Cushings and rolling

hellfire

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I will get a second opinion. The reaonon I have trusted him is the last time I got a second opinion and surgery was suggested by the second vet I lost my poor Darcy 😢. I know this is a different situation and condition just regret not taking his opinion and advice that time. His advice was to leave alone and manage her with diet and let her live out what time she had comfortably. Instead I thought I wasn't doing enough went down the surgery rout and that was that. Maybe you can understand now why I've always listened to my vet and opted for his judgement. There is another good vet in the area not sure how they are but can register with them. I was told you can't test really properly untill Autum so not sure if they'll prescribe without a test again?
 

oldie48

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Not everyone chooses to medicate for cushings and some vets are quite conservative in their prescribing, so if you talk to another vet you could well get a different response. I think the main reason that most people and vets will suggest using prascend is to help owners avoid their horses/ponies getting laminitis. This is certainly why I decided to use it and it kept my old boy going until he was PTS at 28 with something quite unrelated, he never had laminitis and lived a very normal life with the minimum restrictions on his diet. A friend on the other hand has a pony with cushings that is untreated, he is kept on a pretty bare paddock otherwise he gets laminitis. For me it's all about quality of life, if I had had to keep my old boy on a bare paddock without company in his retirement I would have decided to pts as he would have hated it, however, what I don't know is if he would have got laminitis if i had left him untreated!
 

hellfire

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Not everyone chooses to medicate for cushings and some vets are quite conservative in their prescribing, so if you talk to another vet you could well get a different response. I think the main reason that most people and vets will suggest using prascend is to help owners avoid their horses/ponies getting laminitis. This is certainly why I decided to use it and it kept my old boy going until he was PTS at 28 with something quite unrelated, he never had laminitis and lived a very normal life with the minimum restrictions on his diet. A friend on the other hand has a pony with cushings that is untreated, he is kept on a pretty bare paddock otherwise he gets laminitis. For me it's all about quality of life, if I had had to keep my old boy on a bare paddock without company in his retirement I would have decided to pts as he would have hated it, however, what I don't know is if he would have got laminitis if i had left him untreated!
Mine have been kept on a bare paddock system for many years doing rationed hay 4x a day. Greedy feeder nets spread out, plus toys and treat balls with sugar free treats. One of my others has IR and my other two are natives anyway so he's always had company and room to roam picking at hedges or trees just never grass. They only get grass a handful of times a year at low times and in the large paddock I've sewn with lami friendly natural grass and herbs. The seed is expensive but gives us all a break now and then. It's funny as the two with issues were rescued and had really bad starts in life. They are all looking good and no issues with weight. My IR one gains VERY quick even after two days of grass. I keep thier exercise up to help too. Lungeing if I can't get time to ride. It's the only way I can manage my IR Sparky. I know they are more prone with cushings but they are with IR and maybe this is a big part of my vets thinking. The feet and teeth are kept in good condition with regular checks. All bare foot. I've spent many years and a lot of money making my bare paddock as comfortable as possible.
 

mule

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Mine have been kept on a bare paddock system for many years doing rationed hay 4x a day. Greedy feeder nets spread out, plus toys and treat balls with sugar free treats. One of my others has IR and my other two are natives anyway so he's always had company and room to roam picking at hedges or trees just never grass. They only get grass a handful of times a year at low times and in the large paddock I've sewn with lami friendly natural grass and herbs. The seed is expensive but gives us all a break now and then. It's funny as the two with issues were rescued and had really bad starts in life. They are all looking good and no issues with weight. My IR one gains VERY quick even after two days of grass. I keep thier exercise up to help too. Lungeing if I can't get time to ride. It's the only way I can manage my IR Sparky. I know they are more prone with cushings but they are with IR and maybe this is a big part of my vets thinking. The feet and teeth are kept in good condition with regular checks. All bare foot. I've spent many years and a lot of money making my bare paddock as comfortable as possible.
It sounds ideal. I'd like one myself. As the horse isn't likely to get laminitis I can understand why the vet hadn't prescribed prascand.

