Date   

Response to Chris

Marc Davis <lmdavis@...>
 

Chris:
Did you mean .25 g or .25mg for the Permax doseage? I'm guessing you meant
mg. Have you found improvements in your horse's bloodwork as well as the
clinical signs?

Can you site the research that says that the much lower dose is the best
choice. I have heard this before but my vets had not. I am reluctant to try
the doseages that they recommend for fear of triggering lamenitis (which my
horse has not started yet). My horse is currently on 180mg of cypro and
clinically looks great. His blood work however, is unchanged.

As far as life span.....I can't get much of a response from my vets. They
don't want to make (or even imply) any guesses! I have heard that, caught
early, horses can continue to perform for as much as 4-5 years. I haven't
heard any estimates as to how much longer they can actually live.

My horse is 21 and still training and performing FEI level dressage. I'm
hoping for several more years (he's still structually very sound) but am
thankful for every day that I get to ride him. I too, cry a lot at the
thought of losing him (I've hade him for 19 years). I try to keep in mind
that even without Cushings he wouldn't live forever. Something else would
eventually end his life. The positive side (if there is such a thing) is
that I know what his problem is and can manage it to some degree.

For now, my horse is looking better than he's looked in years. I clinic with
some pretty "high up" instructors in the dressage world and nobody even
recognizes him as an old guy let alone a Cushingoid horse!
Carla


Re: Digest Number 10

glorye@...
 

I've never checked Bug's insulin. Does the vet do that, or can you test blood
sugar as you would in a human diabetic?

As for life span with Cushings, I've always heard that the horse or pony is
much more likely to die either of related symptoms (founder, etc.) or old age
before the tumor becomes a problem.

Bug is 20 years old come March 23rd. I fully plan for the old coot to be with
me another 10-20 years!

Paula Brown
Poland, ME


Cypro vs. Pergolide

glorye@...
 

Carla -

I too have had a terrible time obtaining Cyproheptadine at a reasonable
price. Sometimes, you can't get it at any price, and I hate to leave my
horse, Bug, without for even a short time. Right now, Cypro costs me $53 for
a 1000-count bottle through WalMart pharmacy. Each pill is 4 mg., and Bug is
on 140 mg. per day. We're slowly tapering him off it (by 20 mg. per month)
with the thought of repeat testing in the fall. His first tests were
borderline.

Pergolide as explained to me by my vet seems to be a reasonable alternative,
as she recommends on 0.25 mg. dose per day. A lot less to mix in with his
Thyro-L and other stuff! I don't think it's any costlier than Cypro at that
low dose.

Just my thoughts on the subject...

Paula Brown
Poland, ME


Re: Permax

Susan Laflamme <f4mlatir@...>
 

Hi Chris,
My horse Darby was diagnosed with cushings last year, she has probably had
it since her first attack of laminitis 4 years ago. Darby is 40+ years old,
she is on cypro but it hasn't done much for the insulin problem. I have cut
out all sweetners, fruit, carrots from her diet. I give her dog bones for
treats. Cushings horses also often have high blood pressure so watch the
salt. Darby's symptoms are cronic laminitis and high insulin. She has never
had a problem with shedding.
I hope your horse does well and has many good years ahead.
Sue


Permax

Pennington-Boggio's <pennbo@...>
 

Hi, I have my 22yo mare on Permax (pergolide). She is on .25 g a day. I
buy them at WalMart for about $75 for a two month supply. That is
cheaper than cypro! The newest thought, backed up by research, is that
much lower doses of permax are effective than were originally thought.
We started with the lowest and were going to increase it as needed. So
far it doesn't seem to be needed. We will really know when summer comes
and she sheds OR not!
Also, I was doing some reading today and ran across a paper that asserts
that what Cushingoid horses develop is not true diabetes but something
similar that is very resistant to insulin. Thankfully so far we seem to
be out of those waters!
Now the million dollar question- what kind of a life span have other
vets told y'all to expect with your Cushings horses? I know that this is
eventually terminal and I spent days and days crying when I first found
out. Now that the prognosis looks good I am learning, slowly, to relish
each day and resign myself to the eventuality. How are the rest of you
dealing with this?
Chris


Re: Digest Number 8

Carla Davis <lmdavis@...>
 

Donna:

Measuring the ACTH level
Dexamethasone suppression test
ACTH stimulation test
Insulin tolerance test
TRH (throid releasing hormone) test
are all tests that can be used in helping to diagnose Cushings

Here are a couple of web sites to refer to if you haven't already.
thehorse.com (then go to their Knowledge Bank; click on Care of the older
horse; then select the article on Cushings Syndrome). In the section on
diagnosing they talk about the different tests.

ruralheritage.com is a site mainly for draft horses but there is a lot of
information there. Go to their vet clinic page, then in Exam room II (scroll
down a ways) and there is a little discussion between the vet and a client
regarding Cushings.

As far as costs of treatment: yes it can get expensive. Cyproheptadine
(which use to be about $20-$30/month) jumped last fall to the $70-$100/month
price (ouch!!). That is about what I've been paying for my horse. HODWEVER,
I have just ordered a liquid suspension compounded by a lab in CT which will
be much cheaper. It is 100mg/ml cyproheptadine sold in 500ml bottles for
$165/bottle. My horse is currently getting 180mg cypro. so I figure
1.8cc/day for him which means the bottle should last 7-9 months. That makes
the cost around $20/month!!!

If your vet doesn't want to order and carry it for you he/she can call in
the perscription then you call in with a credit card# and they will ship
directly to you.

