Smoke - Grass hay vs Timothy
Aloha Again from Hawaii!
Smoke, age 32 and survivor of coffin bone rotation at 29, IR/cushings, has been doing very well for the past few years. Since moving to Hawaii, he has had one abscess. I was forced to switch from Timothy to grass hay about 2 months when my vet floated his teeth, creating an opening at the back that made my horse decide to chew his hay, then open his mouth and let it fall out. I guess he had a broken tooth back there and when she gently floated the tooth below, the gap was more...So, I switched to grass hay because of less stem. I have been told that it is safe for IR horses. And, he is able to eat it. A blood test was done on 11.7.14 and his numbers came back with an insulin:glucose ration of 11 from the vet, but when I ran the numbers it was 12.9, still very good! (Glucose 81/Insulin 6.7) But, his ACTH is way too high at 51, up from a respectable 29.6 in May of 2013. Am going to up his pergolide...Any suggestions as to how much to increase? Currently on 5mg. (Been on 5 mg for a good 2 years!) The problem now is I think he has an abscess. Does anyone have an opinion on the Grass Hay? I know abscesses are more common in the winter. Sorry for doing the spaghetti thing. I am starting him on 2 grams of Bute twice daily, soaking in ice water, etc. Only swelling is down the back between the knee and hoof. No heat on the foot. No sign yet of a blowout...but watching it. Had just been rasped, heals are down, gorgeous hoof thanks to my amazing barefoot farrier, Susanella! Any input that might help me? Mahalo
Jen and Smoke
Members since 2011
Glad to hear insulin is still good!
Only way to know about the hay is to test it.
I would not use bute for abscess. I know how hard it is to watch but teh bute will work against you to mobilize the abscess. Jiaogulan is a better choice for foot comfort and will help mobilize things. I know you will keep an eye on that swelling down the back of the leg.
As to pergolide, we are in the down swing of seasonal rise so need to weigh that. Since he has foundered before, if he still has PPID symptoms, I might raise the amount by 0.05 mg and monitor. Make sure you keep your vet in the loop. Testing ACTH is the best way to tell where you are. (I bet you know this!)
Here's a couple of good links for monitoring symptoms:
Seasonal Rise When to Test ACTH Message by Eleanor
Increase Pergolide Message (Scale of Symptoms) by Patti
Jen, if you would pretty please link to your updated case history it will help us help you more efficiently.
Thanks a million!
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
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---In EquineCushings@..., <jenmcgeehan@...> wrote :
I know abscesses are more common in the winter. Sorry for doing the spaghetti thing. I am starting him on 2 grams of Bute twice daily, soaking in ice water, etc. Only swelling is down the back between the knee and hoof. No heat on the foot. No sign yet of a blowout...but watching it.
Just a thought here from another IR/PPID horse owner:
With the swelling "down the back between the knee and hoof" maybe there's a possibility that the pain is from his recent trim lowering the heels more than normal? Even if it's just one leg/foot, maybe lowered heels stretched/stressed those tendons and ligaments from the knee on down to the hoof? I've found that with my older horses especially, ANY changes in hoof angle have to be made VERY gradually or it drastically affects their movement. And I've had picture-perfect, gorgeous looking trims be absolutely not-right for my old guys. But, maybe by now you've confirmed that it's an abscess.
Good luck and best wishes,
Sara, 2011, NE California