You'd want to make sure the horse definitely needs it. It costs about £1 per tablet. Sometimes minimum intervention can be best.
 

oldie48

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Mine have been kept on a bare paddock system for many years doing rationed hay 4x a day. Greedy feeder nets spread out, plus toys and treat balls with sugar free treats. One of my others has IR and my other two are natives anyway so he's always had company and room to roam picking at hedges or trees just never grass. They only get grass a handful of times a year at low times and in the large paddock I've sewn with lami friendly natural grass and herbs. The seed is expensive but gives us all a break now and then. It's funny as the two with issues were rescued and had really bad starts in life. They are all looking good and no issues with weight. My IR one gains VERY quick even after two days of grass. I keep thier exercise up to help too. Lungeing if I can't get time to ride. It's the only way I can manage my IR Sparky. I know they are more prone with cushings but they are with IR and maybe this is a big part of my vets thinking. The feet and teeth are kept in good condition with regular checks. All bare foot. I've spent many years and a lot of money making my bare paddock as comfortable as possible.
I wasn't making a judgement on how others might keep their horses I was commenting on my experience with my horse, he would have hated not going into the paddock with his friends and for me and thankfully for him too, it worked.
 

southerncomfort

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I held off medicating one of mine. She was fine until I nearly lost her to a nasty virus. She was so ill she lost 15kgs in a little over a week. Laminitis is not the only concern with Cushings. It leaves them with a compromised immune system, unable to fight off illness. They get sick, they get abscesses, they get skin infections. Cushings is absolutely horrible .
:(

Once I started my little mare on Prascend she got better, and she was able to be turned out on grass again. We had another 2 years with her before she was PTS after a field accident.
 

hellfire

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Oldie48 I didn't mean to come across like that at all was just giving people a picture how I keep them as lami isn't a worry. Well I still worry about it ha ha but it's low low risk. I have another vet calling me tomorrow for a chat and will go from there. Phonix vets if anyone's used them? My practice has just partnered with them and found out today my usual vet is retireing now from Fillham Park. I'll see what this new man or woman suggests dosage wise and get a perscription as I'm sure it'll be cheaper on line. I do pay my vet a monthly fee of £14.99 for 4 horses which gives me free worm checks, percent of call out, treatment, free dental( I still use bill Lomez tho as he is the dental King!) free jabs AND 20% off lifetime meds so will see if it's cheaper with them or on line. Nice horse plan really. Works out so much cheaper just for the jabs and worm egg and saliva counts.
 

splashgirl45

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I wasn't making a judgement on how others might keep their horses I was commenting on my experience with my horse, he would have hated not going into the paddock with his friends and for me and thankfully for him too, it worked.
this is exactly why mine was on prascend, she had a completely normal life, out 24/7 in summer and out all day in winter. had adlib hay in winter and i was careful to keep feeds sugar free. if she couldnt have a good quality of life i would have PTS, but on medication she and i had a really good 5 years after she was diagnosed...
 

splashgirl45

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Oldie48 I didn't mean to come across like that at all was just giving people a picture how I keep them as lami isn't a worry. Well I still worry about it ha ha but it's low low risk. I have another vet calling me tomorrow for a chat and will go from there. Phonix vets if anyone's used them? My practice has just partnered with them and found out today my usual vet is retireing now from Fillham Park. I'll see what this new man or woman suggests dosage wise and get a perscription as I'm sure it'll be cheaper on line. I do pay my vet a monthly fee of £14.99 for 4 horses which gives me free worm checks, percent of call out, treatment, free dental( I still use bill Lomez tho as he is the dental King!) free jabs AND 20% off lifetime meds so will see if it's cheaper with them or on line. Nice horse plan really. Works out so much cheaper just for the jabs and worm egg and saliva counts.
i am afraid that if a horse has cushings it is very likely to get laminitis eventually if not treated. as your is a shetland it is unlikely to need more than half a tablet a day, so 50p a day or you may only need to use a quarter tablet. my mare was 15.2 and started on 1 a day and ended up on 4, so i know it can be a very expensive treatment but in my view it was worth giving her a good life without restrictions. have you looked at the talk about laminitis site, it is very interesting and makes sense..there is also a link to care about cushings..good luck ...
 

