ABC


Paula Brown <glorye@...>
 

This post may not win me many friends, but I feel it's necessary to
say (again) since there are new members on the list.

I am leery of ABC's supposed "Cushing's Study." I contacted them
almost two years ago to ask about it, and discovered that 1) by her
own admission, the woman running it has NO medical background, and 2)
the veterinary community would consider such study results tainted as
there are no control groups AND participants are required to purchase
their own medications/supplements.

Because of these things, I declined to take part in what seemed to be
a seductive sales pitch. I will quantify these remarks by adding that
some people feel ABC's Cushing's products are of benefit to their
horses. They may be... I wouldn't know that since I'm not a vet. I
just know that I want empirical data to back up products I feed my
horse.

Paula Brown
Poland, ME


Kay Howitt <akkray@...>
 

Paula, thank you for saying this so well. While I don't deny that some
people have had successes with their Cushingoid horses using this or that
supplement or treatment, most of the evidence in favor is testimonial in
nature. I am not comfortable experimenting on my horse as so much is at
stake. I will continue to use products/treatments with good scientific
basis.

My vets and shoers have had many documented successes with Dr. Ric Redden's
therapeutic trim/shoeing methods and this is what I have chosen for my
horse. If he does not become sound it is because I wasn't able to bring in
these experts until improper shoeing had already caused some significant
problems. No, I wasn't being neglectful...I had moved to an area with only
two shoers, one who is totally awful and the other who is OK for normal
feet, but inexperienced in working with very complicated laminitic cases.
The 2 local vets were similarly unskilled in Cushings' cases. I had to bring
in help from 400 miles away, and at great effort and expense. In my horse's
case, simply trimming frequently will not solve the problem. If he doesn't
have support/protection for his coffin bones and thin soles the bones will
very likely rotate and sink through the bottoms of his feet. Some of you
with chronically laminitic horses will understand the complexities. My horse
is also very sensitive to pain, and an extremely picky eater. Some of the
things which work for other horses do not work with my guy. He also has a
very problematic capped elbow (which he just reinjured a few weeks ago) some
atypical urinary difficulties (not excessive drinking/urinating) and he
forms plaques on his penis faster than you can peel them off. He wears a
special sleeve to protect his elbow 24/7, gets MSM, FlexFree, Ester C,
vitamins, flax oil, wheat germ, 100 mg. biotin, probiotics, isoxuprine,
bute, Permax and now cimetidine to counteract the irritation of the bute. He
eats grass hay, Eq. Sr., Strategy, mineralized salt and rolled oats. I flush
the elbow wound twice a day with saline and apply silvadene ointment. I feed
4 times a day and he has hay available 24/7. He can walk in and out of his
roomy stall at will, but I cannot allow his companion horse to be near, as
they will play very hard. I do everything I can to make him comfortable and
I stay at home so I can administer the various meds and treatments. In spite
of everything, he is not sound, he has dropped 50 # since March and he is in
constant discomfort and pain. By October first we may have permanent snow on
the ground, by the end of October we will have temperatures in the low
teens and by Christmas we will see minus 40. Our winter lasts 6 months and
it is dark for much of that. I will not put him through 6 more months of
restricted life and discomfort on the slim chance that all the Cushings'
symptoms will disappear and he will run freely again. We have been three
long years going in and out of major crises. I am tired, he is tired.

I am not telling you all these things to make myself out as some kind of
martyr. I know many of you are doing the same and more for your horses. I
just want to illustrate how complex horse care can be. I am very happy that
some of you have found a remedy for one or more of your horse's symptoms. In
our case, there is no simplistic answer. I am doing the very best I can and
I continually educate myself on possible treatments, but I may not be able
to save my wonderful black beauty Domino. Good luck to everyone else and
thank you for the support. Kay in AK

Paula Brown wrote:

This post may not win me many friends, but I feel it's necessary to
say (again) since there are new members on the list.

I am leery of ABC's supposed "Cushing's Study." I contacted them
almost two years ago to ask about it, and discovered that 1) by her
own admission, the woman running it has NO medical background, and 2)
the veterinary community would consider such study results tainted as
there are no control groups AND participants are required to purchase
their own medications/supplements.