The company is Prescription Specialties 1(800)861-0933 (They have a web site
also)

As for the other drug, Permax (pergolide). Very expensive! I checked out
costs at Christmas time and found that if I had to treat my horse with the
full dose it would be about $360/mo. I have heard that it is possible to
combine cypro and Permax and you may not have to use the full dose of
Permax. I've also read where a vet used permax in a much smaller dose on
horses and got very good results without as much risk of causing founder
(which I'm told can happen with that drug). Anyway, I have no experience
with using Permax so perhaps there's someone else out there can share their
experiences with it.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
Carla

-----Original Message-----
From: sentto-376841-8-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com
[mailto:sentto-376841-8-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com]On
Behalf Of EquineCushings@onelist.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 1:55 AM
To: EquineCushings@onelist.com
Subject: [EquineCushings] Digest Number 8


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There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in today's digest:

1. RE: Digest Number 6
From: Donna Mire <dmire@rocketmail.com>


____________________________________________________________________________
___
____________________________________________________________________________
___

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 04:55:33 -0800 (PST)
From: Donna Mire <dmire@rocketmail.com>
Subject: RE: Digest Number 6

--- Carla Davis <lmdavis@wa.freei.net> wrote:
There are several different tests and many opinions on which is the most
accurate one for diagnosing. Cushings is difficult to be "absolutely" sure
of
because we can't look into their heads and actually see any tumors. .....His
first approach was to check the level of ACTH in my horses blood. ...the
next
step would be to do a Dexamethasone suppression test.<<

I have the vet going out today and tomorrow to do the Dexamethasone
suppression
test. Do we have information about how accurate this test is? What would
you
suggest doing if the cortisol levels are normal after this test?

Cushings is a pretty manageble disease if the horse responds to the
medication. The earlier the diagnoses the more likely you are to have good
results with the medication. Just remember that you are only treating the
symptoms. There is no way to treat the actual tumor.<<

I heard it could be pretty expensive to treat this disease. I heard $70 -
$100
a month. Is that the case?

thanks alot for your feedback

Donna



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Cost of Cushings, Drugs, Thyrol-l experiences & some nutrition info

Eclectk1@...
 

Hi Donna,

The cost and medication necessary to treat Cushings can be quite variable
depending on the horse, how they progress, and what their symptoms are. My
mare was diagnosed symptomatically -- without testing. Several veterinarians
have stated that for her this is totally appropriate because her symptoms are
so obvious -- this often isn't the case and testing is necessary. For her,
however, she had a fabulous foal for me when she was 23 (she's 29 this year)
and then didn't catch when rebred. I only tried one cycle then decided to
wait until spring for several reasons.

First she had never had uterine cysts before this colt, and suddenly had
several, one large enough to palpate as tho it was a 30 day pregnancy (this
may not be Cushings related, but I think considering the timing and how
strange it was and that Cushings really affects their hormonal balance, it
quite likely was). The vet felt that the cysts may have been causing the
embryo to fail to properly implant. In January the following spring, when
she came in heat, I took her to the vet for an ultrasound and D&C. He felt
that scraping the uterine walls to pop the cysts might allow those spots to
heal and her to conceive. He particularly wanted to pop the one large cyst.
Well, on ultrasound we were both totally amazed -- all but the huge cyst were
totally gone, and the huge one was now tiny. No treatment necessary.

Unfortunately, that was also the last time I know of that she ever came in
heat, even with leutilase and regumate, we couldn't get her to cycle again
and we tried for several months into early summer. Next symptom, by early
summer with all my other horses shed out fully for a month or more, she'd not
even started shedding. She was also too fat and living off of virtually air,
but it was "patchy fat." Patchy fat is when it is unevenly distributed.
Typically (and her's was/is) it goes to the crest which will be much larger
and also harder than a normal crest on a fat horse, it also goes around the
dock of the tail, it may also be behind the elbow and up around the withers.

When palpated, the vet said that her ovaries were very small and 'mushy' and
that he'd never palp'd ones that felt like that. Additionally, the previous
spring just a few weeks prior to foaling, she had had a very minor bout with
laminitis. Another common problem with Cushinoid horses. She also had
gotten a bit ribby that winter, but still had tons of patchy fat, and I
noticed that she had no muscle between her hind legs (muscle atrophy)... With
these clear symptoms, particularly the failure to ovulate and the failure to
shed (even tho well and regularly wormed) the vets said Cushings is the only
possibility.

We put her on thyrol-l, starting at one scoop a day. You can, with a
veterinary script, order 10 lbs of thyrol-l for about $145 + shipping from
Omaha Vaccine. It lasts a LONG time (roughly 6 months). Here, getting one
pound bottles from the veterinarians direct costs about $32 (huge savings to
mail order the 10 lbs).

To this day I feel somewhat guilty, because the vets had asked me for several
years if she was sluggish or lethargic and I had always said no. I thought
that she didn't play with the other horses, come running up when called, got
a little irritable when brushed and so on just because she was getting older.
When ridden she didn't FEEL sluggish (2nd level dressage, trail riding,
etc.). Well, to my amazement, within literally a day and a half she was like
a 4 year old again. She RAN with the other horses/babies when they played,
she CAME running up when called -- it was such an amazing and distinct
difference.

