New to group


genae kindscher
 

Hi Everyone, I am totally new to the idea that my horse might have IR or cushings. I have instead been thinking she has PSSM possibly type 2 since she was negative for 1. I have been following that diet and using those supplements with some results. The two symptoms that did not fit were swollen hard nipples and high levels of testosterone. My vet did not think those were anything to worry about. We ruled out the tumors that mares get but I did just draw blood again to double check. He only wanted to focus on front feet and says she has navicular. 

Her other symptoms are goes dead lame and then recovers fairly quickly, and then back lame again. Muscle spasms, constantly was in heat and was causing the other mares to go in heat before I put her on Regumate. She has no other signs of cushings that I can tell, she is only 8 years old though. 


I had hair mineral analysis done and that is what confirmed my suspicion that IR or cusings was possible. She is very high in iron and aluminum and Lithium, very low in sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, also selenium. 


A few symptoms she has don't fit anywhere it seems, her forehead is large, the temporal area she cannot tolerate browband of bridle. It also seems as though her head swells cause sometimes her halter will be really tight and other times really loose. She also can't handle the saddle which would fit more with pssm not IR, or at least in my thinking. 


I am not really sure which step to take next, the first vet thinks I am nuts for trying to find something wrong with her. The other vet scracthed his head when I told  him what was going on. I have bascially been on my own trying to figure out what is wrong with her and spending a fortune. Appreciate any comments might help me make some decisons. 


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

HI,

Welcome to the list. In order to help you the most we are going to need some more information about you and your girl. We ask that you sign your name (first is fine), general location and year of joining to your messages so we can direct you to local sources for products. The first thing we are going to need is for you to fill out a case history for your girl. This needs to be done on our sister site ECHistory8. You'll need to join but that should only take a minute. Then download the case history template, fill it out and upload. This puts all the relevant information in one, accessible location for the volunteers to access in order to answer your questions. Here is the link to ECH8:


https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/echistory8/info


Could you please be a bit more specific in what you mean by "ruled out the tumors that mares get" so we know exactly what was tested for. Was it possibly Polycystic Ovaries? Please include all tests that have been done so far, any blood work that has been pulled and the units of measure for the results. You can upload copies of all the test results into your file to make this easier for you.


The list follows a protocol of DDT/E, which is shorthand for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise. It's is the basis for successfully managing your horse. We'll try to help you figure out what is going on in the shortest time and in the most economical way.


DIAGNOSIS: A horse can be IR only, PPID (Cushings) only, neither or both. Are her symptoms something new or has this been going on for some time? AT 8yo your girl is young to be considering PPID as a cause for her issues. IR, however, is a real possibility. Blood work is the way to test for IR. Have the vet draw a blood sample to be tested for Insulin, Glucose and Leptin. Sending to Cornell is recommended as they are the only lab capable of doing the leptin portion of the tests. The blood should be pulled from a NON-Fasting horse. Here is the link to Cornell's website. Have your vet contact them before doing the sampling to get the discount shipping labels they provide. To test for PPID you would need to have an ACTH test done. If the lameness issues have just started it MIGHT be early PPID due to the seasonal rise influence starting. Please have a read on our educational website for more in depth information:


http://www.ecirhorse.org/


Hair mineral analysis is an unreliable diagnostic tool for most situations due to the issue of contamination of the sample. It also can't tell you anything about what is currently happening but gives some indication of past issues. See this file for more info:


https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/EquineCushings/files/Hair%20Analysis/


DIET: Is forage based, low fat/sugar/starch with the minerals balanced to the forage analysis. All feeds have excesses and deficiencies and the only way to know what they are is to test what the horse is currently consuming. Iron overload is rampant and will worsen many conditions, sodium deficiency is also quite common as the majority of hays are deficient in this mineral. Iodine and selenium, both important for the thyroid to function properly, tend to be in short supply in most areas as well. Potassium deficiency, unless the horse is working extremely hard, is going to be rare as all hay has an overabundance of it. Calcium and magnesium vary widely. Copper and zinc are generally deficient.


The symptoms of her head swelling and alternating lameness in her feet could possibly be related to calcium insufficiency, also known as Big Head (Bran) Disease. It is due to an imbalance in the calcium:phosphorus ration in the animal's feed. Highly recommended that you have your hay analyzed and then post the results here. We can help you understand the results and can assist in getting a balanced diet in place. In the meantime, we recommend that you start your girl on the emergency diet (ED) that you were sent when you joined. No pasture, no mineral blocks, no carrots/apples/sugary snacks, soak her hay before feeding, add salt, ground flax, vit E gelcaps with oil in them and magnesium per the amounts in the ED. Splitting her meals into at least 4 per day is advised. Small mesh haynets are a great way to stretch out the time it takes her to eat her allotted hay. Aim for 1.5% - 2% of her ideal bodyweight in total feed per day.


