had to manage a cushings horse that is part of a herd?  Do you have to kick them out of the herd or just into a segregated area at meal times?  As stated earlier, I work full time and am not available to feed her 4 times per day.

>>>>>>>>>>Yes,  my pony is PPID/IR and lives in a drylot.   My mare is IR and lives in a separate drylot.   They wear muzzles taped shut if they go out on the pasture.  No grass! They are fed their minerals in their stalls.    You could make drylots with  step in plastic posts using electric tape. Use a corner of your pasture area that is grass free.

I also have an odd situation - I also have 4 cats with kidney disease, 2 cats with megacolon disease and one with small intestinal disease.   My other mare has troubles with her feet from a very mild form of Western Encephalopthy so we are treating her as well.  With so many sick babies, I have to do the best I can with what I have.  I will do some additional research if I can find any one who has low sugar hay's available locally.  The only grass type in my area known to be low sugar is CRP.  This is a lot to take in, but the more information I have will allow me to find creative solutions so that I can help her for her time remaining time.

>>>>>>>WOW  your plate is full!


My vet also has a cushings horse and can give me tips as well.

>>>>>>>Good that your vet understands from experience!   Did you send your vet this link of ours?       Don’t forget her foot photos!

Mandy in VA



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