Permax, Problems finding Cyproheptadine, Thyroid Supplement issues


From: lmdavis@... (Marc Davis)
Reply-to: lmdavis@... (Marc Davis)
To: Eclectk1@...
We exchanged e-mails back in September about Cushings in horses. I don't
know if you remember or not but anyway here's the scoop.

My (now 21 year old) gelding was diagnosed in September. We started him
on cyproheptadine and he's doing great! Many of the symptoms have disappeared
or have much improved. I am riding him daily and he is back to schooling
Int. I. His back had dropped severly and he had a big pot belly. He has
regained much (though not all) of the muscling across his back and the
pot belly has improved too. The skin infections have disappeared as has the
severe thrush that I treated for about three months. I'm going to have
him rechecked soon for ACTH level.

He is schooling better that he has in several years and I'm having more
fun than you can imagine. I may try showing him again this summer just for
kicks though not a lot as he has to come off of the medication in order to
at the AHSA shows and I don't want him off of it too much. But I think
showing him again might be fun since you don't see too many horses over
20 in the FEI classes.

Needless to say I cheerish every flying change, pirouette, half-pass etc
every day!

My big concern now is in being able to get the cypro. Apparently there
is a shortage (stoppage?) and it's very difficult to find. Is your horse on
it or permax? Have you had any trouble getting either drug and any ideas for
solutions? The price of cypro has jumped from $40 per month to $95 at
least for the sources I can find. I'm tolerating the price increase because
results have been so good but now it's nearly impossible to find the drug
regardless of price. Any suggestions?

I priced Permax a couple of weeks ago and it seems that it has gone up
tremendously! The cheapest I could find worked out to be $380 per month!
That's more than double what all the information indicated it would cost
last summer. YIKES! I love my horse but I can't afford that especially
since I need to start planning for another horse someday.

I've talked to my vet about other drugs which may have similar effects
and he is checking into them. Do you know of any other drugs for this

One other thing: do you know of any websites out there which cover this
subject or any vets either at vet schools or in practice who have more
information that the basic magazine articles that seem available?

I hope things are going well for you and your old timer is still doing
Thanks for your input.
<<Subject: Re: Cushings disease in horses
Date: 01/13/1970,11:17:56 AM
From: Eclectk1
To: lmdavis@...

Hi Carla!

Thanks so much for your email! I'm really glad the cyp is working for him.
Its going to take me a little bit to see what information I can pull together
for you and I'm not sure how much it will help. I've run across several
references to vet schools, actually to the particular vet at a vet school who
are running cushings studies and if I can find where I wrote the blasted
information down I will get it to you.

Its so heartwarming to hear that you have your fellow back in competition at
Int. 1 no less!! I used to ride a 23 yr. old who'd shown to Int. 1 or 2
named Ernie (shown as Ironsides II I believe). He was such a cool old gent
(when he wasn't dropping people off who weren't making him work by dropping a
shoulder and dissappearing out from under them as he scooted 10 ft straight
sideways!! ;o) ). Arthritis about ate him up, but I just started working
him very lightly and religeously every day -- no day off, I'd at least take
him out for a walk (well, with Ernie, it was really more a matter of taking
him out for a piaffe that progressed down the trail in grand style but very
slowly!! No one else would take him out on the trails, because they hated
him jigging so much!!!) Anyhow, after several months he was apparently
better than he'd been in several years and he was my first piaffe, canter
piroettes', tempi's -- I LOVED that old coot, he was the greatest and had
more character than about 10 others put together!!