Over a few months and under the vet's direction I slowly increased the
thyrol-l. Each increase would be about 1/2 a scoop, then wait two or three
weeks, then 1/2 a scoop more... After being at about 2 scoops for about 2
weeks she began shedding and shed out fully within a few weeks. In my
experience, you have to wait a good two weeks to see how the thyrol-l will
affect the hair coat. If the dosage becomes too low, about two weeks AFTER
its too low, the winter coat will begin growing back, even in 115 degree
weather (I'm not exaggerating, I'm in Las Vegas, it gets OVER 115 here and
its not uncommon). If the thyrol-l is boarderline, the hair will grow winter
hair (long) AND shed at the same time (you could make mattresses with the
massive amount that can be grown and shed), with no net difference to how
much coat is there.

The thyrol-l did several other things... the patchy fat began to come off,
the crest softened some to feel more like normal fat on a crest, but at the
same time she put muscle and normal good thin fat layer on all over. The
muscle was particularly noticable between her hind legs.

One thing VERY important about thyrol-l -- I have discovered (and tested)
that if you mix the thyrol-l in with a vitamine/mineral supplement, the
thyrol-l may NOT be absorbed properly. With Tina, I have to literally DOUBLE
the amount of thyrol-l if I feed it at the same time as a vitamine/mineral
supplement. It was pretty clear too, since I could gague it by her starting
to grow a full winter coat in or shedding it based on the amount of Thyrol-l.
Interesting thing is that I ran across a medical article about human
Cushings and they specifically stated that you should NOT take thyrol-l with
any other supplements as they can strongly interfere with proper uptake of
the thyrol-l!! Three vets I've worked with now were not aware of this at all
(and they're pretty decent vets).

Anyhow, the vets had me keep her on this for several years. With time, I had
to increase the thyrol-l until she was getting 3 scoops a day. Eventually,
one summer the patchy fat & crest began building up again literally over just
a couple of months, she got downright ribby at the same time and had no
muscle between her hind legs...

So I got Cyproheptadine. At the time I got quotes for a 1000 pill bottle
that ranged from $192 to $15. Yes, $15. That pharmacy told me that they got
1000 for $10, and since it was for a horse they'd mark it up to $15 and we'd
both be happy. This was about 4 years ago. I started her on 26 tablets a
day (she's about 900 lbs, 14.1 hands, built like a HORSE tho). Carefully
adjusted the thyrol and eventually settled on 26 tabs of cypro and 1 scoop of
thyrol l. This worked beautifully. Good haircoat, good muscle, minimal
patchy fat, happy horse.

After about 3 months, however, I could tell that it wasn't working as well.
On vets orders, increased the cypro to 39 tablets a day. That worked for a
couple of months, and then the cypro didn't seem to be making any
difference... I had to increase the thyrol-l back up to 3 scoops a day. When
I took her off the cypro I couldn't tell that it made any difference. But
she seemed to hold ok with the 3 scoops, whereas before the cypro 3 scoops
thyrol wasn't enough. (the vet has told me not to go over 3 scoops
regardless).

Then I moved to Las Vegas (I was in Virginia and Maryland). Believe it or
not, the massive amount of sunshine or SOMETHING that is different in the
environment (low humidity?) seems to very much agree with her. She's been on
3 scoops of thyrol-l since I've been here and it seems sufficient for the
most part. Problems occured twice, when the barn owner forgot and started
feeding supplements WITH the thyrol-l -- 115 degrees and my poor mare was in
massive winter coat!! Got that squared away, then the barn owner decided
that maybe the thyrol-l was "keeping her from gaining weight" and she cut it
back to one scoop without telling me. Several weeks later (I still didn't
know) I was getting quite concerned because her winter coat was coming back
in the middle of the summer... found out that she'd decreased the thyrol-l
and had her increase it again. Right about that time Tina foundered and
rotated about 2 degrees. She had been barefoot, now she has special shoes.
Eventually she'll probably be back to regular shoes or possibly even
barefoot... but we are being quite conservative and taking time. She's
pretty sound.

By the way, I found out thru this experience that there is a fairly new
method of treating a laminitic or foundered horse in the acute (when it first
starts) phase that is amazingly effective, but that's for another email and
only if you all haven't heard of it -- you use styrofoam blocks on their
feet...

The vet also had me take her OFF of ANY alfalfa (too much calcium, too high
nutrition, too likely to contribute to founder) OFF any sweet feed (too much
sugar, Cushinoid horses may be not be dealing with sugar and may be insulin
resistant) and put her on a combination of grass hay (very difficult to get
here, more expensive than alfalfa believe it or not), rice bran (high fat to
provide the nutrition and energy needed), and purina Eq. Senior (round out
the diet). This seems to be working fairly well, or at least her weight is
ok and she's not continuing to have laminitis problems at this point in time.

For the past year, she's been a bit ribby and under muscled again -- not
badly, just not as good as before either -- and I probably need to put her
back on the Cyproheptadine. Late last year I got a quote of $50 for a
formulated version that would last the same length of time as about 1000
pills. I haven't had a chance to really price it out and get her started on
it. I'm also concerned that it will quit working again after a few months,
as it did before. If so, and she gets much worse, then I will have to
consider getting pergolide mesolayte (sp?) and my understanding is that it
will cost somewhere between $100 to $300 per MONTH. Right now she's ok with
just the thyrol-l, but not optimal...

I have been extremely lucky, however that she has not progressed into
diabetes. This is quite common and something you have to watch closely for
with all cushinoid horses. The main symptoms to watch for are drinking more
than normal or more than other horses of similar size at the same facility,
and excessive peeing. A simple blood test can check sugar levels and see if
they have diabetes. I'm getting basic blood panels pulled on her
periodically just to be sure that nothing of that nature is occuring. The
last set showed that she's a touch anemic, not unusual for a 29 year old
horse. Older horses also often don't utilize or need more Vitamine B (just
as older people) and this can cause anemia. I'm going to get her some
Brewer's yeast (excellent source of B vitamins) and possibly some red-cell.
But then I've got to get the barn owner to feed those separate from the
thyrol-l. I need my own place again!

