New Member - Shetland with acute laminitis and cushings


Hello. Hoping for some advice as we have been trying a few things to help our shetland pony and every time he seems to be improving he goes downhill again. We have had experience dealing with a previous shetland who foundered and knew how to get a handle on it quickly and get it under control. We are having no luck at all here.

We moved to a new property 12 month ago, and he experienced a bit of trouble from the richer grass here (had never foundered previously) so we had some fenced off areas where he could be near our other equines but with a mostly hay diet. It was a cold summer and we didn't really notice that he hadn't fully moulted until the end of summer when he got really sweaty and had a bad bout of laminitis that has not really ended. After trying all our usual tricks (no grass, soaking hay, regular gentle walks), and getting his feet trimmed by someone other than ourselves, we had the vet visit.

He diagnosed Cushings because of his long coat and laminitis and fatty deposits above his eyes. No actual tests were done, diagnosis was on the basis of symptoms. That was about 6 weeks ago. Since then he has been on Pergolide 1/2 tab per day day, increasing to 1 tab per day when 1/2 didn't change anything, and since that hasn't made much difference, some Periactin as well (4 tabs per day). We are still soaking hay. We had also been feeding him a mash of lucerne chaff, oaten chaff and 'zero' pellets (Australian brand suitable for founder ponies). We found out that Oaten Chaff is high in sugar, and lucerne isn't so we cut the oaten right back, he seemed to improve, but now back here we started. We tried throwing beet pulp in the mix, but he didn't like that. He has been on Bute most days - just when we start easing it off he goes backwards again. His feet are still very sore, particularly his front feet.

All advice appreciated. We don't know what else to do to help him and hate to see him like this.
Karen Bevis in Tas Australia, 2021

Join to automatically receive all group messages.