Re: To buy or not to buy a Cushing's horse

Mandy Woods

Hey ~
If you have a read at   you’ll have many questions answered.    The bottom line is you need to know going in to this journey that you will have a supportive vet and a competent farrier.   You will need to invest in Pergolide.  Some vets only sell Prascend which is pergolide in a fancy wrapper.  Most of use compounded pergolide  for a fraction of the cost.   Make sure your vet is a member of Cornell where we send out labs and that he/she will write you a script.  One mg is about $27 a month including s/h.   Since PPID is a progressive condition,  plan on your pergolide dose increasing eventually.   
Many Cushings horses become IR.   IR is managed by DIET.   We recommend good forage with the minerals balanced to it.  IR horses cannot be turned out on pasture.    The Cushing horse will benefit from this very Diet.  He may or may not be able to handle grass.    IR  needs no medication. 
Their quality of life is great if you can control their ACTH level by testing and giving the right dose of pergolide.  Some horses continue to show  and participate in  pleasure rides.   The negative outcome is laminitis/founder  if these  conditions are not controlled. 
You mention that this horse has a bulge for a crest and thick coat/sweats.    You would be doing this horse a favor if you tested him for ACTH,  Insulin/Glucose and Leptin  today.   Again, these are  progressive conditions  so *IF* he’s positive PPID/IR now,  you will have saved him from a lot of pain! 
Lots of members here have taken in horses/ponies that are PPID/IR.   Tell us the details as you get closer to adoption.   We will be able to advise you more closely then.   Thank you for thinking about offering this horse a safe retirement home.   You’re an angel!
Mandy in VA
EC Primary Response
OCT 2003

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