Well, I know this has been very long, but I hope that relaying my experiences
will help some of you...
Robin


Re: Digest Number 6

Donna Mire <dmire@...>
 

--- Carla Davis <lmdavis@wa.freei.net> wrote:
There are several different tests and many opinions on which is the most
accurate one for diagnosing. Cushings is difficult to be "absolutely" sure of
because we can't look into their heads and actually see any tumors. .....His
first approach was to check the level of ACTH in my horses blood. ...the next
step would be to do a Dexamethasone suppression test.<<

I have the vet going out today and tomorrow to do the Dexamethasone suppression
test. Do we have information about how accurate this test is? What would you
suggest doing if the cortisol levels are normal after this test?

Cushings is a pretty manageble disease if the horse responds to the
medication. The earlier the diagnoses the more likely you are to have good
results with the medication. Just remember that you are only treating the
symptoms. There is no way to treat the actual tumor.<<

I heard it could be pretty expensive to treat this disease. I heard $70 - $100
a month. Is that the case?

thanks alot for your feedback

Donna



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Re: Digest Number 6

Carla Davis <lmdavis@...>
 

Donna:
Your mare sounds rather suspicious for Cushings. I'd have her checked. There
are several different tests and many opinions on which is the most accurate
one for diagnosing. Cushings is difficult to be "absolutely" sure of because
we can't look into their heads and actually see any tumors.

My horse, the 21 yr. old Swedish gelding referred to in previous letters on
this list, had several outward symptoms that I was dealing with. After
dealing with a bad respiratory "bug", several skin infections and an
extremely bad case of thrush (which took three months to clear up) my vet
suggested that we should check for Cushings. His first approach was to check
the level of ACTH in my horses blood.

My vet (and a few others in our area) believe that if the ACTH is high then
thats pretty indicative of a pituitary problem. IF the ACTH had come back
normal then the next step would be to do a Dexamethasone suppression test.
My horse's ACTH was so far off the scale that there was no reason to go
further.

One thing to be aware of is that quite often people will check the thyroid
and diagnose a problem there. Often the thyroid problems are actually
related to Cushings and treating only for thyroid is not enough.

Cushings is a pretty manageble disease if the horse responds to the
medication. The earlier the diagnoses the more likely you are to have good
results with the medication. Just remember that you are only treating the
symptoms. There is no way to treat the actual tumor.

Good luck and please share anymore info. you find. We all appreciate any
input we can get.
Carla

-----Original Message-----
From: sentto-376841-6-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com
[mailto:sentto-376841-6-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com]On
Behalf Of EquineCushings@onelist.com
Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2000 2:14 AM
To: EquineCushings@onelist.com
Subject: [EquineCushings] Digest Number 6


Topics in today's digest:

Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 06:25:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Donna Mire <dmire@rocketmail.com>
Subject: Lady's cresty neck???

I had a pre-purchase exam done on a mare that has what I've been hearing
others
call a 'cresty neck'. I am looking for more information about this. I've
been
told it is a symptom of a thyroid problem; but then I've also read
conflicting
information that it is not but rather it is seen in horses that have a
pituitary or endocrine problem (like Cushings syndrome).

I'd be interested in hearing about either or other reasons you may have had
experience with.

Lady is a 16 year old MFT and has had this for about 10 years. The 'extra'
neck
along the crest appears to be fat. Although the vet didn't seem to think she
was over weight anywhere else and wasn't too concerned about it. She has
not
had any signs of founder either. Other than her neck, my vet who did the
pre-purchase exam said she was pretty clean.

What type of tests can be run to see if she has Cushings disease?

The owner mentioned a few other things about Lady. She drinks alot of
water,
takes longer to shed than her stablemate (but does shed out completely in
the
summer), had been treated in the past for a chronic cough. I found the
following information about this in an article at
http://www.thehorse.com/0297/cushings_disease0297.html.

"Even before that characteristic hair coat appears, a horse with Cushing's
syndrome might demonstrate a host of other symptoms that are sometimes
overlooked or chalked up to old age.

The first symptom to appear generally is polydipsia (excessive thirst)
coupled
with polyuria (excessive urination)--which might go unnoticed if the animal
is
kept outside rather than stabled. Horses might go through as much as 80
liters
of water a day instead of the normal 20 to 30 liters. Other symptoms can
include
a swaybacked or potbellied appearance, increased appetite (generally with no
corresponding weight gain), loss of muscle over the topline, and chronic
laminitis. Horses with Cushing's syndrome become more susceptible to
diseases
and infections due to a compromised immune system. They frequently suffer
bouts of respiratory disease, skin infections, foot abscesses, buccal
(mouth)
ulcers and periodontal disease, and even infections of the tendon sheath or
joints. Wound healing is also noticeably slowed. ...

A hypothyroid horse often exhibits some of the same signs as a Cushing's
victim--delayed shedding of the winter coat, lethargy, retarded growth, and
healing. Unlike a Cushingoid horse, however, he will usually suffer a
decrease
in appetite, but gain weight nonetheless, and he often develops a
characteristically thick, cresty neck. (Cushing's horses will often look
potbellied, but rarely gain much weight.) And while Cushing's horses usually
remain quite bright in attitude, a hypothyroid horse will strike one as
"depressed.""

Thanks Donna


Lady's cresty neck???

