Re: Digest Number 13209


Hi, Jill, and welcome to the list!

.  Some horses do indeed stop eating when first started on Prascend = pergolide. It is called the "Pergolide Veil". There are two things one does to help prevent this:  1)  Titrate the dose up slowly, starting at 0.25 mg, and adding 0.25 mg every 3 or 4 days. So days 1-4 the horse gets 0.25 mg; days 4-7 0.5 mg; days 8-11 0.75 mg; then on day 12 you are up to the initial target dose of 1.0 mg.  Test the ACTH 3 weeks after reaching the target dose. 

2) Give APF or APF Pro when starting the pergolide. This works very well indeed.

It is also important to have the correct diagnosis, so that you know the horse truly needs the pergolide.  Pergolide is sometimes prescribed for insulin resistance, but it is not appropriate for that; only for PPID=Cushing's.


The list philosophy is Diagnosis, Diet, Trim, and Exercise.


Diagnosis is by blood tests: blood should be pulled from a non-fasting horse (or pony) in a quiet barn; blood spun, separated, and frozen or chilled asap, then sent to the lab at Cornell on ice. Ask for insulin, glucose, leptin and ACTH (ACTH is to check for Cushings or PPID - please ask for it if your horse is 9 years or older)


More information here:


and here:



Diet is supremely important, in some ways more for what is not fed: no pasture, sweet feeds, oats/grain, carrots, apples, iron-containing supplements.  Diet consists of grass hay or haylage, with ESC (soluble sugars) and starch of less than 10%, plus minerals balanced to the forage, plus vitamin E, salt, and flaxseed or flaxseed oil.  One can use a carrier of beet pulp (rinsed, soaked, and rinsed) as a safe feed to get the supplements in.   The Temporary Emergency Diet uses hay soaked for 1 hour in cold water, or 30 minutes in hot water, with the water drained where the horses can't get at it; plus vitamin E, salt, and ground flaxseed in a safe carrier such as beet pulp (rinsed, soaked, rinsed).  More info on Temporary Emergency Diet here:


Trim:  This is a trim physiologically balanced to the internal shape of the coffin bone, with short toe and low heels.  Trim is often a neglected or mis-understood piece of the puzzle.


Exercise: This is the best EMS buster there is, but only if the pony/horse is comfortable and non-laminitic.  A horse that has suffered laminitis needs a good 6 to 9 months of correct hoof re-growth before any kind of serious exercise can begin.


There is also a ton of good information on the website.

To be double sure we are answering your questions correctly, we need a little more information. Please take a few minutes and join EC History 8:



Follow the instructions to download a case history template; then fill it out, save it to your computer, and upload it into the EC History 8 files section (make a folder, first, with your name on it)




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Jaini (BVSc),Merlin,Maggie,Gypsy

ECIR  mod/support



---In EquineCushings@..., <saguaro35@...> wrote :

My horse stopped eating on Prascend.  I also tried tempting her with everything.  


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