Case history for Babe (old horse with PPID)

Lydia Lawson

She is doing well considering her age and PPID. the Precend Pergolide seems to have helped her feel a lot better and stronger, however her hind end weakness/pain still keeps her from getting up if she is not on the bute daily. I tried to wean her down and it was not successful, however so far she has not had any adverse effects from it. It just helps her feel better and at this point in her life that is what matters most. I have her on all the other supplements you and Nancy recommended and she sometimes surprises me when she gallops across the pasture or chases the pony! This is the first year she has not shed well. She is still pretty hairy although she is shedding. Just slow compared to the other horses and it's been hot so I keep an eye on her. She will be getting the first follow up ACTH test this week and I am hopeful that will look somewhat better for her. 

Interestingly enough I have another horse getting the same tests. She is only 10 but after a lifetime of being super sound and healthy she has spent the last year battling abscesses in three of her feet and they have been super difficult to heal requiring aggressive surgery etc. Even though she has no signs outwardly of IR and has never foundered and even has nice tight white lines and good looking feet the vet wants to test her for metabolic problems because we have no answer for why this has happened to her. Hoping it's not something serious. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Lydia,

Good to hear she's doing so well. As you say, at this age using some bute may be a necessary thing - you have to balance the quality of life issues with the negatives. You might talk to your vet about trying Previcox/Equioxx instead of the bute. It is a Cox2 inhibitor and a bit more selective in it's action. If you go this route, please be sure that you pay close attention to the dosing guidelines if using the Previcox as it is formulated based on canine dosing requirements, which are much higher than the equine dosing rates. I believe we discussed that option before, correct?

Let us know when the new ACTH comes in. If it doesn't come back solidly within normal values will need to up the Prascend. That may/may not affect her non-shedding as getting the pergolide dose correct doesn't necessarily control shedding. Can try adding chastetree berry to her supplements as this can help induce shedding once the ACTH is properly controlled with the perg.

Let us know how the new girl's bloodwork turns out. In it's early stages, an IR horse may not "appear IR". This could also be due to dietary issues as an unbalanced diet will eventually "catch up" with your horse. The most common deficiencies are copper and zinc, which are vital to healthy hoof growth and maintenance. Excess iron, a common problem, will exacerbate these deficiencies. You can also put up some pics of her feet (in the ECHistory8 Photos section) so we can give them a once-over to see if the trim may be contributing. Sometimes what looks "normal" is not necessarily correct/healthy.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and peanut
Jan 05, RI
EC Support Team

Lydia Lawson

Babe had her bloodwork in April and the vet said "it was normal" now. I asked for a copy but they have not emailed it so I'll ask again so I can let you know the numbers. She is doing well. I have a new issue however: She decided she does not want to eat the Timothy balance Cubes any longer. I hate wasting them as they are quite expensive. I wet them for her but if she doesn't eat them I have to throw them out since they were wet! She still eats the pellets fine but I know they do not have all the minerals she needs. Honestly I am leary of mixing minerals because of time and the shear complicatedness of it. Is there any other feed that has the minerals already in i that you all recommend? I would mix if I thought it was not too difficult to do a batch and I do it for the other horses too if it was less expensive. I just get brain dead when I read about it :-)

Lydia Lawson

Just reposting to see if anyone has suggestions on an alternative to ODTB cubes or mixing minerals. My vet says to get chelated trace minerals only and not to buy something cheap because it won't be.

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

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

 My vet says to get chelated trace minerals only and not to buy something cheap because it won't be.

= = = =

Your vet is misinformed. Research has shown no advantage to chelated minerals in adult horses. In fact, they may be less bioavailable, likely because elemental minerals can also be absorbed in the large intestine but chelated forms cannot. For example:   

For further information refer your  vet to the 2007 NRC Nutrient Requirements of Horses.

Eleanor in PA

EC Co-owner
Feb 2001