Donna Mire <dmire@...>
 

I had a pre-purchase exam done on a mare that has what I've been hearing others
call a 'cresty neck'. I am looking for more information about this. I've been
told it is a symptom of a thyroid problem; but then I've also read conflicting
information that it is not but rather it is seen in horses that have a
pituitary or endocrine problem (like Cushings syndrome).

I'd be interested in hearing about either or other reasons you may have had
experience with.

Lady is a 16 year old MFT and has had this for about 10 years. The 'extra' neck
along the crest appears to be fat. Although the vet didn't seem to think she
was over weight anywhere else and wasn't too concerned about it. She has not
had any signs of founder either. Other than her neck, my vet who did the
pre-purchase exam said she was pretty clean.

What type of tests can be run to see if she has Cushings disease?

The owner mentioned a few other things about Lady. She drinks alot of water,
takes longer to shed than her stablemate (but does shed out completely in the
summer), had been treated in the past for a chronic cough. I found the
following information about this in an article at
http://www.thehorse.com/0297/cushings_disease0297.html.

"Even before that characteristic hair coat appears, a horse with Cushing's
syndrome might demonstrate a host of other symptoms that are sometimes
overlooked or chalked up to old age.

The first symptom to appear generally is polydipsia (excessive thirst) coupled
with polyuria (excessive urination)--which might go unnoticed if the animal is
kept outside rather than stabled. Horses might go through as much as 80 liters
of water a day instead of the normal 20 to 30 liters. Other symptoms can
include
a swaybacked or potbellied appearance, increased appetite (generally with no
corresponding weight gain), loss of muscle over the topline, and chronic
laminitis. Horses with Cushing's syndrome become more susceptible to diseases
and infections due to a compromised immune system. They frequently suffer
bouts of respiratory disease, skin infections, foot abscesses, buccal (mouth)
ulcers and periodontal disease, and even infections of the tendon sheath or
joints. Wound healing is also noticeably slowed. ...

A hypothyroid horse often exhibits some of the same signs as a Cushing's
victim--delayed shedding of the winter coat, lethargy, retarded growth, and
healing. Unlike a Cushingoid horse, however, he will usually suffer a decrease
in appetite, but gain weight nonetheless, and he often develops a
characteristically thick, cresty neck. (Cushing's horses will often look
potbellied, but rarely gain much weight.) And while Cushing's horses usually
remain quite bright in attitude, a hypothyroid horse will strike one as
"depressed.""

Thanks Donna
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Onelist is scheduling maintenance...

Eclectk1@...
 

Hi everyone,
Just forwarding this onelist announcement for your information...
Robin


Message: 1
Date: 17 Feb 2000 00:23:52 -0000
From: admin@onelist.com
Subject: Scheduled Maintenance

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during this time will be delivered after 3pm Pacific Standard Time on
Saturday 19th February, 2000.

Thank you in advance for your patience.


Permax, Problems finding Cyproheptadine, Thyroid Supplement issues

Eclectk1@...
 

From: lmdavis@wa.freei.net (Marc Davis)
Reply-to: lmdavis@wa.freei.net (Marc Davis)
To: Eclectk1@aol.com
Robin:
We exchanged e-mails back in September about Cushings in horses. I don't
know if you remember or not but anyway here's the scoop.

My (now 21 year old) gelding was diagnosed in September. We started him
on cyproheptadine and he's doing great! Many of the symptoms have disappeared
or have much improved. I am riding him daily and he is back to schooling
Int. I. His back had dropped severly and he had a big pot belly. He has
regained much (though not all) of the muscling across his back and the
pot belly has improved too. The skin infections have disappeared as has the
severe thrush that I treated for about three months. I'm going to have
him rechecked soon for ACTH level.

He is schooling better that he has in several years and I'm having more
fun than you can imagine. I may try showing him again this summer just for
kicks though not a lot as he has to come off of the medication in order to
compete
at the AHSA shows and I don't want him off of it too much. But I think
showing him again might be fun since you don't see too many horses over
20 in the FEI classes.

Needless to say I cheerish every flying change, pirouette, half-pass etc
every day!

My big concern now is in being able to get the cypro. Apparently there
is a shortage (stoppage?) and it's very difficult to find. Is your horse on
it or permax? Have you had any trouble getting either drug and any ideas for
solutions? The price of cypro has jumped from $40 per month to $95 at
least for the sources I can find. I'm tolerating the price increase because
the
results have been so good but now it's nearly impossible to find the drug
regardless of price. Any suggestions?

I priced Permax a couple of weeks ago and it seems that it has gone up
tremendously! The cheapest I could find worked out to be $380 per month!
That's more than double what all the information indicated it would cost
last summer. YIKES! I love my horse but I can't afford that especially
since I need to start planning for another horse someday.

I've talked to my vet about other drugs which may have similar effects
and he is checking into them. Do you know of any other drugs for this
purpose?

One other thing: do you know of any websites out there which cover this
subject or any vets either at vet schools or in practice who have more
information that the basic magazine articles that seem available?

I hope things are going well for you and your old timer is still doing
well.
Thanks for your input.
Carla
<<Subject: Re: Cushings disease in horses
Date: 01/13/1970,11:17:56 AM
From: Eclectk1
To: lmdavis@wa.freei.net

Hi Carla!

Thanks so much for your email! I'm really glad the cyp is working for him.
Its going to take me a little bit to see what information I can pull together
for you and I'm not sure how much it will help. I've run across several
references to vet schools, actually to the particular vet at a vet school who
are running cushings studies and if I can find where I wrote the blasted
information down I will get it to you.