Because of these things, I declined to take part in what seemed to be
a seductive sales pitch. I will quantify these remarks by adding that
some people feel ABC's Cushing's products are of benefit to their
horses. They may be... I wouldn't know that since I'm not a vet. I
just know that I want empirical data to back up products I feed my
horse.


rich goldy <rmgoldy@...>
 

Kay, I hope that i do not offend you, but I too had a horse in such
agony that he would not leave the barn, would hardly eat, and would
rarely stand up.
After pulling his front shoes and pads( a rare day when Marvin could
stand), my farrier found that a small stone had worked its way into the
abscess holes, Yikes!
He has not worn shoes since. he foundered a while back and has 20 and 25
degree rotation in his feet. his toe area was soft, mushy and full of
holes.
It has been three months now, Marvin WILL NOT stay in the barn(he
throws a fit!), he roams the entire 8 acre pasture, puts up with two
brutes he is turned out with. They keep him moving, crucial for his
recovery. His feet are becoming rock hard, I can barely get a hoof knife
through them. everyday he improves. His weight is getting better too.
It can be done. I know you love your horse so much and that it hurts you
so much to see him like this. You have nothing to loose, I did'nt. I
risked everything, I trim him myself now. I took control of the
situation and gave it everything I had. It IS working in just the three
weeks I have been doing the Stasser trim.
The hoof mechanism must be restored through frequent barefoot trimming.
Only then can circulation in the hooves be restored and the healing
begin. You have the rest of the summer and fall to do this. Please
Please try.You'll never forgive yourself if you dont.
Yes the Strasser method flys in the face of everything your vet and
farrier is telling you, but darn it, it WORKS! Please check out the
naturalhorsetrim egroup. They truely care, and will help you through
this awful time. Go to Gretchen's site, read it, all of it. The case
histories most of all. You will be amazed at the recoveries that have
been made.
I hope I have not come across too strongly, but I know what it is to be
out there with a sick horse and no resources to help you. I can not tell
you how many times I've cried over Marvin till his neck was soaked with
tears. He is my best friend and soulmate, he saved my life many years
ago. Now its my turn to save his.
Bless you, Our thoughts and prayers are with you, God speed .
Mary and Marvin


Kay Howitt wrote:


Paula, thank you for saying this so well. While I don't deny that some
people have had successes with their Cushingoid horses using this or
that
supplement or treatment, most of the evidence in favor is testimonial
in
nature. I am not comfortable experimenting on my horse as so much is
at
stake. I will continue to use products/treatments with good scientific
basis.

My vets and shoers have had many documented successes with Dr. Ric
Redden's
therapeutic trim/shoeing methods and this is what I have chosen for my
horse. If he does not become sound it is because I wasn't able to
bring in
these experts until improper shoeing had already caused some
significant
problems. No, I wasn't being neglectful...I had moved to an area with
only
two shoers, one who is totally awful and the other who is OK for
normal
feet, but inexperienced in working with very complicated laminitic
cases.
The 2 local vets were similarly unskilled in Cushings' cases. I had to
bring
in help from 400 miles away, and at great effort and expense. In my
horse's
case, simply trimming frequently will not solve the problem. If he
doesn't
have support/protection for his coffin bones and thin soles the bones
will
very likely rotate and sink through the bottoms of his feet. Some of
you
with chronically laminitic horses will understand the complexities. My
horse
is also very sensitive to pain, and an extremely picky eater. Some of
the
things which work for other horses do not work with my guy. He also
has a
very problematic capped elbow (which he just reinjured a few weeks
ago) some
atypical urinary difficulties (not excessive drinking/urinating) and
he
forms plaques on his penis faster than you can peel them off. He wears
a
special sleeve to protect his elbow 24/7, gets MSM, FlexFree, Ester C,
vitamins, flax oil, wheat germ, 100 mg. biotin, probiotics,
isoxuprine,
bute, Permax and now cimetidine to counteract the irritation of the
bute. He
eats grass hay, Eq. Sr., Strategy, mineralized salt and rolled oats. I
flush
the elbow wound twice a day with saline and apply silvadene ointment.
I feed
4 times a day and he has hay available 24/7. He can walk in and out of
his
roomy stall at will, but I cannot allow his companion horse to be
near, as
they will play very hard. I do everything I can to make him
comfortable and
I stay at home so I can administer the various meds and treatments. In
spite
of everything, he is not sound, he has dropped 50 # since March and he
is in
constant discomfort and pain. By October first we may have permanent
snow on
the ground, by the end of October we will have temperatures in the
low
teens and by Christmas we will see minus 40. Our winter lasts 6 months
and
it is dark for much of that. I will not put him through 6 more months
of
restricted life and discomfort on the slim chance that all the
Cushings'
symptoms will disappear and he will run freely again. We have been
three
long years going in and out of major crises. I am tired, he is tired.

