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So happy I found you!
I have a 23 y.o. Mare diagnosed with Cushing's shortly after purchase, in 2010. She is doing great, only one illness (Cellulitis) in 2011, responded well. She's in full board, I ride her 3 times a week, maintained on Cool and Calm low starch feed x2 day, unlimited hay, 1 flake alfalfa, blue algae, and Prascend. I am looking into retirement for her and would appreciate any tips. We live in Texas. Thanks to all!
Hi, and welcome to the list! There will be more messages to follow, but first I would urge you to put together and upload a case history of your mare. This can be done over on EC History 6:toggle quoted message Show quoted text
You have to join, but it only takes a moment. Follow the directions on the homepage to download the case history template; then fill it out and upload it into your own folder.
The more we know about your mare, the better able people are to post relevant information for you.
Sign your posts with your name, general location, and date of joining. Delete most of the post you are responding to.
Ask any and all questions.
And again - welcome!
Hello and Welcome! What's you first name, so we can address you by that? What's your mare's name?I have a 23 y.o. Mare diagnosed with Cushing's shortly after purchase, in 2010. She is doing great, only one illness (Cellulitis) in 2011, responded well. She's in full board, I ride her 3 times a week, maintained on Cool and Calm low starch feed x2 day, unlimited hay, 1 flake alfalfa, blue algae, and Prascend. I am looking into retirement for her and would appreciate any tips. We live in Texas.
So glad that she is doing well.
The list philosophy is DDT+E. That stands for Diagnosos, Diet, Trim and Exercise.
Diagnosis: How was your mare diagnosed with Cushing's (aka PPID)? The group recommends an eACTH, preferably sent to Cornell, if you are in the United States. If you visit here: http://www.ecirhorse.com/ you'll find lots of information on testing under the DDT overview tab. Also, some PPID horses can be IR (insulin resistant), so we also recommend that an insulin, glucose and leptin levels are drawn when the ACTH is done. These labs should be done on a NON-fasting horse. Details can be found under that DDT overview tab.
Diet: The group recommends a low sugar, starch (under 10% sugar + starch) and under 6% fat diet. That's grass hay with sugar+starch under 10% and minerals balanced to the hay analysis, plus vitamin E, ground flax seed and Iodized salt as outlined in the emergency diet here: http://www.ecirhorse.com/index.php/ddt-overview/diet . You can send your hay here: http://www.equi-analytical.com/ for analysis. If it comes back greater than 10% sugar + starch, we recommend soaking the hay in hot water for 30 minutes or cold water for one hour to remove up to about 30% of the sugar content. Drain the hay where she can't get to the drained water. IR horses should not receive any grass, grain or treats such as apples, carrots, etc. Until you get your hay analyzed, use the emergency diet This is just to be used until you get your hay analysis back. Also, no red/brown salt/mineral blocks. White salt blocks only. The red/brown salt blocks have iron in them and most IR horses are already iron overloaded. And they also contain minerals, so it would be difficult to balance the minerals in your diet not knowing how much your horse consumes of this and exactly what is in it. Some also contain molasses--a no-no for IR horses. Also, many IR horse do not tolerate alfalfa. Is that Wellness Calm and Cool that your are feeding? There are not many "bagged" feeds that are appropriate for IR horses. I am not familiar with this feed so will let someone else address it.
Trim: So important, but a proper trim is often the last thing to fall into place. It's heels lowered and toes back, so that the hoof capsule closely hugs the coffin bone. You can join our sister site EChoof and post pictures of your mare's feet and one of the hoof gurus can take a look and tell you if you have a proper trim in place and will make recommendations for you or your farrier/trimmer. There is a file there that explains how to take hoof pictures. And here's another good site that shows how take them: http://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/good-hoof-photos.html
Exercise: The best IR buster there is, so it's great that you are able to ride her 3x/week! Even after you "retire" her she will still need exercise to stay in shape and not become IR if she isn't already. You'll know that when you get your labs back.
You'll have lots of questions--just ask. We're here to help! There's lots of great info in the files so that should keep you busy reading for awhile! We ask that you sign your name (first is fine), the date you joined and your general location, like in my signature below whenever you post.
Maggie, Chancey and Spiral in VA
EC Primary Response
Welcome to the group. Please sign your name! We have lots of tips for you to keep your 23 yo mare in good health and sound. You'll find by reading out files that our philosophy is DDT/E. This is DIAGNOSIS, DIET, TRIM and EXERCISE.
DIAGNOSIS is by bloodwork. What tests did your vet use to confirm Cushings aka PPID? What was the value, unit and lab normal? Cushings is a progressive condition treated by pergolide. The DIET we prescribe here also supports Cushings as many Cushings horses become Insulin Resistant. IR is diagnosed by having blood pulled for Insulin/Glucose and Leptin on a NON fasting horse. We want you to feed just soaked/drained grass hay/no grains the night before and the day of the blood pull.
DIET is low sugar/starch/fat with the minerals balanced to your hay's assay. Testing your hay to find out exactly you are feeding then balancing the minerals is critical to an IR horse. Feeding under 10% a day sugar/starch will keep most horses from laminitis. Some horses are super sensitive and need to go lower. Soaking hay for one hour in cold water can reduce sugars up to 30%! If your horse is foot sore, appears to have hock issues, is stiff etc, it could be laminitis. You did not mention any lameness which is good!
In the files you'll find one called Analysis of Various Feeds. This will fascinate you with the difference in each type of feed. I don’t know who makes your Cool and Calm but wouldn’t you like to know what the sugar/starch is in it? NO horse needs over 4% fat!
TRIM is a balanced foot with toes backed and heels lowered. Boots and pads for sore footed horses.
EXERCISE is the best way to reduce IR. Burn off those calories!
Texas has a large group of members that can help you source products you may need. If you look in the DATABASE (blue box on the eft side of your screen on ECIR main page) you find by states members who have signed up to help others. You arent alone!
Please read the files and ask questions as they pop up. Feed her the best hay and feed you can because she has Cushings. I would even start her on Vitamin E, loose iodized table salt, magnesium and freshly ground flax seed. These are the Temporary Minerals in the Emergency Diet but they will stay onboard when you balance her hay. These are good things to feed her.
We'd like you to join the ECH6 group - only takes a minute - and fill out the questionnaire (be sure to save it) so we can see the big picture. Like her breed! Then we can see what more we can do to help you. Start a journal on her now. Take photos and notes. Here's the link to ECH6
Mandy in VA
EC Primary Response
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