Re: HELP! ACTH went from 107 to greater than 1250 in a mere 6 weeks!!!


Hi -
I'm having problems deleting text so sorry for all the words carried over.

Seasonal rise is not linear, but it sure would be nice if it were!  There wouldn't be so much guessing and confusion.

Each horse responds in his own way.  It may take several years for the owner to figure it out.

Your initial treatment of 0.5mg was way too low, even without knowing where the ACTH is right now.  Low doses 'may' make a big impact, but low is usually 1mg.

We don't know that much just how high a given PPID horse may rise.  The big jump you report does seem unusual, but there are plenty of horses with that ACTH during spring.

If I were you, I'd keep a daily journal as to any symptoms your horse may exhibit from niw through Christmas.  If my horse, I'd want to boost the pergolide several more milligrams and then test to see where you are.  I truly would not bank on another mg having a big effect on that ACTH.  The seasonal rise is notorious for making us play pergolide catch-up.  While waiting for ACTH results, the level could easily be still heading up.

EC Primary Response
West Coast
May 2004

Cornell Results: G/I ratio good but ACTH increased?


I just now receved an email from my vet with Pabatsa's Cornell results.  He went from being in the *Severe* category to being in the *Compensated* range.  His current levels are Glucose: 84 Insulin: 16.50.  HOWEVER, his ACTH is up from 20.65 in June to 34.7 in August.  The ACTH is about what it usual is this time of year.

Even though his G/I are good should I be raising his Pergolide?  He is currently at 3.5 mgs.

Laura in CA



Re: database

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Pergolide database link came right up on a website search here.

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

Re: Transporting a blood sample from Canada to Cornell

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

This is their general information page on shipping:

for specific information on shipping from Canada, call them:


Eleanor in PA

EC Co-owner

Feb 2001

Re: Fructans?

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Please read this:What Really Causes Seasonal Laminitis?


Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001



I cannot find the link to the pergolide database. Has Neo eaten it?

Bonnie Ivey 12/08

Re: Transporting a blood sample from Canada to Cornell

Connie Proceviat

Hi All,


I am also trying to coordinate a fall blood sample to Cornell but only one vet that I know of in our area has sent samples to Cornell in the past. I am trying to get details and total cost from him now which has been a challenge. The samples we did last spring went to Guelph. I'll post as I learn more.


Best, Connie & Falki

Manitoba Canada

August 2013


---In EquineCushings@..., <lucke@...> wrote :

My vet took care of sending the samples so I'm not sure what steps he had to follow. I do know that he mentioned the fee for the courier was $125.00.
Betty Ann

HELP! ACTH went from 107 to greater than 1250 in a mere 6 weeks!!!


Hi group, 

My vet has actually asked that I approach the group and specifically Dr. Kellon for advice or direction.  He has never seen an ACTH number rise so dramatically and rapidly in just 6 weeks time.  He's wondering if perhaps there may be other factors at work that could be affecting or causing this.  He is wondering about the possibility of an aggressive and fast growing pituitary tumor or that his ACTH rises in huge waves during the seasonal rise, vs. a more linear rise year after year.  Any thoughts?

I have just updated most of my test result numbers and some other pertinent information on ECHistory 3.  I don't know how to attach the link.  I tried and lost the entire message I had prepared to send to the group.  Nearly in tears!  

I am concerned about the possibility of selenium toxicity as well.  All 3 horses, over the years, have shown a marked thinning of mane and forelock hair.  Shalimar seemed to have a sore throat or difficulty swallowing a few months ago which I mentioned to my previous vet.  Apparently these are signs of selenium toxicity.  Here in MN selenium is variable.  The selenium map shows that the hay that we most recently finished came from Brown County, MN  .85 +/- .36ppm.  In addition the horses were getting 1 pound of TC lite per day.  I have reduced that to .5 pound and will do a whole blood selenium test in a few weeks when we re-check his ACTH.