I am not telling you all these things to make myself out as some kind
of
martyr. I know many of you are doing the same and more for your
horses. I
just want to illustrate how complex horse care can be. I am very happy
that
some of you have found a remedy for one or more of your horse's
symptoms. In
our case, there is no simplistic answer. I am doing the very best I
can and
I continually educate myself on possible treatments, but I may not be
able
to save my wonderful black beauty Domino. Good luck to everyone else
and
thank you for the support. Kay in AK

Paula Brown wrote:

This post may not win me many friends, but I feel it's necessary to
say (again) since there are new members on the list.

I am leery of ABC's supposed "Cushing's Study." I contacted them
almost two years ago to ask about it, and discovered that 1) by her
own admission, the woman running it has NO medical background, and
2)
the veterinary community would consider such study results tainted
as
there are no control groups AND participants are required to
purchase
their own medications/supplements.

Because of these things, I declined to take part in what seemed to
be
a seductive sales pitch. I will quantify these remarks by adding
that
some people feel ABC's Cushing's products are of benefit to their
horses. They may be... I wouldn't know that since I'm not a vet. I
just know that I want empirical data to back up products I feed my
horse.
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Susan Laflamme <f4mlatir@...>
 

Hi Mary,
I work on Darby's feet between trims. I have managed to get one foot
derotated and her other foot is very stubborn. Three years ago when she
first foundered my farrier put her in heartbar shoes...they did not do her
any favors so I never put shoes on her again. Her feet are so tough for me
to trim even after soaking. Right now she is having a problem in her right
front, I think she has a very deep seated abcess in there.
I don't want to lose her to an abcess.
Sue


Kay Howitt <akkray@...>
 

Hi Mary, you have not offended me at all. I have been to Gretchen Fathauer's
site many times in the Spring. I will go look again. I know you just want to
help.

I am amazed at your horse Marvin's recovery. 20% rotation is very
significant. You are to be commended. My horse gets the four point trim,
BTW, with the toes taken back to just at the breakover point. Have you ever
read about Dr. Ric Redden's methods? He also has had phenomenal results and
has saved many horses. His methods are considered radical by many, but we
have a couple of farriers in Alaska who use the trim and impression
material. I do understand about the various mechanisms within the hoof. I
have been studying all of this for some time.

It sounds like you have lots of land for your recovering horse. I do not. I
have a small paddock and a round pen and a steep lot. I have a Fairbanks
Fall and Winter ahead...with ice and deep cold. I have already decided that
I will not put Domino and me through a horrible crises if he is to be put
down. Once the roads freeze even trailering a horse becomes very, very
difficult. I have a steep driveway and live up in the hills. Do you know
what it would be like to have a horse die at home in the middle of a
Fairbanks winter? Would you be willing to have your beloved animal's body
chainsawed into removeable pieces? Burial is impossible once the ground
freezes. I'm sorry to get so graphic, but you have no idea the constraints
this climate brings. No, if it is to happen, it will be with dignity and I
will have him cremated and brought home.

In the meantime, I'm doing all I can to make his life easier. Maybe he'll be
lots better in a few months, and maybe not. Maybe the wound on his elbow
will heal by then so it won't freeze in the cold...and maybe not. Maybe he
won't keep reinjuring the elbow time and again, as is his history. Maybe,
maybe, maybe....I don't have the answers... and yes, I can forgive myself if
I do not try the Strasser methods. I know that I have done more for this
horse than most owners would. Noone else knows what it is like for another.
I have tried and tried and tried. And, yes, I love this horse more than I
can express.