Its so heartwarming to hear that you have your fellow back in competition at
Int. 1 no less!! I used to ride a 23 yr. old who'd shown to Int. 1 or 2
named Ernie (shown as Ironsides II I believe). He was such a cool old gent
(when he wasn't dropping people off who weren't making him work by dropping a
shoulder and dissappearing out from under them as he scooted 10 ft straight
sideways!! ;o) ). Arthritis about ate him up, but I just started working
him very lightly and religeously every day -- no day off, I'd at least take
him out for a walk (well, with Ernie, it was really more a matter of taking
him out for a piaffe that progressed down the trail in grand style but very
slowly!! No one else would take him out on the trails, because they hated
him jigging so much!!!) Anyhow, after several months he was apparently
better than he'd been in several years and he was my first piaffe, canter
piroettes', tempi's -- I LOVED that old coot, he was the greatest and had
more character than about 10 others put together!!

Ok, back to the subject -- My mare, Tina (Night Flight) is 29 this year (at
least) and she's doing pretty well. The barn owner/manager decided, however,
that she was getting too thin. She read the information on the outside of
the Thyrol-L (all my mare is on right now) AND called the vet to ask what the
blood panel I'd pulled read. I can't believe it, but he told her that Tina's
thyroid levels were GOOD (he wasn't even supposed to have pulled T3 & 4, one
reading like that is virtually meaningless). Well, this barn owner decides,
without ever calling me, that since the thyroid levels were good and thyrol-L
can cause weight loss etc., that maybe Tina was getting too much and would
fatten up better if she got less! About one month or so after she cut the
thyroid back, and I'm asking her "Shirley, is Tina getting her thyroid
medication, because she's growing her winter coat in and its too early!!??", r
ight about then Tina founders. Of course, it never dawned on her that if the
thyroid levels are good, its likely BECAUSE of the amount of THYROID
supplement she's getting!!! Sigh.

Fortunately, after about $450, $600+ if you include special shoeing, its
coming out ok. They used something I've never seen before and put her on
styrofoam blocks for the first several weeks. That was amazing how much it
helped virtually immediately. Then, once she was pretty sound just on the
styrofoam, the farrier came and did a natural balance shoeing with special
shoes -- he used some form shaping putty under the shoes, cut back about 1/4
inch from the apex of her frog so it was only in her frog clefts and heels.
Then he put a pad on with a bit of heel wedge, and also attached another
peice of shaped pad so it looks like a horses frog on the side of the pad
facing the ground. then he set the shoe back quite a bit to ease breakover,
rolled the toe of the shoe and also Tinas toes. Even so, her toes are about
1/8 to 1/4" over the front of the shoe. This spreads the weight over the
foot surface, removing as much weight as possible from the front of the sole
& frog and the tip of P3 (coffin bone) and distributing it to the back half
of the hoof.

She went close to 10 weeks before reshoeing and even then he didn't need to
take much off. Luckily the x-rays showed only about 4 degrees of rotation
(prior to shoeing), and they think P3 may return to its normal position.
She's been pretty sound ever since the styrofoam blocks were applied
(elasticon'd in place), and with the shoes also with no bute needed. Of
course, she's just hanging out in the paddock too, she wasn't in work at the
time....

So, Carla, I'll try to get some information to you soon, including the number
for a company that supposedly gives good prices to horsepeople for cyp (maybe
permax too)...

Also, I DID set us up a mailing list several weeks ago, but hadn't added
people to it yet... would it be ok with you for me to forward your letter and
my reply to the list and start adding people so everyone gets each other's
information? I didn't want to send your email to it without your
permission...

Robin
http://www.homestead.com/sportshorses
(best viewed in Explorer 4.x or newer)


In a message dated 01/13/1970, 11:28:09 AM, lmdavis@wa.freei.net writes:
<<Subject: Hats off to the geriatrics!
Date: 01/13/1970,12:28:09 PM
From: lmdavis@wa.freei.net
To: Eclectk1@aol.com

From: lmdavis@wa.freei.net (Marc Davis)
Reply-to: lmdavis@wa.freei.net (Marc Davis)
To: Eclectk1@aol.com
Robin:
Ernie sounds like a great guy and a lot of fun. These old timers have so
much character!

Thanks for sharing the info on Tina. I just went through a similar
experience (though a very different ending) with my kids 27 yr. old mare.
Your description of the shoeing for Tina is EXACTLY what the vets described
as a possible part of treatment for her.......until the xrays showed 11
degrees of rotation in both fronts and on top of that P3 was sinking in
both as well. They were amazed that she was still standing and walking let
alone trotting and even cantering in her turnout. This past Monday was a very
sad
day in our house!

I'm curious about the Thyroid supplement you're using. As I mentioned my
guy is getting a little chunky and that's the next area I'll look into. My
vet casually mentioned the possibility of thyroid problems this last week so
my guess is that we'll check into that next week.

It's so good to know there are other people out there willing to help these
old guys instead discarding them as old and worn out.

Yes, go ahead and add me to the e-mail list and forward my letter if you
want. I think this is a great idea. I have been very frustrated trying
to find detailed info on this subject and would love to hear what others are
finding and any other sources to research. Thanks for asking permission
first.

How do you want people to contact you to get on the list? I know a couple
of others who might be interested too?

Thanks
Carla

P.S. Do you still have Rhapsody and how is she looking? I love all that
color!


Welcome to all the new members!

Eclectk1@...
 

Hello everyone and welcome to the Equine Cushings list!

Over the next several weeks I will try to go back through my archives and
post some of the emails that have been exchanged between myself and others
with Cushings horses. I believe -- and hope! -- that this listserver will
retain old messages so we can use the archives to access old emails and
refresh memory on various problems and solutions or attempted solutions that
all of us have run across.

As some of you already know, I have a 14.1 hand 29 year old mare who has
basically been with me since she was a year and a half old. Tina, shown as
"Night Flight" took me through to my B rating in Pony Club, won year end
reserve champion at Open Training in region 5, was suggested by an
international judge for the jr. olympics (no $$ to do it tho! :o/), went into
2nd level dressage, could easily have gone much higher if I'd the time, and
has popped a few 5 ft. fences in her time -- and is basically just a cool
little mare with a unique coat color to top it all off.

After presenting me with a fabulous foal at age 23, we couldn't get her to
conceive again and the following spring she was diagnosed with Cushings
symptomatically when she not only wouldn't ovulate no matter what was tried,
but also failed to shed her winter coat a month after everyone else was
summer smooth. So Tina has been my introduction to dealing with Cushinoid
horses.

So, let me send along some of the older email's as I can, and hopefully the
information will be useful to some of you and your partners with Cushings.

Robin
http://www.SportsHorses.homestead.com
(best viewed in explorer 4.x or newer)


Re: Digest Number 2

Carla Davis <lmdavis@...>
 

Chris:
Yes this list is brand new (as of last week I think) so you haven't missed
much.

I have a 21 year old Swedish Warmblood gelding (my partner of 19 years)who
is doing FEI dressage. He was diagnosed last August though I realize now
that he has had mild symptoms for nearly two years. I just assumed that he
was "getting old".

We started him out on 120mg/day of Cyproheptadine. Outwardly he has made a
complete turn around and is now back in my full training program. He has
regained much of the muscling he had lost, the pot belly is much improved
and all of the skin problems he had developed are gone. He never really got
the long curly hair coat that most get but he had more hair than normal (for
him) during the summer. Horses in the NW are just beginning to shed so we'll
see what he decides to do for the summer months.

The unfortunate thing is that even though he looks so much better, his
follow-up blood work did not show much improvement. We have now increased
the Cypro. to 180mg/day. More blood work to be done in a couple of weeks.

Can I ask how much you pay for the pergolide and what your source is? I've
been shopping around since I expect at some point my horse will end up on
it.

Also, what other supplements are you using. I'm not using anything else at
the moment but am open to suggestions.

As for the worming program, I am unfamiliar with the complications
associated with Cushings. Can you fill me in?
Carla

-----Original Message-----
From: sentto-376841-2-
Message: 1
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 22:38:38 -0800
From: "Pennington-Boggio's" <pennbo@bbv.net>
Subject: hello

Hi, Did this list just start? Let me introduce myself. I live in the
mountains of So Calif. I have two horses. A 6yo Morgan gelding and a
22yo HalfMorgan mare. My mare has Cushings. She is on pergolide and many
nutritional supplements. I use quite a few of ABC's products. I was in
the study for Cushings but dropped out as one of the stipulations was
that you use ABC Plus. It is expensive and I did not see any real
difference while she was on it. I am pleased with her progress at this
point and so is the vet! I would love to share/hear what everyone else
is doing for their cushingoid horses. Also I am in search of a decent
worming routine. Any suggestions? Cushings can complicate this issue so
I am being very cautious.
Thanks and looking forward to sharing the trials and successes of caring
for our friends,
Chris


hello

Pennington-Boggio's <pennbo@...>
 

Hi, Did this list just start? Let me introduce myself. I live in the
mountains of So Calif. I have two horses. A 6yo Morgan gelding and a
22yo HalfMorgan mare. My mare has Cushings. She is on pergolide and many
nutritional supplements. I use quite a few of ABC's products. I was in
the study for Cushings but dropped out as one of the stipulations was
that you use ABC Plus. It is expensive and I did not see any real
difference while she was on it. I am pleased with her progress at this
point and so is the vet! I would love to share/hear what everyone else
is doing for their cushingoid horses. Also I am in search of a decent
worming routine. Any suggestions? Cushings can complicate this issue so
I am being very cautious.
Thanks and looking forward to sharing the trials and successes of caring
for our friends,
Chris


Re: Digest Number 0

Linda
 

ABC has some natural and holistic supplements, they
have a cushings supplement that they did a 2 year
study on, I was going to participate in the study by
my vet at the time wouldn't co-operate. I haven't put
my horse on the supplement because I have not been
able to look at the results of their study. Joyce
Harman the vet I was talking about advertises a
chemical free grain mix in the catalogue. The web
site is www.a-b-c-plus.com. I also think meadowsweet
herbs was working on a cushings supplement. I am
reluctant to use anything that I can't read the
research on. I am thinking of going to the Harman
feed with added vitamins to cut down on the glucose
and additives in my horses diet. It is difficult for
me to control her feed program now as I have my horses
boarded but I'm hoping to be able to move where I can
have them at home and be able to control things
better. My horse has been doing ok since I took her
off purina senior sweet feed and feed her a pelletted
feed 3 times a day. She was pretty sad last year but
today in fact I was thinking she looks much better,
I've been riding her and we practiced a 1st level
quadrille today since one of the team members couldn't
make the practice, me and my horse filled in. She's
around 30ish.
Linda

--- Carla Davis <lmdavis@wa.freei.net> wrote:
What is the A-B-C catalog? I thought I got every
catalog known to the horse
world. I don't have that one. If it pertains to
treating my dear cushings
friend I'm interested.
Thanks

-----Original Message-----
From:
sentto-376841-0-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com
[mailto:sentto-376841-0-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com]On
Behalf Of EquineCushings@onelist.com
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2000 2:40 AM
To: EquineCushings@onelist.com
Subject: [EquineCushings] Digest Number 0



