My mare

Molly Kinney

Hello, group I have been a member here for years. I found this group to be very helpful with my cushings horse. He has since passed and now I have a mare who is eleven and an easy keeper
With my past experience I decided to do a cushings test so I would have a baseline for our futures years ...
So my vet called with her results( she was surprised at the number )
She tested at 42
My vet isn't concerned but I am
I have also in the past felt their thought process with this is different than this group( I trust this group information)
This horse is my only riding horse and I want her to be properly supported
She gets massages and chiro sessions :)
The vet seemed unconcerned that the number wasn't " too " alarming that if she were stressed it could be a little high
When she was tested it was at 11 am ( the vet was late)
The horse only had hay for breakfast
What do I need to do?
I don't remember the whole process for my other horse so I'm confused
Do I put her on pergolide?
The vet said she didn't see ANYTHING that would indicate a cushings horse and was surprised
And said she wouldn't do anything
I need guidance
M Kinney (c) 207-329-4259

Mandy Woods

Hi Molly,
Welcome back! The first thing we need you to do is join the ECH8 group which is where the Case Histories are filed. Please fill out the questionnaire and use the link to your CH every time you sign off. This really helps the volunteers find you faster and see the BIG picture! We want the details.

Here's the link and I will also send you an invite.

We still use DDT/E. This is DIAGNOSIS, DIET, TRIM and EXERCISE. You've started your Diagnosis. What month was the blood tested and which lab did your vet use? We look for labs within the normal range. Some things we have to take into account are seasonal rise, air temperature , what was fed before the draw, trailered or exercised before the draw. At the very least you have a base line. The months of March April and May are when the ACTH is the lowest naturally. Starting the end of Aug you will want to retest to make sure her numbers don’t start climbing for the rise. There is also a genetic component to this. Some lines are easy to follow. Could your mare have been upset eating late? or early? Or could her ACTH be dropping now because it was possibly higher? The rise ends around the end of December.

Did your vet also test for IR? We need blood sent to Cornell for Insulin/Glucose and Leptin on a non fasting horse. You said you just fed hay before the Cushings test. Is your hay tested? If not high would push her values up out of the normal range when diagnosing IR. It will not effect the Cushings value. Are you sure your vet handled the blood correctly? Not leaving it in a truck for hours before spinning it down and separating the serum? Bet you didn’t have to worry about refrigeration! Cornell says we have up to 4 hours to separate but we must keep the samples chilled. Most of us try to do that step within one hour of the draw.

IF you hay is not tested, please send a cored sample (20% of your bales) to and get the Trainer # 603 for $54. Your sugar value (ESC) will tell you if you need to soak/drain the hay. We want below 10% combined sugar/starch a day. Then you will receive help getting the minerals balanced. This DIET supports Cushings as well as Insulin Resistance.

TRIM is a balanced foot with heels lowered and toes backed. You have not mentioned any hoof issues.

EXERCISE is great for IR horses if they can do it. Even hand walking has benefits.

You don’t mention any symptoms like long winter coat, slow to shed, goopy eyes, loss of top line, muscle wasting. Please include a body view of her and pictures of her feet in the ECH8 file.

Have a read over at It will answer many of your questions! And of course ask us too.

Here are some more links you will find useful.

Welcome back.

Mandy in VA
EC Primary Response
OCT 2003

Molly Kinney

Thank you, I believed I joined the other group that I was in invited to
I will need to search my paperwork for when I had my hay tested 
The chiro vet and the vet who took her blood said what ever I'm doing keep doing, she is in great shape with beautiful feet( natural balance trim) and healthy coat
The vet who called with results was floored that her number was 42, she said she never would have tested her on appearance... She only did it because I wanted a baseline for when she gets older 
Her test was drawn Friday February 27 ( in Maine.. Does that matter :) she was outside.. She does love her food so she may have been stressed but seemed fine to me.. She could be coming in heat? 
I will send a text to vet and see how she handled the blood sample 
Thank you for responding 

Lorna Cane

Hi Molly (?)

We ask everyone to sign their posts ,with name, location and date of joining group.You joined in February,2010.

When you have time to get your case history up,add its link to your signature,so the volunteers can find it quickly.
Helps us help you better.

Lorna in Ontario,Canada
ECIR Moderator 2002

*See What Works in Equine Nutrition*