I think I'll give this a rest for awhile. I'll switch to the digest and just
read what you all are doing. Good luck!!! Kay in AK


LNGERZ@...
 

Kay, I just want to say, sometimes we have to Let Go and Let God. You have
done so much for this baby. My thoughts are with you today, and my candle is
lit for you and for you to have the wisdom to do what is best for Domino. I
know the feelings of doubt, the guilt that you are feeling because you can't
cure your friend, but this is not your fault. You just must remember one
thing. I have learned it over the years and though it doesn't stop those
feelings, it is, nevertheless, the truth. We can only do our best, that is
all we can do! You, my friend, are doing exactly that. Take comfort in
knowing that and know that Domino knows that too.
Kay, who believes this with her whole heart and is sending you positive
thoughts, way up there in Fairbanks


Susan Laflamme <f4mlatir@...>
 

Kay in AK,
I for one understand exactly were you are coming from. I live in NH and
last winter Darby got very sick I was besides myself with worry about what
to do with her body should she die or I have to put her down in the winter.
I too have promissed myself that we won't go through another winter like that.
I think after working so hard to try to save these guys, there is a point
when both horse and human can do no more.
My thoughts are with you.
I only have a small area of turnout and I've managed to get one foot
derotated with the strasser method but Darby had only about 5 to 7 degrees
rotation and it has taken me 3 years to do it. That good foot is what has
saved Darby's life a couple times now because she certainly carry's a lot
of her weight on it when the other foot is sick.
There are no cures for cushings syndrome we can all just do what we can to
help our particular horse with it's symptoms of disease.
Thinking of you.
Sue


Makyla Waters <twolegged@...>
 

Hello everyone - Just wanted to clarify something that Paula said about the
ABC "Cushing's Study". I am just about to go on the program. ABC is
requiring me to purchase their Free Choice stress kit (I already have it)
and their regular supplement, ABC's Plus (I have used it in the past), but
they are giving me the Cushings supplement FREE for 12 months.

In addition, just because someone has DVM attached to their name doesn't
mean they are nutrition experts! My horse did not do well on a product
marketed/made by a very well known vet. It really threw off his system. I
mentioned my experience with it to another vet and he told me that a vet
nutritionist had recently said at a meeting that that specific product did
measure up well to other supplements. So... not all supplements are equal,
but having a vet behind the product does also not make the product better.

Take care, Makyla & 4-legged friends


Paula Brown <glorye@...>
 

Makyla —

I never meant to imply that all veterinarian recommended supplements
would work on a Cushingoid horse. That's the biggest challenge with
this disease... it's insidious and affects each animal differently
due to unique physiology. Much of the treatment is trial and error.

I'm happy for you that ABC is donating your horse's Cushing's meds
for a year. However, would they do that if you weren't already
purchasing other products? My guess would be not. And what happens
when the year is up? What kind of monthly investment are you talking
about then? Forgive me for sounding skeptical, but I was really turned
off by their sales pitch, AND by the fact that Alice (the "Cushing's
expert") sent me a detailed dietary and care plan after for my horse
based on a 10-minute phone conversation.

Also, Alice came right out and said to me that "certain Morgan
bloodlines were definite Cushing's families" and even named a
stallion I once worked with who did NOT have Cushings (nor did any of
the offspring I knew). There is NO empirical data to validate that
claim, or that Cushing's is any more prevalent in Morgans than in
other breeds.

Sorry... don't mean to sound militant, but those kinds of claims
really do rub me the wrong way.

Paula Brown
Poland, ME


Makyla Waters <twolegged@...>
 

Paula - I didn't get a sales pitch, in fact, I had trouble getting Alice to
respond to my calls or emails! I almost went a different route, but on that
program I would have gotten supplements for 3 months and then it would have
cost me $200/month afterwards! I couldn't afford that on top of medications
even if it worked! It's too bad (and ill advised) that she made such
claims. That would rub me the wrong way also! I certainly think that
weaknesses to certain diseases are genetic, but can only be shown over time
over large populations! I am basing my decision to work with them based on
my previous luck with their products (I just wish I hadn't gone off of their
products to the other one this winter!) and many friends who used their
products successfully. I will run any diet change recommendations by my own
vet and then make my own decision on whether to change anything.

Take care, Makyla & 4-legged friends