No massive increase in IR/EC from my perspective


Suzanne's excellent remark "For a few of us old timers, the memories of how
things used to be -- these horses have always existed, we just didn't know how
to help them, or even recognize them as needing our help. " and reflecting
upon the gratitude we all have for this list struck a chord with me. I too,
looking back on horses I knew as a child, know of 1 that definitely had
Cushing's (died one day in his stall, of 'unknown causes' - had the coat, the
PU/PD, the crest of IR brought on by uncontrolled PPID), and many that were IR.

**************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.

Suzanne Clothier <clothier@...>

Why is that we are we seeing such a massive increase in IR/EC now - at
this point in history - in the developed world?
Thinking about this question brought up some bittersweet memories for me. I don't think it's an increase so much as a shift in our awareness and understanding. About 20 years ago, my TB/Welsh gelding Jeff was diagnosed with Cushing's at age 19, at New Bolton, and enrolled in their original pergolide study. I remember getting the terrible news about his EC, which back in those days, about 20 years ago, was pretty much a slow death sentence.

They asked if I'd be willing to enroll Jeff in the study, noting that there were no guarantees that it would do him any good, that he'd probably continue to founder, etc. Wasn't hard to make the decision, thinking that even if the study didn't do my good friend Jeff good, what might be learned in trying to help him (and possibly failing) might help some other beloved horse or pony years in the future. It was also the only possible way to afford the treatment. No way could I have afforded to treat him. Back then, pergolide was available only for humans, and while it was possible to use that form for horses, the cost was prohibitive (think human dose x 10!).

When the study ended, Jeff was one of the few still alive, and god bless the vets at New Bolton - they scrambled for us and got pergolide for him, somehow, including partial bottles from owners whose horses or ponies had died. They kept Jeff in pergolide till his death at age 26. He lived the longest of any in the study, and on the lowest dose, of any involved.

Last December, what was learned as a result of Jeff and other affected horses in that New Bolton study did indeed help some other beloved equine - my elderly donkey Shrimp. I am so grateful to this list and for simple affordable treatments that make such a huge difference. More times than I can count, I consider the $15 worth of pergolide capsules sitting on the counter, and marvel at what is now commonplace but so many years ago was nearly as precious as gold to me.

I only wish that Dr. Kellon and all who contribute their knowledge to this amazing list had been there for Jeff, as not a whole lot of dietary changes were recommended. He might well have avoided foundering 6 times before he died. At least he died sound, from an impacted & ultimately ruptured bowel.

Back in the "old days"--- horses like Jeff simply went on as best they could till they died. People like me did their best for such horses, including complete body clips 4x a year, including treating yet another bout of laminitis, rejoicing in the good days, dreading the difficult ones.

For Shrimp the donkey, for my IR draft cross Jupiter, my immense gratitude for this list, the shared knowledge. For a few of us old timers, the memories of how things used to be -- these horses have always existed, we just didn't know how to help them, or even recognize them as needing our help. There's a long list in my head of horses and ponies I have known that would have benefitted had we known.

Suzanne Clothier