FAQ's/alfalfa/meds/worn teeth

Pennington-Boggio's <pennbo@...>

Robin, What a great idea! This FAQ file would be an immense help to all
of us I think! I think photos would be helpful too. Since we are so
isolated as owners of Cushingoids, and since most vets are unfamiliar
with current research, it is in our best interests to share what we find
about it! Thank you!

Alfalfa- I don't feed alfalfa if I can help it. Actually stopped feeding
prior to Cushings diagnosis because of current research findings
regarding mineral balance/imbalance. I feed a 3 or 4 way (the four way
is about 8-12% alfalfa) because that is what I can find. I drive an hour
away and haul it myself. The feed store is aware of my needs and call if
they are running low so that I do not run out. I suppose that if you
couldn't find non-alfalfa hay you could do pellets. There are a few new
brands on the market and one that sounds really good is an oat/barley
pellet. Robin, where in the desert are you? I know some areas where 3
way is being grown!

Meds- For those of you deciding whether or not to use meds I figured I
would throw in my thought processes as I went through the same decision
making process. At first I thought "well her symptoms are so mild I will
just control them with natural and dietary supplements" and I read,
alot. Then I thought "Boy meds are so expensive. Will they really help
extend her life or improve her quality for very long?" and I read, alot.
Then I thought "Hmmm...cypro just seems to control the affects of the
excess hormones in her body but it won't really cure or help the main
problem. I can do that naturally." and I read, alot!! Then I finally
had read enough and I thought "OK, Permax controls the production of the
hormones while cypro treats the affects of the hormones. The hormone
excesses will eventually lead to breakdowns in her system that I can' t
fix. Cushings isn't curable but if I can control the production of these
hormones than her life should be near to normal." And so I put her on
Permax. It just seems to me that Permax can avoid or at least put off
for a long time, some of the real problems that Cushings induces from
the increased hormonal levels. This way with Permax taking care of
excess production and with me treating the symptoms that do slip by with
diet and natural supplements she should at least have improved quality
of life if not improved quantity. Does this make sense? Maybe seeing
the thought process that I went through will help some of you in your
decisions. If it doesn't seem to fit- well ignore it! <VBG>

I know someone was just concerned about how long a horse can live
without good tooth surface. From my experience I would say a
LOOOOOONNNNNG time! Take heart! I know of several very senoir horses,
over 30, that eat special diets because of no teeth but are quite
healthy and are still used. One is near 50, has almost NO teeth left!
She is feed a gruel of soaked pellets, some Senoir (not dampened because
it becomes sticky and paste like), and, don't laugh, chopped up hay! She
really missed he hay so the owners put some hay through the composting
mower for her so it is chopped small. She gums it for awhile and seems
satisfied. The vet says the pieces are so small that with the other bulk
she gets they move right on through! So you see, with a little care and
ingenuity they don't really need their teeth! LOL

Have a good day everyone! I will! Shoer was out and said that Star's
feet look really really good! She is still a little stiff (I was hoping
it was from long toes) so now I will call the chiro for an equine
session. But overall this morn my girl was bright eyed, curious, loving,
and reminded me with every little lippy kiss why I keep working so hard
to keep her healthy and comfortable! What would I do without that whinny
good morning and good night???

Chris in CA