mule

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Talking about skin infections, I've just come in from spending ages removing my cushings mares feathers to treat her newly acquired mudrash.
There's been very heavy rain here and she's developed both mudrash and rainscald. I checked her two days ago and she was fine. My scissors are now blunt :rolleyes:
 

Pearlsasinger

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I held off medicating one of mine. She was fine until I nearly lost her to a nasty virus. She was so ill she lost 15kgs in a little over a week. Laminitis is not the only concern with Cushings. It leaves them with a compromised immune system, unable to fight off illness. They get sick, they get abscesses, they get skin infections. Cushings is absolutely horrible .
:(

Once I started my little mare on Prascend she got better, and she was able to be turned out on grass again. We had another 2 years with her before she was PTS after a field accident.

My mare had skin problems, temperature regulation problems and recurrent hoof abscesses before her ACTH level indicated Prascend. She drank a lot and her bed was horrible to muck out. I wish that I had medicated earlier but I didn't know enough about Cushings to make that judgement at the time.
I also believe now that I lost a young Shire to undiagnosed/untreated Cushings but it is a long time ago. My farrier still blames the vet involved though!

I can understand, OP, that you wish that you had taken the first vet's advice about Darcy, hindsight is great. I suggest that you ask for the TRH test for the pony, which is more accurate than the ACTH test which often gives false negatives. You will be in a better position to judge the best course of action.
 

hellfire

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i am afraid that if a horse has cushings it is very likely to get laminitis eventually if not treated. as your is a shetland it is unlikely to need more than half a tablet a day, so 50p a day or you may only need to use a quarter tablet. my mare was 15.2 and started on 1 a day and ended up on 4, so i know it can be a very expensive treatment but in my view it was worth giving her a good life without restrictions. have you looked at the talk about laminitis site, it is very interesting and makes sense..there is also a link to care about cushings..good luck ...
Yes I have read that site before very informative.
It is always worth the cost if it keeps them happy. When he had laminitis years ago my farrier made him cogs he was experimenting with. Cost me a lot over the time period they needed doing but he was instantly out of pain walking normally and able to be out in the bare paddock with his friends. Was worth every penny. Still have his cogs ha.
Will see what this new vet says and let you know.
Skin infections etc are a concern and I understand with the condition the immune system is compromised to hard to heal and get over things. So those on meds have you found its made a difference to let's say wound healing being back to normal? Do they still suffer muscle wastage or pot belly appearances? He's not at that stage but will he even being on meds?
Even if he could have a bit more grass I'd still worry and my IR lad couldn't. Wish there was something he could take to lower the risk! On that note at the equine fair a feed merchant recommended X lam aid by gwf nutrition. He said his pony who's had laminitis was now fairly fat turned out on grass 24/7 and no laminitis 3 years on!! I'd be worried sick even trying that!
 

Pearlsasinger

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Yes I have read that site before very informative.
It is always worth the cost if it keeps them happy. When he had laminitis years ago my farrier made him cogs he was experimenting with. Cost me a lot over the time period they needed doing but he was instantly out of pain walking normally and able to be out in the bare paddock with his friends. Was worth every penny. Still have his cogs ha.
Will see what this new vet says and let you know.
Skin infections etc are a concern and I understand with the condition the immune system is compromised to hard to heal and get over things. So those on meds have you found its made a difference to let's say wound healing being back to normal? Do they still suffer muscle wastage or pot belly appearances? He's not at that stage but will he even being on meds?
Even if he could have a bit more grass I'd still worry and my IR lad couldn't. Wish there was something he could take to lower the risk! On that note at the equine fair a feed merchant recommended X lam aid by gwf nutrition. He said his pony who's had laminitis was now fairly fat turned out on grass 24/7 and no laminitis 3 years on!! I'd be worried sick even trying that!