I have 2 hay test results from EquiAnyaltical though I am anxiously awaiting another batch of hay to be delivered as I really don't like what I am working with right now.  I don't know where I should post those results?  ECHistory 3 file or the grads group or here in the Cushings group?

June 30, 2014 

ACTH 107

Leptin 2.90

Insulin 31.3

Glucose 97

G:I ratio = 3.10

Started .5mg Pergolide compound on July 18, 2014

August 14, 2014

ACTH >1250

Insulin 109.80

Increased Pergolide to 1mg on August 19, 2014

Increased Pergolide to 1.5mg on August 25, 2014

Any advice or direction to proceed or look would be greatly appreciated. 


Denise Peterson

Shalimar - MN

ECHistory 3 

Shalimar and Denise.doc

joined in 2010


Re: Help Needed - Long


Hello everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know that I have posted photos of Misty's feet on EC History 8, which for some reason will not allow me to post the link here.

Please keep in mind that my Vet(s) and Farrier decided to allow her heels to be high due to her injured tendons, yet we have never been able to get them lowered again.

Thank you for any help that might be available here.

Kris & Misty

Central Ohio

Oct 2002



Would appreciate clarification about this.Beer Breakthrough: Hops May Prevent Pasture-Associated Laminitis


Chuck & Kids
Lady, Able, Sundance & Combustion
(And Nikki, Rebel & Boss)

Re: When the daily ration is gone


Hi Mandy,

Yes, I have my hay tested, the ESC is 6.1 and the starch is .8.   But according to my vet I should be soaking it because he uses WSC and starch.   I decided I'm not soaking it.   I am also balancing  minerals to the hay analysis, one of your experts has helped me with that.  

She gets 8 pounds a day divided into 2 meals.

I do have the ODTB cubes but she never liked them.  They're so hard, do they have to be soaked or wetted a little?  If not could she choke on them?   If I break them up like you say will they be safe for her to eat dry?
It's a good idea you have about placing the cubes around different places.  I'm going to try that.  She may eat them if that's all she can find.  

Thank you Mandy,

Susan in CT

Re: Update on Deb's Cory

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

The inverted Ca:P ratio is very common in NC pastures and hays.  The treatment is simply to balance to the analysis.  There is also sometimes an accompanying fluoride toxicity which may require even more calcium to control/reverse.Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

Re: When the daily ration is gone


Hi Susan...I too have a mini with IR/Cushings.  I have the hay tested, her minerals balanced, etc. but unless I weigh the hay and limit her hay to a certain appropriate amount daily, she would surely get too fat.  Have you tried TheHayPillow slow feeder nets (  They come in mini sizes with varying mesh size openings.  For my one mini, I have to get the very smallest size...1/2" opening....for her hay to last long enough so she has fairly continuous feeding of limited hay.  You might try going to that site.  The owner is super helpful and nice to talk with.  I would encourage you to call and talk to her if you have not tried these nets and she can help you choose the one that would fit your mini the best.  It sure has helped my mini.  Good luck!  June
Dec. 2012

Re: Update on Deb's Cory


Thanks for your input, Dr. Kellon.  The analysis of the Coastal hay had a zinc number that was too high and I am in the process of having the hay re-cored and analysed.  So no, the calcium/phosphorus ration is not yet corrected.  I think it is odd that both of the Carolina hays I had analysed had inverted calcium/phosphorus ratios, and Cory has almost always had Carolina hay of one sort or another.  My vet told me that "treatment was vague" so I didn't pursue the hyperparathyroid diagnosis when Cory improved during last winter.Deb and Cory in NC
July 2012


