Fw: Extremely skinny just diagnosed cushings horse in Australia please help

Mandy Woods


From: Mandy
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2015 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: Extremely skinny just diagnosed cushings horse in Australia please help
Hi Belinda,
Welcome to the group.   We can help you with your boy.   But first we need you to join the ECH8 group and fill out the questionnaire.   I’ll send you an invite to join.   Please take your time answering all the questions.  This will paint a bigger picture for the volunteers to see and then they will be able to advise you correctly and quickly.   Here’s the link too. 
The list philosophy is DDT/E.  This means DIAGNOSIS by bloodwork,   DIET, of low sugar/starch forage with the minerals balanced to its assay,  TRIM a balanced foot and EXERCISE of even handwalking depending on the soundness of the  animal.
You say your vet pulled blood for a Cushings/PPID test.   Please tell us the name of the test,  what his numbers were,  the lab units and the normal ranges.   We do NOT recommend the DEX test as it has the possibility of pushing a delicate horse into founder.  We DO recommend the endogenous ACTH test which is a single blood pull.  This test does require special handling which you might want to print.   Its in the Cornell files.  
The medication your vet prescribed for you is not going to work.  We have found that liquid pergolide degrades within 15 – 30 days of being mixed.  The water suspension has the shortest shelf life,  the oil suspension is next.   We recommend a powder/gelcap which has a longer shelf life – up to 6 months.  Keep the bottle in the frig door.    Cushings is a progressive disease so you will have to retest at least annually to get him in the normal range and most likely increase the amount of medication given.  There is also the seasonal rise to contend with when all horses have a seasonal rise in their ACTH levels.   If you read at www.ecirhorse.org you’ll find  more information regarding this.
DIET.   Please stop everything you are feeding him.  Start by removing him from pasture.   Grass is very high in sugars. Get a muzzle if you need to put him on pasture.  Tape the holes shut. Build a dry lot.    Start the Temporary Emergency DIET that was sent to you in the New Member primer and in the Start Here files here.   This is critical.  You should soak grass hay for one hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water.   Pour the dirty water off where he cant get to it.  Its full of sugar and dirt.   Use poly hay nets,  weigh his hay dry then soak it.  Feed him at least 4 small meals a day at 2% to 2-5% his ideal body weight.   He should not get any  Grains, treats,  apples,  carrots,  commercial supplements or bagged feeds.  You want to feed him as low a sugar/starch diet as you can build.   Soaking untested hay can reduce the sugar up to 30%.    The minerals you need to add today are Vitamin E natural gel caps in soy oil,  Loose iodized table salt,  freshly ground flax seed and magnesium.  The recipe is at www.ecirhorse.org and in the Start Here files.  This is the basis for the custom diet you will build for him.   You can use SpeediBeet as a carrier for the minerals.  RInse it before you feed it because it has iron in it.   Do NOT feed alfalfa.  There is a chemical in alfalfa that makes many horses foot sore.  Find a grass hay.    I cant comment on Hygain Zero so for now stop it until it passes the safety test.
Copra should not be fed.  It’s a fat and FAT can worsen IR.   Black sunflower seeds are not correct for the Omega 3 and 6’s.   Flax seed is correct and only 2-4 oz a day.   Rice Bran is not appropriate for him.   Oil is not appropriate.   These products worsen IR.
To test for Insulin Resistance you want your vet to pull blood on a NON FASTING horse.  You want to test for Insulin/Glucose/Leptin.   Just feed him soaked/drained grass hay the night before and the day of the blood pull.   IR is managed by DIET ~ low sugar/starch/fat under 10%.   IR is also a progressive condition.   Any horse will thrive on the DIET we prescribe here.   The Temp ER DIET is just until you get your hay secured and tested.   You can send hay samples to www.equi-analytical.com and order the Trainer # 603.   Not only do we consider the minerals in the hay and balance to the excesses and deficiencies we balance ratios.    The good news is there is a strong group of horse owners in OZ that can and will help you source products,  vets, trimmers etc!   You are not alone in this! 
TRIM is a balanced foot with toes backed and heels lowered.   You havent mentioned any lameness but should he become sore you can pull shoes if he has nailed on shoes and put him in boots/pads.   
The sooner you start the new pergolide and the new DIET you will see a change in him. This DIET supports Cushings horses.   We recommend all 4 points that were mentioned be incorporated at the same time to see the best results.   Start a journal on him.  Take photos of his body,  feet.  They can be posted in the PHOTO section of ECH8.  We have hoof people here to help you.    Take a deep breath and ask questions.   Chanda gave you good advice about beet pulp grown in the fields.  RInse/soak/Rinse it and its SAFE!!!

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