TRIM: Aimed at aligning the hoof capsule with the structures within. Low heels and toes backed. Boota and pads as needed to maintain comfort. Is she shod or barefoot? With the on-again/off-again lameness would recommend bare to facilitate making any trim changes that may be needed. Would encourage you to post pics of her feet in the Photos section of ECHistory8 so that the hoof gurus can help make sure her trim is optimized. A diagnosis of navicular is many times based on the vet not finding anything else to hang a diagnosis on. Here is a link on how to take good hoof photos:


http://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/good-hoof-photos.html


EXERCISE: Best IR buster there is but never force a sore horse to move. Sounds like forced exercise would not be advised at this time until you have found the cause of her lameness and other issues.


Hang in there, we'll do all we can to help you get to the bottom of this. By the sounds of it, you are definitely NOT nuts and your girl is lucky to have such a caring and persistent owner.


Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team




 




genae kindscher
 

Hi Lavina, 
Thanks for all that info, might take me awhile to check it all out. Tried to join the history group but it rejected my request everytime I tried will try again later. 

The Tumor that was checked for was Granulosa cell tumor, they did it via blood to check for inhibin and also ultrasound and palpation. Nothing was found but still suspicious blood work, so just re did it. Her niplles are rock hard and she used to love to let be scratch that area because she has been itchy there forever but not begs to have me scratch her then tries to kick me.

I read the info on the big head disease and that could sure fit too in regards to her forehead, and lameness. When she first started having problems it was thought to be reinjury of soft tissue and I was letting her graze in pasture for long periods of time. It has crab grass which I now find out is high in sugar and probably oxalate too. She has been in there every day because it was really, really short and I figured she was not getting much, but now she will not go back in. This is the most devasting thing to her and to me, no grazing time!

She did just recently have blood work which I will enter into history when it allows me to join, blood levels of cal mag were normal, but mineral test showed low. 

She is already on most the things on ED except of course the no grazing which is now stopped. Since I suspected PSSM they follow a similiar diet and some said some grazing was okay. She has had some fanatastic looking days but just recently came up sore again, but then yesterday was trottng out in full extension again and only a slight lameness. If she is sore I just let her walk for 15 minutes, but if she offers trot then usually she will start to losen up and look better.

So since we are in seasonal rise, would it be best to wait to get her tested??  This is all so confusing to me, just had the PSSM thing kinda figured out and now the possibility of this one is really confusing with all the different types and all. I don't know if its going to help to test my hay as we don't have any choices right now, with drought there is no grass hay out there to buy. I secured a larrge amount to get me through winter and that is all I can get. 

Gina from Central Coast California
Whizzy-No diagnosis
8/2014



Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Gina,

I'll send you an invite to ECHistory8 - that should make it easy to join. Yahoo can quite maddeningly finicky at times : (


Testing during seasonal rise is fine - you just take the time of year into account when interpreting the results. It affects the ACTH but not the insulin/glucose/Leptin.


If she is having bouts of laminitis, stopping the laminitis pain is a much greater benefit to her than having grazing time. If you have enough hay stocked up to last the winter then by all means, YES, test it. It will tell you what she is getting in excess/what is deficient and will allow you to get a custom supplement made to address those issues. That's the most cost-effective, nutritionally sound way to feed any animal.


I know we throw a lot of info at you in the beginning but it does get easier with time. Just digest it like you would eat an elephant - one bite at a time.


Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team



 



genae kindscher
 

Does the laminitis always show up in xray or can farrier see it??? Neither my vet or farrier suspected laminitis. She just seems to hurt in her whole body. What is a very interesting coincidence is that I recently had food sensitivity testing and blood work. I am high in iron and sugar sensitive just like my horse!  We have no evidence to think its our water either so just one of those weird things. 
I will look for your invite to the other group and see about getting her tested asap. Thanks. 


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Gina,

Laminitis is an inflammation of the soft tissues connecting the coffin bone to the hoof capsule so it can't be "seen" on xrays but effects from it can be. Things like bony column rotation, thin soles, laminar wedges, sinking can all be effects from laminitis. Laminitis can flare up and recede, which can cause lameness that comes and goes. How lame a horse would be will depend on may things: how stoic the horse is, how severe the pain is, how well the trim is conforming to/supporting the internal structures of the foot. Chronic, low grade laminitis can present as a general unwillingness to move which can be misdiagnosed as the horse being lazy. Generally, there will be evidence in the hoof capsule that there are ongoing issues: very visible growth rings; a difference in the width of the rings in the front of the hoof capsule vs those in the back; laminar wedge formation; thin soles; heels that grow more quickly than the toes.



If a horse has chronically sore feet it may become sore in it's entire body as it compensates by trying to shift its weight onto the feet that don't hurt as much and by moving differently. Over time, every body part can become sore as it tries to do jobs in ways that it isn't designed to function.



In order to properly test for you need to have serum iron, TIBC and Ferritin done. Your vet will need to draw a blood sample and send it to Kansas State University as this is the only lab that can run the equine ferritin. There is no other way to diagnose this correctly in ANY species. You can have a read here for more info:



https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/EquineCushings/files/Iron%2C%20Iron%20Testing%2C%20Iron%20Overload/




Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team





 


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

"In order to properly test for you need to have serum iron, TIBC and Ferritin done"


Sorry, that should read "in order to properly test for iron load you need to have serum iron, TIBC and Ferritin done"


Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team