Is Spookiness pergolide side-effect?


Andrea Carr-Evans
 

Tasman has been on Prascend for 60 days and has now become unusually spooky. He was, always a very forward going horse (before last fall when he became lethargic and we finally diagnosed him w/ Cushings), but was never spooky.
I read a few things that said a, side effect pergolide/prascend can make some horses spooky. He's on 1mg and my Vet wanted to increase because of his last test results. But I have been resistant. 

Is there anything I can do to offset the Spookiness caused by prascend? 

I have been working to reduced the protein levels in his diet (reduced crypto Aero feed, increased Timothy pellets) but with the amount of work he gets I can't decrease his calorie intake too much. 


--
Andrea + Tasman
2020 January  Boston, MA
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Andrea%20and%20Tasman/Tasman%20Case%20History.pdf


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

It could be but unlikely to show up after 2 months. How is this different from what you described as "frenetic" and "crazed" last spring? Have you had his eyes checked?

Protein doesn't cause behavior changes.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Annette
 

I have had the same experience with my mare (19 this year). I have had her since she was a weanling and although she has always been high strung, she has never been spooky. She was somewhat quieter than usual before starting on Prascend (1 mg) and after dosing (starting Fall of 2018) she regained her energy but with a spookiness that I had never experienced before - jumping and shying at shadows, noises, things close up, things in the distance and things I couldn't see at all! Last year, I just rode her quietly since I was rehabbing her from laminitis in the fall of 2018 and chose safe places to ride, though it was still always an adventure. She had a month or so break over winter, and when I started her up again this year, she has seemed a little more like her original self, though still jumpy. The only other thing I am trying to consider is whether the muscle weakness that came after the bout of laminitis left her feeling unbalanced/uncomfortable and contributed to her spookiness. This year she is stronger, and so perhaps feels more self-assured. I would have to say though, my feeling is that the Prascend is contributing to her spookiness. Sorry, I have not suggestions...
    
--
Annette and Alley
October 2018, Moscow, Idaho
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alley%20Case%20History.pages.pdf .
Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=78421  .


Andrea Carr-Evans
 

Yes, I had his eyes checked. Twice. By 2 different vets, once last March 2019 and at the end of Oct 2019 when he was "not quite right". Both times I was told his eyes were fine. 

As for the difference between his "frenetic" of last March and this Spookiness is that his frenetic was chattering the bit, racing and jigging, just sense of not settling down. Also if out with other horses there was often a sense of needing to race. He was not this way until 2018. But he only had a bout of spookiness when he was diagnosed w/ Lyme in May 2016. After treated w/ doxy Spookiness went away and he has not been spooky since. He's a pretty steady guy, except for the frenetic trail behavior exacerbated when out w/ more than 1 other horse. He is fine working in a ring. Not frenetic. 
--
Andrea + Tasman
2020 January  Boston, MA
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Andrea%20and%20Tasman/Tasman%20Case%20History.pdf


Sherry Morse
 

Dr. Kellon,

Couldn't "spookiness" or "over-reactivity" also be an indication that ACTH is still too high? I of course can't put my hands on a specific article so suffice to say uncontrolled PPID > increased ACTH > increased cortisol > hyper-alertness/over-reactive.

This is yet another topic that I feel has been discussed before on the group and probably about this same time of year.




Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Sherry,

Elevated ACTH/cortisol won't cause spookiness but you  may be thinking about discussions of large pituitary grows pressing on the optic nerve and causing vision problems.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Andrea,

The easiest way to tell is to stop it for a few days if your vet agrees. The drug clears quickly.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Sherry Morse
 

Ah ok, thank you for clarifying.  I did find a few articles that referenced 'hightened awareness' as a possible symptom but I wasn't sure if that translated to full on spooking.




Lorna Cane
 

I often wonder....although the word spooky probably isn't appropriate for my theory....if the behaviour described is more an indication of a horse who is feeling so much better,after a long time of feeling crappy? Stoically  crappy ?
So the pergolide is responsible, but in a totally different way.

--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002


 


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 
Edited

We have to be aware of claims like "heightened awareness". How on earth could anyone tell that? It sounds like being picky but building on an assumption like that could take us in the wrong direction about what the horse is actually experiencing - or why.

