Marc Davis <lmdavis@...>
<It seems to me that most of the scare stories out there are from
second-hand sources or speculation rather than science.>
I agree, it would be nice to have concrete facts, but when it comes to
Cushings there don't seem to be very many. Even the dex supp. test is not
considered definitive ("she believes it to be the most definitive way to
diagnose Cushings"). So far the only conclusive proof anyone has been able
to show (to the best of my knowledge) is post mortem!
As for the Dex. here's my argument: There are several known side effects
that can occur under normal use of dexamethasone, laminitis being one
possible and a "very real risk". Since laminitis is the very thing I'm
trying to avoid why would I take that risk, especially if the results are
still not absolute? I know by other blood work and clinical symptoms that
my horse's system is abnormal and stressed. There's no way of knowing how
much dex. would be too much for him.
If you want to know more about dexamethasone read the package insert. Also,
I reference Dr. Eleanor Kellon's book Equine Drugs and Vaccines: A Guide for
Owners and Trainers frequently.
<she only ran across 1 case in which the test itself caused a problem.>
My Cushings guy is 21yrs old (my partner for 19 years) and is currently
competing at FEI dressage. He has not suffered any bouts of laminitis yet
and can still work 5-6 days per week. My vets, all recognize and acknowledge
the risk and are not willing to stick their necks out to guarantee that my
horse wouldn't founder with that test.
I'd sure hate to be that 1 case in which the test itself caused a problem.
Everyone needs to make their own choices but those should be informed
choices. Sometimes that means you have to investigate more sources than just
your vet, or just a book etc. Remember, even vets have differing opinions
about the same diseases, lamenesses etc. amongst themselves.