Re: Top Foda Hay - "low sugar"

Maxine McArthur

Hi Dianne

It's a huge learning curve to be sure! We are so lucky to have this group to turn to for solid advice. I was shocked when I found out that the autumn rise can cause sore feet/laminitis even when the horse is on an IR diet. This is not information I could have found out from my vet, or anywhere else for that matter. 

I will leave it to the mods to address the herbal question. 

In the case of my mare, it is our first autumn rise since being diagnosed. Because her symptoms were fairly subtle and it's all new to me, I do rely on testing to confirm I've got the dose right (hopefully as time goes on, I'll be able to tell from symptoms better). I tested ACTH late November 2016 (normal), then on 29 December I increased by 0.25mg (1/4 Prascend) due to symptoms. I tested ACTH, insulin and glucose on 9 February (a bit elevated), then increased again by 0.25mg for 6 days, then last night I raised it again by 0.25mg. This has us at 2.5mg, and I intend to hold here for 3-4 weeks and test ACTH again in late March/early April to make sure she has not shot up. However, if she shows worsening of symptoms, I may raise the dose again. As this is our first rise, I have no idea what to expect. But last year in July her ACTH was 117, so it is possible she has a long, late rise. 

In my case, I have not found the correct dose of pergolide dulls my horse at all--on the contrary, her main symptom when her ACTH is too *high* is dullness. When her ACTH tested as normal (around 20 pg/mL), she was bright and happy. 

With regard to increasing the pergolide, the advice here on the list is to taper up gradually. This is what I have done. There's lots of advice in the archives and in the files.The fastest I have increased was from 1.25mg to 1.5mg in two days last year.  But each horse will react differently to increases. Mine has never lost her appetite, although when I first started her on pergolide she was a bit 'spacey'. This morning, after I increased by 0.25mg last night, she ate all her breakfast and was the most forward under saddle she has been for a couple of weeks. 

I've found that searching the archives for posts on "seasonal rise", "increase dosage", and "tapering" brings up lots of useful results. 

We should treasure these "problem horses", I reckon--they teach us so much! (Including how to be frugal in the rest of our lives in order to pay for medication, tests etc....)

Maxine and Indy

Canberra, Australia 2010

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