It's important for all of us to be as accurate as possible without making assumptions. For example, if a horse has an exaggerated reaction to touch, just call it that. Don't assume pain, heightened awareness, horse couldn't see you coming or any other internal experience the horse may be having but we can't know about. By doing this we keep our minds open and in time may figure out what is going on.

I've told this story before so apologize to those who know it already! In the early days of this group we had a member with a pony that was as loved as any pony could be. The owner described how her grandchildren could crawl under the pony and up her legs with no reaction and they never had to worry about the little ones around the pony. After starting pergolide, the sainted pony got a LOT more active - never hurt anyone but she wasn't the statue they were used to having. Her owner was horrified until she came to understand her pony just felt glad to be alive again.

I'm not saying that has any relevance to the current spookiness question. Just don't jump to conclusions.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Annette
 

In my case, I discounted the "feeling better" possibility because I know this mare so well since I have had from a weanling. Even as a youngster, I hadn't seen this kind of spooking. I also had to discount the "it's time to increase her pergolide" possibility because her ACTH test indicated that that was not the case. Last year, I discussed with my vet the possibility of reducing her pergolide in the spring, after the seasonal rise, since that is when she was at her spookiest, if we had repeat behavior this year. I will see what the coming months bring.  At the moment, I am keeping an open mind, considering all explanations, and just offering my observations to the group in case the information is helpful.   
--
Annette and Alley
October 2018, Moscow, Idaho
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alley%20Case%20History.pages.pdf .
Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=78421  .


Andrea Carr-Evans
 

Like Annette I've owned Tasman for 10 years and he was only spooky when he was diagnosed w/ active Lyme disease. We do a lot of trail riding where we run into lots of people on bikes, dogs off leash, deer, runners, even occasionally motor bikes and ski mobiles. Tasman doesn't  usually care about any of it. He's had dogs run under his legs and not care. Yesterday a runner and dog were on a diagonal trail 150ft away and he spooked and bolted...we were walking home on a loose rein after a 5 mile trail ride. It took me a bit to figure out what spooked him because at first I assumed it was something behind us. The trees are not leafed out yet and when I looked to my left the person and dog were completely visible. No real reason for him to spook. This is why I asked the original question... The attitude is much different than "feeling good" (esp because he was never lame) and it wasn't like something came up behind him to scare him. This was unusual behavior for him. 
--
Andrea + Tasman
2020 January  Boston, MA
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Andrea%20and%20Tasman/Tasman%20Case%20History.pdf


 

Andrea, your mentioning that Tasman was spooky when he had active Lyme brings up something I thought I might share.  Twenty years ago, I had a horse which we treated for Lyme, apparently successfully, but we retreated him twice again over the next five or so years.  His symptoms returned, we put him back on doxy and they subsided again for a few years.  The vets weren’t convinced it was a repeat Lyme infection but, at that time, we did not realize that ticks carry other similar diseases as well.  Whatever caused the symptoms we observed was responsive to doxy so, when they reappeared, we retreated.
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo


 
 


Karen Warne
 

My Rocky Mountain, who is as good and non spooky as they come did seem to startle or react to things he never would normally react to while I tried chasteberry with him... I don’t know if the Chasteberry had that effect, or if there was some other reason, but the Chasteberry didn’t seem to have any positive impact on his hair shedding and his ACTH is normal on is Prascend 1mg, and he’s other wise healthy, so I’ve taken him off te Chasteberry and have no more ‘irrational’ reactivity to things that might pop up.  I cannot say it was the Chasteberry or a coincidence but I lay it out there...
--

Karen and Luke 

May 1 2017

Northern California

 

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Karen%20and%20Luke

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=5921


Jensmccabe
 

Hi Martha -

This is interesting. How long was the course of doxy each time? 

--
Jen McCabe
Laytonsville, Maryland 
Joined 2022
+ Odin (2010 BLM Mustang Gelding - IR, dx 2022), Bella (2008 BLM Mustang Mare - PPID/Cushings dx 2000) + Fiki (2015 Arabian, ok so far!)
Odin and Bella Case Histories


 

Hi Jen,
Gosh, it’s been a long time but I think we treated the same length of time each incident.  I just asked my daughter and she concurs.  Back then the course of treatment was 30 days, orally.  We did not have Lyme locally at that time so I don’t believe it was a reinfection.  Platoon was infected in CT.  And, my daughter remembers that this occurred every 18 months.  The horse was hers so she has the details.  I just fed the doxy out.
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo