My seven-year-old's pony, Chica was diagnosed with Cushing's in September 2021. Chica was getting her hock's done (she still loves to jump) and the vet said she has some signs of Cushings; cresty neck, patchy coat, overweight, somewhat lethargic (which I attributed to summer heat).
We had her tested and her ATCH levels were off the charts (although from what I've read test results might be impacted by the fact that she was getting her hock's done at the same time, as well as the season). My daughter rides Chica 5 days a week (1 jump day, 4 flat workdays) and Chica has no history of laminitis, lameness, etc. Chica has been an absolute bomb-proof pony although certainly sometimes sassy. We adore her and will pretty much do anything to keep her happy and healthy in her senior years. Our vet recommended 1 tablet of Prescend every day. When asked about diet changes in addition to the medication (Chica has 1 grass, 1 alfalfa am and pm) he said it was not necessary.
We've had Chica on Prescend for about six weeks. The only change I've really noticed is that chica has become very spooky. It's surprising to both me and my daughter's trainer (who has known chica for 8 years prior to us buying her). Chica has always been a touch sassy but never spooky. It is not so acute that my daughter can't handle it--but it is concerning for me as a parent. I don't want it to escalate--I'm a bit of a stickler about safety on horses. I want Chica to be as comfortable and healthy as she can be, but I want my daughter to be safe on her too.
I'm wondering about the possibility of taking Chica off the Prescend (or decreasing the dose significantly) and going a more natural route, specifically looking at dietary changes? I have her feet done every 4 weeks. Given that she is well exercised and has no history of laminitis I wonder if the Prescend might just be too much? Alternatively, perhaps this is just a normal part of the pony adjusting to the new hormones in her brain and we just need to give it some time?
I absolutely want to do the very best I can for this little pony. I'm not a horse person and am learning as I go. I am so grateful for any feedback or suggestions from those more knowledgeable and experienced. Many thanks.