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There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in today's digest:

1. Re introduction
From: yellowhorse98@yahoo.com


____________________________________________________________________________
___
____________________________________________________________________________
___

Message: 1
Date: 11 Feb 2000 05:35:51 -0000
From: yellowhorse98@yahoo.com
Subject: Re introduction

I've met you both already and thanks Robin for
initiating this. I e-mailed
a vet in Va. Joyce Harman, who has some products
listed in the A-B-C
catalogue and she will do a consultation on my mare
when I move. The funny
thing is she was my horses fisrt vet. She had just
gotten out of vet school
and was doing a residency at the clinic that took
care of the barn horses.
From what she says she is an holistic vet and uses
many diffrent modalities.
I'll let you know what she has to say. It won't be
for another month
probably. I


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Re: Digest Number 0

Carla Davis <lmdavis@...>
 

What is the A-B-C catalog? I thought I got every catalog known to the horse
world. I don't have that one. If it pertains to treating my dear cushings
friend I'm interested.
Thanks

-----Original Message-----
From: sentto-376841-0-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com
[mailto:sentto-376841-0-lmdavis=wa.freei.net@returns.onelist.com]On
Behalf Of EquineCushings@onelist.com
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2000 2:40 AM
To: EquineCushings@onelist.com
Subject: [EquineCushings] Digest Number 0



--------------------------- ONElist Sponsor ----------------------------

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Intro or 9.9 percent Fixed APR, online balance transfers, Rewards
credit you deserve! Apply now! Get your NextCard Visa at
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There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in today's digest:

1. Re introduction
From: yellowhorse98@yahoo.com


____________________________________________________________________________
___
____________________________________________________________________________
___

Message: 1
Date: 11 Feb 2000 05:35:51 -0000
From: yellowhorse98@yahoo.com
Subject: Re introduction

I've met you both already and thanks Robin for initiating this. I e-mailed
a vet in Va. Joyce Harman, who has some products listed in the A-B-C
catalogue and she will do a consultation on my mare when I move. The funny
thing is she was my horses fisrt vet. She had just gotten out of vet school
and was doing a residency at the clinic that took care of the barn horses.
From what she says she is an holistic vet and uses many diffrent modalities.
I'll let you know what she has to say. It won't be for another month
probably. I


____________________________________________________________________________
___
____________________________________________________________________________
___


Re introduction

Linda
 

I've met you both already and thanks Robin for initiating this. I e-mailed a vet in Va. Joyce Harman, who has some products listed in the A-B-C catalogue and she will do a consultation on my mare when I move. The funny thing is she was my horses fisrt vet. She had just gotten out of vet school and was doing a residency at the clinic that took care of the barn horses. From what she says she is an holistic vet and uses many diffrent modalities. I'll let you know what she has to say. It won't be for another month probably. I


Re: I/R and pregnancy

Suzie MacDougall <walking_s_mac@...>
 

This is exactly what i did with Strawbs - foaling helped keep her wieght in
check, I did time the foalinng date so she would foal after the grass had
dried out & the pasture had gone back - this allowed her & the foal
restricted grazing thus allowing me to socialise the foal with others & get
proper exercise.
Suzie in Oz

----- Original Message -----
From: <Eclectk1@aol.com>
To: <EquineCushings@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 12:46 PM
Subject: [EquineCushings] Re: I/R and pregnancy


Hi Peggy,

Pregnanacy probably does increase the risk of laminitis for an IR mare.
Unfortunately I don't think that anyone can say how much however. An
increase in
insulin resistance with pregnancy is quite common in humans who weren't IR
before the pregnancy -- the hormonal changes involved and commonly
slightly
lowered thyroid levels tend to cause and/or worsen IR.

When you have a mare like this that you're dying to have a foal from,
however, then I'd consider just how insulin resistance she currently is,
how well you
can get that under control with diet, and how sound she is -- how easily
or
frequently she's had laminitis/founder attacks and how severe they've
been.

I would think that if she's not had much or any problems with laminitis,
and
her IR isn't too extreme, then you can likely help her thru a pregnancy
with
just carefully controlling diet and some regular monitoring to be sure
things
aren't getting out of hand, particularly in the last few months of her
pregnancy.

Robin
Desert Springs Sport Horses
www.Sportshorses.homestead.com
(best viewed in explorer 4.x or newer)







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Re: Baby sz

Suzie MacDougall <walking_s_mac@...>
 

Sounds a bit like she may have spasm one one side - presume from ouy
description it it with hear extended ie neck back in a similar line?
extension spasm of both neck & back muscles??
If her sight is ok it could be that her propriocecption is not working
properly ie she does not know where parts of her body are in space. If your
ever seen the TTEAM_TTOUCH bandageing for the body it should help if this is
part of the problem.
suzie in Oz
Suzie in Oz

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cheryl Kelley" <cherylkelley@bellsouth.net>
To: <EquineCushings@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: [EquineCushings] Re: Baby sz


When she is running, she looks like she is being led by her nose from above
and to her right, Her back is hollow. She looks frightened. The seizure
yesterday started in her stall, before dinner (there was no food in there at
the time). The running/spinning part meant lots of crashing and banging
into the walls of the barn.. That said, however, I opened her stall door
(figuring she was better off in open space) and after a moment, she managed
to get herself through the stall door, out of the barn, through the dry lot
and into open space in the pasture. (12ft + gates in all those places except
the stall door--all wide open). After this one was over, I wondered again
about her vision--this time on the right side:


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