Ok, back to the subject -- My mare, Tina (Night Flight) is 29 this year (at
least) and she's doing pretty well. The barn owner/manager decided, however,
that she was getting too thin. She read the information on the outside of
the Thyrol-L (all my mare is on right now) AND called the vet to ask what the
blood panel I'd pulled read. I can't believe it, but he told her that Tina's
thyroid levels were GOOD (he wasn't even supposed to have pulled T3 & 4, one
reading like that is virtually meaningless). Well, this barn owner decides,
without ever calling me, that since the thyroid levels were good and thyrol-L
can cause weight loss etc., that maybe Tina was getting too much and would
fatten up better if she got less! About one month or so after she cut the
thyroid back, and I'm asking her "Shirley, is Tina getting her thyroid
medication, because she's growing her winter coat in and its too early!!??", r
ight about then Tina founders. Of course, it never dawned on her that if the
thyroid levels are good, its likely BECAUSE of the amount of THYROID
supplement she's getting!!! Sigh.

Fortunately, after about $450, $600+ if you include special shoeing, its
coming out ok. They used something I've never seen before and put her on
styrofoam blocks for the first several weeks. That was amazing how much it
helped virtually immediately. Then, once she was pretty sound just on the
styrofoam, the farrier came and did a natural balance shoeing with special
shoes -- he used some form shaping putty under the shoes, cut back about 1/4
inch from the apex of her frog so it was only in her frog clefts and heels.
Then he put a pad on with a bit of heel wedge, and also attached another
peice of shaped pad so it looks like a horses frog on the side of the pad
facing the ground. then he set the shoe back quite a bit to ease breakover,
rolled the toe of the shoe and also Tinas toes. Even so, her toes are about
1/8 to 1/4" over the front of the shoe. This spreads the weight over the
foot surface, removing as much weight as possible from the front of the sole
& frog and the tip of P3 (coffin bone) and distributing it to the back half
of the hoof.

She went close to 10 weeks before reshoeing and even then he didn't need to
take much off. Luckily the x-rays showed only about 4 degrees of rotation
(prior to shoeing), and they think P3 may return to its normal position.
She's been pretty sound ever since the styrofoam blocks were applied
(elasticon'd in place), and with the shoes also with no bute needed. Of
course, she's just hanging out in the paddock too, she wasn't in work at the

So, Carla, I'll try to get some information to you soon, including the number
for a company that supposedly gives good prices to horsepeople for cyp (maybe
permax too)...

Also, I DID set us up a mailing list several weeks ago, but hadn't added
people to it yet... would it be ok with you for me to forward your letter and
my reply to the list and start adding people so everyone gets each other's
information? I didn't want to send your email to it without your

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In a message dated 01/13/1970, 11:28:09 AM, lmdavis@... writes:
<<Subject: Hats off to the geriatrics!
Date: 01/13/1970,12:28:09 PM
From: lmdavis@...
To: Eclectk1@...

From: lmdavis@... (Marc Davis)
Reply-to: lmdavis@... (Marc Davis)
To: Eclectk1@...
Ernie sounds like a great guy and a lot of fun. These old timers have so
much character!

Thanks for sharing the info on Tina. I just went through a similar
experience (though a very different ending) with my kids 27 yr. old mare.
Your description of the shoeing for Tina is EXACTLY what the vets described
as a possible part of treatment for her.......until the xrays showed 11
degrees of rotation in both fronts and on top of that P3 was sinking in
both as well. They were amazed that she was still standing and walking let
alone trotting and even cantering in her turnout. This past Monday was a very
day in our house!

I'm curious about the Thyroid supplement you're using. As I mentioned my
guy is getting a little chunky and that's the next area I'll look into. My
vet casually mentioned the possibility of thyroid problems this last week so
my guess is that we'll check into that next week.

It's so good to know there are other people out there willing to help these
old guys instead discarding them as old and worn out.

Yes, go ahead and add me to the e-mail list and forward my letter if you
want. I think this is a great idea. I have been very frustrated trying
to find detailed info on this subject and would love to hear what others are
finding and any other sources to research. Thanks for asking permission

How do you want people to contact you to get on the list? I know a couple
of others who might be interested too?


P.S. Do you still have Rhapsody and how is she looking? I love all that