Domino and a hard question...long

Kay Howitt <akkray@...>

Hello Linda, Susan and Paula....and the Rest...boy it's nice to have this
list right now, as I am feeling very discouraged with my Cushingoid Domino.
Your success stories are giving my a ray of hope.

Forgive me if I miss commenting on things...I read all today's posts with
great interest, but my memory seems to be failing me :0).

Paula, good luck with your mare. I was surprised about how well she is doing
on alfalfa, as I too had been told it would make things worse. You were in a
real bind with what to feed and it seems that is working out just fine.
Domino has never colicked, but his appetite is finicky and it's hard to keep
his weight up. I've been in some quandries about what I could feed, too. I
used to add corn oil, which helped a lot, but this January he quit eating
that, as well as his timothy hay. I had to feed him rather low-protein local
brome hay as well as Equine Senior. I started adding flax oil about a month
ago, which he seems to like, but it is very, very expensive, as all his meds
and supplements..

Linda...good luck with your aged mare, too. You know, all three of you have
mares...sure would make me wonder about Cushings and gender, but I have a
gelding, so there you go!

Chris, I am not familiar with Purina does it differ from Eq.
Sr? I would rather not be feeding Sr. because of the molasses, but it's the
best thing I can get in Fairbanks, and he usually eats it. That's very
interesting what you said about vision and Cushings...I've not run into this
before. I have been wondering, though, as Dom snorts at things a lot more
and I've wondered if he didn't have a little visual impairment. There's
nothing obvious, though.

Dom has been on .25mg Permax for the past year, and his new dose is .5mg.
The only real sign of his Cushings right now is this persistent mild
laminitis. He has never had the overweight, pot-bellied appearance and his
energy was always good. He also never has had the excessive thirst/urination
symptom. He did have a wavy mane this year, but it's also the first time I
let the mane grow long. His haircoat used to be realtively heavy compared to
the other horses in the boarding stable, but this winter it was not very
heavy, even though I moved him to Fairbanks (he has a heated stall at
night.) He's shed out well so far and is shiny. He would be looking very
good if it weren't for the laminitis. BTW, he did have the dexamethasone
test with decidely positive results last year, but the symptoms have been
there at least 3 years. I also forgot to mention he is very, very slow
healing with any kind of surgery.

I am discouraged because Dom is actually a bit lamer today than two days
ago. Yesterday he was trimmed and reshod with a backward shoe and no pad.
The trimming wasn't extreme at all. Tuesday's x-rays didn't show a thing vet said he spent a lot of time and even used a magnifying glass.
He's coming out again today and will begin penicillin shots...maybe there's
an abscess we just can't see on films. Dom has had an abscess with his other
two laminitis bouts, so it's a reasonable assumption there's one again. His
abscesses never show up until they get to the bottom of the foot and are
trimmed out. What's also discouraging is that part of that hoof is growing
out wrong at the coronary band and there are multiple new rings. The main
laminitic rings are only about 1" from growing out, so these new ones are a
bad sign.

I'm looking for some empathy/sympathy/advice here...I have been fighting
Cushings-caused laminitis for 3 years now and I'm just getting so tired. I
love my horse so much...we all do...but I don't know how much longer I can
keep trying. We're just heading into the warm season, but come October snow
will fall and we'll head into a long, dark, bitter cold winter. Last
December it was minus 40 at my house. I do have a heated barn I built for
Domino, but I don't want him to have to spend most of his life inside.

How do I know when it's time to give up? I haven't the veterinary or shoeing
resources I used to have....the hay isn't so's much harder here
than in Anchorage, except that I now have a clean, heated, safe barn instead
of an old, dirty boarding stable. I don't want to give up if there's any
real hope...this laminitis isn't severe and there's no rotation. My fear is
that he will have one bout after the other...this one started in February,
the last one in May of '99 and the first in Jan. of '98. He had just a few
months with no apparent problems and his hoof is definitely growing
distortedly from the coronary band.

I know this isn't really fair of don't know me and you have
troubles of your own. If anyone has anything helpful to say to me, though, I
am listening, and I thank you most sincerely. Kay in Alaska