introduction;opinions please

conny <concal@...>

hi, I've been a member for awhile and I can't begin to tell you how
valuable this group is to me-I have learned so much. I finally took
the plunge and had bloodwork done at BET on my 22 year old arab
gelding, sundance. I've had sundance for 18 years, and his pasture-
mate is a 28 year old registered paint whom I've had for 24 years.
Sundance was diagnosed with cushings last year, based on the vet's
opinion, because his thyroid tests came back in the normal range
(twice). His only symptom has been the long, curly hair that does
not shed out. My horses drink from a pond, so I can't judge water
intake, but I ride 4-5 times a week across a river and I don't notice
sundance stopping to drink, so I'm assuming he is not that thirsty.
This year his hair was thicker than ever, and I finally had to take a
scissors to him in June to take off as much hair as I could because I
don't know how to body clip and I even advertised in papers for no avail.(yes, I could learn, but I did such a hatchet
job when I tried to do my dog-there's no way I'm going to learn to
clip on spooky old sundance) He ended up looking like moe of the
three stooges, but at least I was able to get off about 2" of hair.
Now in July another strange thing happened and he shed out all his
hair to the point of almost looking bald! That's when I decided to
get off my butt and take some action again. Anyway (this is going to
be soo long, sorry)the first vet said he didn't need to be on meds as
he didn't have enough I contacted a different vet this
time who was willing to work with me(there are no vets in a 40 mile
radius of me who have ever treated a horse for cushings) He went to
this group, read through your posts and contacted Bet, did the
bloodwork and I just got the results today. This is where the
opinions come in. Based on my vet's call to the lab, he told me to
get him on the thyrol(?) powder( he came in at 12.2-12.6)His cortisol
rhythm was 17%, insulin was ok. He told me to put him on 2mg
permax. I contacted BET myself to find out why they recommended such
a high dosage. It turns out they generally recommend starting off
that way, but in the course of our conversation, after deciding to
start on 1mg, it was then decided to maybe just treat him with the
thyroid med for two months and retest him. Now I'm confused. Do you
all think this would be a good way to proceed,or should I start him
on the permax too? The woman I spoke with said I should try one
thing at a time. This kind of makes sense to me, but I don't
understand why my vet was told something different to begin with. I
would really appreciate any input. I realize nothing about this
disease is easy, and no one can diagnose anything for sure. ps,last
year I took him off the sweet feed; he now gets a high protein, high
fat feed, along with a vitamin supplement. Although I have ten acres
of grass, I limit their access, as my older horse did founder several
years back and I know that founder is a grave concern for sundance.
Thanks for reading this, I look forward to hearing from you...conny

Makyla Waters <twolegged@...>

Conny - Isn't this so frustrating?!? My thinking would be to first start
on permax and see if that takes care of the thyroid issue. The pituitary is
the master gland and talks to the thyroid. I know some people have had luck
with eliminating symptoms (long hair coat) with the thyrol, but once you put
them on thyroid their own thyroid system quits producing. This can be a
lifelong supplement, although horses are easier to get off thyroid than
people (almost impossible). I first put my horse on permax, then switched
vets and did the BET lab work. When he came back low thyroid, we added the
thyroid, but also upped his permax. I kinda wished I'd waited to see the
results from the increased permax alone. And another option is contacting a
holistic vet about homeopathy and supplements. I just started down this
path about 2 weeks ago and am anxiously watching my horse's fat pads to see
any changes (the vet thought I'd see changes in the first month if we're on
the right track). And then I can start to wean him from the permax and
thyroid. She said this approach probably will just help slow down the
disease and he may need permax later, but since it too will only work for so
long, the longer I can keep him off of it the better. So did I just make a
case for trying the thyroid supplement first? Maybe so... Anyway, just
some other thoughts to mull over.

This brings up a question for me - Has anyone out there used the permax for
longer than 2 years? And at what dosage?

Take care, Makyla & 4-legged friends