Re: When the daily ration is gone

Mandy Woods

Hi Susan,
You didn’t mention if your hay is tested?   Some of us have to soak hay that is 9 or 10% esc/s.  Some horses/ponies/minis are super sensitive.    Are your minerals balanced to your hay analysis.   You may see a big change for the better if your minerals are balanced.  
Feeding BP is a great idea but it has to be rinsed/soaked/rinsed first.   This reduces the iron and esc left in from the plant when it was prepared by squeezing   out the sugar.   You can feed up to 30% her body weight in dry BP.   She can gain weight or lose weight on this.   It will depend on her total calories.   How many pounds of hay do you feed? How many meals is this divided into?
Straw is not safe in the US.  It is high in sugar.   Go into the library at Dairy One.  You may find some information there on  straw averages.   I think trying to put BP that has been R/S/R would be like nailing jello to a tree!       Have you considered ODTB cubes?   Place them around her stall/paddock like hiding easter eggs.  Once she gets the taste down she’ll be trotting for more.   I would suggest you break them up so they are no longer than one inch.  Some of the cubes are very hard.
Please add your Case History to your signature so we can see the big picture.
Mandy in VA
EC Primary Response
OCT 2003

When the daily ration is gone


My mini gets a certain amount of hay per day.   She has IR.  She finishes her ration of hay so quickly even though I put it in hay nets.  Actually I just got 2 hay nets with 1" openings thinking that would slow her down.  It really didn't. Then I put one hay net inside the other and that didn't really slow her down.  The hay lasts for 4-5 hours.  But then she's looking for more.  

Is straw safe for IR horses or would I have to have it tested?  Or maybe beet pulp.  Can beet pulp be put in hay nets.  Do either of these have too many calories?    I'm just looking for something she could nibble on after her hay ration is gone.  Does anyone else have this problem?

Thank you,
Susan in CT

Re: Update on Deb's Cory

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

I agree his hoof photos showed some significant mechanical issues to work on.  It's difficult, but have to approach all aspects of DDT at the same time.Your vet mentioned hyperparathyroidism.  From your hay analysis, this is dietary.  Has the calcium:phosphorus ratio been corrected yet?

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

Re: New Member from Colorado

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

I was using the wrong DE.  For 18 pounds at .86 it could actually support as much as 1100 lbs when an easy keeper!
I think this is the first time you mentioned your horse shares the hay.  This makes it impossible to know how much each are eating and also very difficult to adjust intake unless both are overweight and eating at equivalent rates.  Horses with uncontrolled IR will overeat.

I suggested the beet pulp in small amounts because when soaked it is about 80% water by weight.  A pound of soaked beet pulp (wet weight) has the calorie content of no more than 1/2 lb of hay and is a very satisfying meal. You could try something like stalling the horse with a beet pulp meal and waiting 2 hours to turn out, or feed the beet pulp and muzzle for 2 hours.

You should soak a few hours to get maximum volume.  Can do this at home and pack the individual meals into freezer bags, freeze until needed.

Eleanor in PA
EC C o-owner
Feb 2001


Update on Deb's Cory

Deb Funderburk <hawkhilldeb@...>

Hi group-- I have updated Cory's history, but briefly his blood draw on 8/4 showed an ACTH of 42.2, down but not enough. We have gradually increased his Pergolide to 7mg, as of 8/21. The vet also suggested Metformin, and after researching the files, I decided as long as it didn't affect his appetite, it might help, so he is on 9 1000 mg tabs twice a day. He also gets 5 ml APF a day.

He is still quite painful, although his attitude is still good. I have order Phytoquench and I hope this will help with the pain. My main concern now is that he is so painful I am having a hard time trimming. He is definitely painful in his heels. I am still suspecting that the trim is the key to alleviating the pain.

I ordered the Soft Rides, but they didn't seem to give him any more comfort than the Easyboot RXs. In fact for the the last couple of day, I have left his boots off, because his feet seemed so hot in the evening when I took them off. He doesn't seem to be anymore painful with them off. I have opened his stall back up to the paddock, but he doesn't offer to go out. I have also been icing his feet, but this doesn't seem to make a difference, either.

Suggestions, anyone? Thanks for your help.

Deb and Cory in NC
July 2012

Re: Pergolide Dosing

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Chris,

Good work.

Please keep us posted as you go along.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team

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