New Member w/ Cushings pony in CA

Mandy Woods

Hi Cheryl,
Welcome to the group.   We cannot answer your question until you give us more information for us to base a sound answer on.   Which test did your vet do to confirm PPID?  What were the numbers?  etc. 
The first thing we would like you to do is join the ECH8 group.  This is a storage group for medical histories.   There is a place to store photos, xrays,  hay analysis  AND the Questionnaire.    This is a very important piece of the puzzle.  Please fill out the questionnaire because it paints a big picture for the volunteers to see.   Please include photos of your pony too...feet and body views. 
As you read you’ll find our philosophy is simply DDT/E.  IF you follow these 4 steps you will see a change for the better in your pony.    The first D is for DIAGNOSIS by bloodwork.   We would need to see an ACTH value, units and lab normal ranges. This test confirms Cushings aka PPID>   Cushings is treated with Pergolide.  Please us Cornell for the bloodwork.    To confirm IR,  we would need to see your vet test Insulin/Glucose and Leptin on a NON fasting pony.  Feed him soaked/drained grass hay the night before and the day of the test.   No bucket feed.   Ponies are notoriously Insulin Resistance.  IR is managed by DIET.   You will need to feed him a low sugar/starch forage with minerals balanced  – we aim for 10% or less a day.   This soiunds hard to do but really is easy when we show you how.    TRIM is very important to keep the toes backed and the heels lowered with the foot in balance with the coffin bone.  Boots and pads may be necessary.  Soft Ride makes a great rehab boot and in pony size.   And lastly EXERCISE of hand walking only if the pony is able and willing.   Never force a laminitic horse to move.
The Temporary DIET is what your pony should be on right now.  This is safe for any horse with or without Cushings/IR>   By starting this you are starting the balanced DIET.  He should have NO Pasture and NO grains.  No treats, apples, carrots, red salt blocks.  Soak grass hay (not alfalfa) for one hour in cold water and pour it off where he cant get to it.  Feed at least 4 small meals a day.  Many of us use small mesh hay nets to slow down their eating.   These work in the soak water too.  Feed him 1.5% to 2% his body weight a day in dry hay – then soak it.  Hang the net/wet hay between his knee/shoulder level.   To give the Temp ER minerals,  we like rinsed/soaked/rinsed beet pulp.  This is the best way to serve it – clean, super low sugar and full of water!   Use a colander over a 5 pound bucket.  You can freeze sandwich baggies of it and make a weeks supply. To the r/s/r BP, add vitamin E,  loose iodized table salt,  magnesium and freshly ground flax.  The recipe is in the Start Here file on the main list and here :    This is what you’ll feed until your hay analysis arrives and you have minerals balanced to it.  OR ~~ get a few bags of Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance cubes or NUZU Stable 1.  These two products are complete/balanced and safe for IR and Cushings horses.  
Now for your question.  Bute is usually given for 3-4 days at the onset of laminitis or founder.  Previcox is another NSAID that is given for pain.  Both can cause ulcers.   Its hard to watch them in pain but by removing the trigger to his pain,  you will be doing more help to him.      Is your pony foundered?  When did he founder?   Hold off on the NSAIDS until we know more. 
Here are some links for you:      The hay analysis we recommend is The Trainer #603.   Read here how to core hay and send a sample.
Cheryl,  print out this email and future ones.  Start a journal on your pony.   Take photos and copious notes.    You are about to learn a new way of horse management.   You are not alone!   So hang in there ~ take a deep breath for  yourself and start the questionnaire.
Ask questions as they pop up.  We are here to help you.
Mandy in VA
EC Primary Response
OCT 2003