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

Hi All,
To those who have recently asked about Permax dosage. My mare is on
.25mg a day. We started her there and decided to increase if necessary.
I don't think it is necessary yet, she's been on it almost 9 months and
things look really good. AND, I'm so excited, she is shedding!!! The
coat at her shoulders and flanks is almost short and very shiny. This is
the first time in years that I have seen her summer coat without shaving
to get there!! And still no signs of laminitis! Good winter so far! Of
course it just snowed after weeks of 80 degree weather and I am now
blanketing her to keep my baby comfy!
Diagnosis- my mare does not have now nor has she had laminitis or
founder. We did a bout of possible navicular years ago but seem to have
reversed or at least stopped that problem with shoeing and natural
supplements. X-rays are clear.
Our vet gave me the 'word' about 4 yrs ago. We were having frequent
colics (did anyone else get this as a symptom of Cushings?), long wavy
unshedding hair coat, occassional excessive peeing and drinking (I know
there is an official name for that), sway back- pot bellied appearance,
change in attitude. We did blood work and ruled out other causes. We
didn't do the dex supp test because I was not comfortable with the
potential for dangerous side-affects, although my vet was insistent. I
changed vets. The new vet and I think more alike. If it quacks like a
duck, looks like a duck, walks like a duck- it probably is a duck.
Together we decided to put her on meds and monitor her reactions. So far
so good!
Stress- my mare has always been a go anywhere do anything kinda gal
and she is still this way at almost 23. She has had a couple of bouts of
not wanting to load in a trailer which is highly unusual for her. She
loves to go "bye-bye" and has tried to load herself in pickups before!!
(I'm not kidding! <g>) One thing that I have considered is that perhaps
her vision is being affected. I know that sometimes the tumor can push
on the optical nerve and cause blindness. I guess according to most
studies blindness is pretty common in end stage Cushings. So I try to be
aware that between Cushings and old age she may need more help from us
with negotiating objects because of loss of full vision.
I also feed both my horses 1500mg of Ester C daily, year round.
Cushings can affect their immune system and leave them more susceptible
to other illnesses. The few studies that have been done on animals
suggest that C gives them the same benefits that have been documented
for humans- ie. better tolerance to stress, and reduced frequency of
viral infection. I figure it is a cheap insurance for my equine friends.
They are healthy happy horses and since we've started it we've had no
runny noses etc...:-p But make sure you use Ester C as regular C is not
absorbed by the equine gut very effectively. I have a short post on
using C, dosage, rational etc. if anyone wants it.
I also use a product some of you might be interested in. It is used
for averting or reducing bouts of colic. I have used it for almost 2
years now and couldn't be happier. It is a probiotic liquid that you
give when you suspect a colic. I can't speak to whether it works once
they are in full blown colic because since I have been using it we
haven't had one. We have however had "almost" cases- four times. Two
with each horse. When I have seen/heard the tell tale signs I have
administered the Pro-Bi and - no colic! I take this with me on overnight
rides and pack trips just in case! It doesn't require refrigeration.
Take heart those of you with newly diagnosed horses. I thought my mare
had been given a death sentence when I first found out. I cried for
weeks. I read everything I could find about it because my then vet knew
little about it. I sure wish this list had been here then! Well, my girl
is doing so well now - is bright eyed and chipper and ready to go that I
couldn't be happier. Last call the vet said she estimates another 6
years or so with her!! Hey, at her age I figure that would be a ripe old
age even without Cushings!! There are things you can do you just have to
experiment a little to find the combination that works for you and your