Re: when to euthanize


Hi, and welcome to the list!

As the owner of a 24 year old TWH that I've had since my late teens
and has been my life long companion, I understand what you're going
through. Sometimes it seems like it's easier to think the worst and
protect yourself from the pain, especially given where he is right
now, and the fact that you've finally just reunited and had to deal
with the fact that someone didn't love him as much as you did. I was
at the point of thinking I'd have to euthanize my boy, too, when I
finally found this list.

That was 3 years ago, and I won't say that CG doesn't have his down
days (don't we all?) but he just about popped my back the other day
with a GREAT BIG BUCK as we cantered through the fields :-) The help
you'll find here can and does work.

So, I'm going to be pompous and outspoken and say that neither of you
are truly ready to give up yet. Not when you've just found this list.

Get serious about listing everything you know about your boy on the
history page and through emails. Start the emergency diet. Get the
blood work done. Scan the files for directions and ask us for help.
I'm seriously amazed on a daily basis at the number of people on this
list that dedicate their time and energy to support others, both human
and equine.

Yes, some of this may cost a little more than keeping your average
back yard pasture ornament, but the costs can be controlled, and if
you can manage it, it's worth it. Changing his diet is the easiest
way to start.

Hang in there, and keep asking for help!

Kim & CG


valdavoli <STOMPERX@...>

i have just otten off the phone with blue seal and their sister company
kent feeds. they will "try to see wh they can do".

however, it does not appear promising.

BUT: a blue seal dealer is going to call me back with quotes for
shipping the carb gard to indiana.

is anyone interested in joining forces so this will not be so cost


Re: when to euthanize

Mandy Woods

Why on earth would you NOT medicate? ITs so available, affordable and it works!
The first thing I would suggest to you is find out what is going on with your childhood friend. You owe him that. The DDT's that we sing about here are simple. Diagnosis is by bloodwork. Diet is low carbohydrate/fat and Trim means a balanced foot, toes backed and heels lowered. Can't get much simpler than that?!
IF you have your vet out for bloodwork, get the endogenous ACTH test. This is a blood pull into a chilled purple top. Do not get the Dex Test. Then, have the vet pull one more tube for gluecose and a thyroid panel. Send these samples to Cornell. There is a file for specifics. Have the tests early in the week in a quiet barn.
Now you can start the Temporary Diet today. Soak his hay! Soaking removes up to 30% sugar from the hay. Get a bag of plain shredded beet pulp and rinse/soak/rinse it to use as a carrier for the vitaminE and minerals. Get him off pasture, any greenies, treats, apples, carrots etc. You need to reduce all the sugars that go in his mouth. In a few days you'll see a change in him! Get a farrier out to trim his feet.
Read the files.
There are many here who will help you. We've been through this! 24 is NOT old today in the equine world. If he's still 'firey' then he's not ready to leave you. He's hurting and his behavior is his only way of telling you that. Your boy has more useful years ahead of him - you can help him and we'll coach you. Will you try it?
IF you enter his history here, we'll be responding..

Mandy and Asher in VA

Re: when to euthanize

Abby Nemec

kapleacres wrote:

Please be kind on my decision not to medicate, and I know I could shut him in a stall and let him live longer. but let me know if there is someone else that has been in my shoes. thanks
Hi there, and welcome, though I'm so sorry that you have to be here. You will find that in the huge membership of this list, there are many, many who have been where you are. Each of us has our own story, some have chosen to euthanize and some have chosen to treat either with diet or medication, or both. The choice is as individual and valid for each of us.

If you're looking for words to tell you when, I can only say "he will tell you". It sounds really trite for me to say that, but it is absolutely true. Of course there are times when we as human caregivers must know that the time is at hand even if the animal is happy and comfortable as is - those are hardest.

If you're looking for words of hope, support, encouragement to pursue making life easier and more comfortable for your old fellow, you will find more than you could possible ever need here. There is always hope for those who want things to be better. You have options with diet, management, and medication for even the most devastating effects of Cushing's, most of which are truly uncomplicated and affordable. The medication that you're holding off on (pergolide) is VERY effective when used in a complete treatment plan, and also now REALLY inexpensive. Starting dose for most horses is well under $30 a month. It used to be that treating Cushing's was a hit-or-miss proposition, but with current diet & management techniques list members have brought the success rate up to a surprisingly high level. Don't want to throw out numbers for something like this because we really don't have "success" statistics, but the volume of mail on the list speaks for itself, and it's overwhelmingly positive.

I myself have a pony that I knew had Cushing's for 4 years before I was sort of dragged into treating him. He was at death's door in the deepest of winter, and I needed "to keep him alive til the ground thawed". I began with the most meager efforts recommended by this list at the time - truly "to keep him alive" - and he bounced back to the point that he is still an absolute character in our barn and greets us every day with a very cute chipper face, now 4 years after I joined this list. Every time I have questioned whether he had reached his end, I have pulled yet another trick out of the EC List bag, and brought him right around again.

In any case, the decision to medicate or not is yours and yours alone. None of us will judge or criticize you for your choice, but I wanted to be sure that you received a positive view to counter your vet's concerns about cost and prognosis. When you post again, could I ask you to sign your post, and give your horse's name? We're a pretty friendly group, and like to "know" each other by name.

Again, thanks for stopping in. I hope we can be of help to you on your journey, wherever it takes you.

-Abby B
list "hoof guru" and
Mom to Tony the Pony (EC) and Elba (IR) and friends

Abby Bloxsom

Re: Triple Crown Low Starch

judy abernathy

It was my information that TCLow Starch was not low enough NSC numbers for IR horses-I feed TC Safe Starch to my Cushings/IR mare. Last Spring when she was still very "iffy" and had one last bout of laminitiis I eliminated every thing except soaked hay-then slowly introduced TCSS back in. It is very expensive-for me-so don't use as main feed. However since she has been doing well the last 8-9 months and it is is very cold here (Mo) I feed her more TC and also feed OTB cubes. Not sure how the metabolism of domesticated horses differs if any from wild horses but cold wet hay sounds like more work to utilize than dry food.

when to euthanize

kapleacres <kapleacres@...>

This is my first post, and a bit late probably. I will try to keep it
short. I have a 24 year old TWH, who my mother bought when I was
five. When he was 10 he was sold to a trial riding couple and I kept
up with him over the years. two years ago, they were ready to retire
him and I could not get him in the trailer quick enough to get him
home!!! The sad thing is, they didn't tell me he wasn't sound. I
hadn't been on a horse since I was 14, and had no idea what that huge
cresty neck was from. When he got home, he bucked under saddle,
stumbled bad up front, and appeared to have a stifle issue. This was
not the same horse I sold as a kid. To fast foward a couple years, I
gave up on riding him, have read everything I can get my hands on
about cushing's syndrome (especially after that first winter he never
shed out). My vet advised skipping pergolide, she thought he was old
enough and advanced enough that it may be throwing good money after
bad (did I mention he was not a free horse?) Cushing's is not his
only issue.
So here I am in December, it is 30 degrees and my horse is out there
sweating. I clipped a little, but colder weather is coming. Bute
makes him colic, so his stilfle is hot and he kicks me when I touch
it. He's not mean, that was the first time in 24 years I saw him
kick. He is a firey horse, and hates not being ridden. He's getting
very off to himself and grumpy. I know he could live longer with a
little TLC, but I know he won't be happy unless he can run like when
he was 4, and nothing will make him rideable(which is what he wants).
I am thinking of putting him down before all our memories of him are
of the mean old horse that ate our kids or something! Seriously, no
oneloves him more than me, but I'm not good with letting him suffer.
Please be kind on my decision not to medicate, and I know I could
shut him in a stall and let him live longer. but let me know if there
is someone else that has been in my shoes. thanks

Re: grazing muzzle & snow


We got a foot of snow yesterday. Can Peanut forgo the muzzle today -
and for a few days to come? More snow this weekend too.

Though we haven't had too much snow yet here i'm leaving Sparks muzzle on during this winter.? We feed hay out in the fields when there is snow on the ground, and the few flakes that are out there will be gone in seconds when tha muzzle isn't on. So it's easier for me, and better for her if i keep it on to allow for more chewing (working!) time. But i'm not a guru on here, just sending you my thoughts.? Stay Warm!

Amy + Sparkle

More new features than ever. Check out the new AOL Mail ! -

Re: Won't eat supplements/picky eaters

briarskingstonnet <briars@...>

For now, bottled water has been added to my 'variety'
This is intresting,Valeree.Have you had any testing done on your water?
I wonder if he's trying to tell you something ?(Oh good.Something more
to test!)


grazing muzzle & snow

Linda <lindarollins38@...>

We got a foot of snow yesterday. Can Peanut forgo the muzzle today -
and for a few days to come? More snow this weekend too.

Re: when to euthanize


what is your horses breeding --I have TWH and am seeing cushings in some
lines and IR in others---you need to put him on pergolide--don't quit and what
are his other lameness issues?
with love

**************************************See AOL's top rated recipes

Re: Triple Crown Low Starch


it is 15 % NSC. I stopped feeding it to my IR horse. But wait to see what
others have to say.

Michelle L. Chambers

**************************************See AOL's top rated recipes

Won't eat supplements/picky eaters

Valeree Smith

I was going to pipe down on this subject but really feel I must share today's experience/experiment. If the Hall Monitors will indulge one more comment.......

Last night we had to turn the water off at my barn - horse broke a water line. I usually soak and drain a handful of pellets for the evening ration of supplements. I add water back in to make it mashy (and I've experimented with wet/wetter, dry/drier...). Since we had no faucet water and I didn't want to use water bucket water, I (cleverly of course) took some bottled water out of my car. Soaked in that, drained, and added some back for more moisture. Opted not to add any flavorings -- just leave it as is (tried that before too with no more success). Jokingly commented to myself as I was leaving that it would be just like GD to decide to eat his supplements.

Well.............he did. I found *a* crumb left. We're trying a similar experiment tonight. For now, bottled water has been added to my 'variety' list. This horse has a sense of humor.

(oh, and it's Arrowhead. I'm sure that makes a difference..:-0)

Valeree & GD

Re: Salt Block - Electrolytes - Biotin

Mandy Woods

Hey Nikita,
Its ok for Mr. Thelwell to have his own white salt block to lick. It will just be busy work, amusement for him. Horses don't have the tongue to over lick. If he likes to have one let him!

Electrolytes this time of year? Is he sweating that much after a trip? Plain salt should be enough until summertime.

I have used VitaminShoppe and today I ordered some from because they are having a 50% off ($3.49)sale until the 15th of December. I get my Vitamin E there too. You just want to try to get as pure a Biotin as you can. I order the 5mg/capsules, open them up and sprinkle on the feed. My bottle says : ingredients, biotin, rice flour, gelatin, water - no yeast, corn, wheat, sugar, salt, soy, dairy, fish, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. This is by .
Mandy and Asher in VA

Triple Crown Low Starch

Ginger Reid <greid@...>

I can't remember, but was Triple Crown Low Starch formula found to be
adequate for a cushings horse? I can't get it where I live, but my feed
store is now making a copy-cat version of it that is very close...third
ingredient in it is beet pulp..and will cost me the same as a bag of
plain beet pulp...


Re: insulin high

Joan and Dazzle

Hi Marybeth,

The goal is to eliminate the sugars from your horse's diet in order to
help bring the insulin levels down.

Vita Flex Accel contains molasses, soybean flour, and alfalfa. Your
horse doesn't need the extra sugars. And some horses are sensitive to

Additionally, Accel contains fairly high amounts of iron. I added this
supplement to my hay worksheet to see what ONE ounce (one scoop) would
do. It gave me enough iron for Dazzle that she would need for the
entire day. Her hay was already at 3 x the daily requirement in iron.

Many hays are higher in iron. You would need a supplement that
increases the copper and zinc. Accel clearly does not do that.

If your horse has high insulin, this is not the product for you. If
your horse is also iron overloaded, which is possible, this would make
the problem worse instead of better.

If your horse is in trouble, which laminitis is, you need to help your
horse in every way possible. Eliminating the things from your horse's
diet that will work against you is one of the key ways to help your

When Dazzle's insulin was high, there was no way for it to come down
when I kept feeding her Mrs. Pasture's cookies. I didn't know her
insulin was high. - Even worse, I thought I was helping her poor little
old joints by feeding her Grand Flex, which is a glucosamine
supplement. I didn't realize that all that white fluffy stuff was
maltodextrin which is glucose + glucose. I thought I was helping her. I
was driving her insulin up (even higher) by feeding her that.

You have the advantage. You know your insulin is high. Reduce all the
sugars you can from the diet.

Joan and Dazzle

--- In EquineCushings@..., "ford22256" <ford22256@...>
joan what is in the accell that would make you discontinue it? thanks

Re: cinnamon

Sandra Su

At 10:00 PM +0000 12/13/07, Lavinia wrote:
I'm just about at the point of needing to re-order cinnamon for the boys-or not?
I'd eliminate it, if your horses don't depend on it for flavoring. It's not being recommended anymore, so why add it unless you see a distinct advantage?

Sandy Su

Hay increase


I'm finding the original 13.5 lbs of hay not adequate in this weather
and increased it to 17 lbs. (the file description says 18, oops).
Kathleen graciously did the first one and because of high iron, she had
to play with the Cu. Would you please check to see if I did it okay.


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Re: A few questions

Sandra Su

At 10:00 PM +0000 12/13/07, Ellen W wrote:
One side note--I do feed cinnamon to the rest of my herd for one strange reason--I've observed that when I do, it slows down those "tall beavers" from chewing on the trees!!
Interesting! I wonder if it'd have the same effect on wood-chewing?

Sandy Su

Re: insulin high

Sandra Su

At 10:00 PM +0000 12/13/07, marybeth wrote:
can someone give me some input on these labs. ... acth 18.2(9-35)
So the pergolide is controlling the Cushing's.

insulin 166 (10-40)
High! That may be most of your problem.

t4 0.58 (1.5-4.5)
Low. Maybe get the vet to prescribe Thyro-L?

only change is he was weaned off his thyro-l in early august.
Maybe he should go back on it.

hay is soaked cannot test as it changes all the time,speedibeet 3x day,
You may want to think of any sugar in these that's too high. I hear with some hay that even soaking doesn't bring it low enough. Could you replace the unknown hay with ODTB cubes?

What's the sugar/starch in that?

accell vit supplement,
What's the sugar/starch in that? If you used the cubes, you could have the minerals balanced and would just need to add a few things. I keep forgetting -- salt, flax, and vitamin E? Check that.

xrays show some sinking ,vet redid labs yesterday will post them. vet says its all in the shoeing and is referring him to mike wildenstein at cornell please answer asap thankyou marybeth
I have the highest regard for Mike Wildenstein. Take your X-rays with you when you take your horse there. That will help him figure out what to do. It'll also save you having to have X-rays at Cornell, if the ones you bring with you are recent.
Do you live near Ithaca? I have a great farrier you might want for follow-up care. He's a Mike Wildenstein clone, I think. I posted him in the list in the Files, but here's his name & number, for convenience: Patrick Klebes (pronounced Kleebs), (716) 870-3764. Mike recommended him to me. He will travel a good distance, so if you're not actually in Ithaca, don't be afraid to phone him and ask if he'd come to you. I think he goes to Syracuse and Rochester, and maybe farther.

Sandy Su

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