If your management keeps him laminitis free now, it should continue to do so with Prascend, although it might not without it, they don't need grass to get laminitis with Cushings. I certainly wouldn't listen to the marketing hype or change his feed. Prascend treats the symptoms associated with Cushings, so you shouldn't get the pot belly if you put him on Prascend. It certainly made a difference to my mare, although sadly only for about 12 months before she had to be pts.
 

hellfire

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Also in reality as I've read so many different things over the months how long will they live once diagnosed? Bearing in mind a few years ago he was slow to shed his coat, but we put it down to the weather then the year after it was patchy but came out and the vet said if it happened again to test hence testing this Autumn so he's had it at least since spring 2016 possibly. He had laminitis years before this. He was massively overweight when I took him on. Full on cresty neck fat.
 

hellfire

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If your management keeps him laminitis free now, it should continue to do so with Prascend, although it might not without it, they don't need grass to get laminitis with Cushings. I certainly wouldn't listen to the marketing hype or change his feed. Prascend treats the symptoms associated with Cushings, so you shouldn't get the pot belly if you put him on Prascend. It certainly made a difference to my mare, although sadly only for about 12 months before she had to be pts.
At least she had another year. I've just asked about life span
 

Pearlsasinger

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At least she had another year. I've just asked about life span

Yes and I don't think she would have had that year without the meds, the hoof abscess just would not clear up. For almost all of the year, she was well and happy. I had hacked her out only 10 days before pts. I think life span differs with all horses/ponies. Mine was a big Draft horse.
 

splashgirl45

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i found that once on meds my mare didnt have any skin problems, previously she had very scurfy skin and any cuts etc took ages to heal. my mares back had dropped a bit and this pic was 6 months after diagnosis and the second was 5 years after at age 25 a few days before i lost her in sept 2016..., the meds only treat the symptoms so cant stop the inevitable.....hope this helps a bit, its bought back so many memories.. P6130056.JPG splash 9 sept 16.JPG
 

hellfire

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i found that once on meds my mare didnt have any skin problems, previously she had very scurfy skin and any cuts etc took ages to heal. my mares back had dropped a bit and this pic was 6 months after diagnosis and the second was 5 years after at age 25 a few days before i lost her in sept 2016..., the meds only treat the symptoms so cant stop the inevitable.....hope this helps a bit, its bought back so many memories.. View attachment 29572 View attachment 29573
She's beautiful. I'm so sorry. She does look good even at 25. He's 16 now and Shetlands usually live quite long. I guess it depends if it's a actual tumour causing it as I understand that's not always the case.
 

Tiddlypom

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If it's 'just' PPID (Cushing's) and the ACTH levels can be stabilised with a suitable dose of Prascend, then the horse can live a good and useful life for a good few years. If there are other related issues then the outlook is not so good. There is a lot of on going research into it.

My 12yo PPID mare recently, she's been on 1 Prascend tablet per day for nearly 2 years.

image.jpeg
 

splashgirl45

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i dont think the vets or anyone know if its a tumour or the pituitary gland overworking and enlarging....i think it still gives the same result. mine was still in regular work until march 2016 and gone in sept 2016 ..in the last pic she was on 4 prascend a day and she had just had another blood test which showed her levels still rising and leahurst said she was on the maximum dose they would recommend and it was pointless going up to more as the cushings was advancing too quickly. i decided ( with the help of my vet) to PTS before she got laminitis and had to change her way of life. it was really hard to do but i k now i did the right thing at the right time. it is a horrible disease and i wish you luck with yours....
 

hellfire

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i dont think the vets or anyone know if its a tumour or the pituitary gland overworking and enlarging....i think it still gives the same result. mine was still in regular work until march 2016 and gone in sept 2016 ..in the last pic she was on 4 prascend a day and she had just had another blood test which showed her levels still rising and leahurst said she was on the maximum dose they would recommend and it was pointless going up to more as the cushings was advancing too quickly. i decided ( with the help of my vet) to PTS before she got laminitis and had to change her way of life. it was really hard to do but i k now i did the right thing at the right time. it is a horrible disease and i wish you luck with yours....
I'm sorry. I'm glad she had a good life and the meds helped her so long. It is a horrid disease and I hope mini does go on leading a normal life for many years. Only time will tell I guess. He does love going out driving and my friends daughter hacking him regularly. Even though she's a teenager she's like her mum tiny and 6stone so ideal as he gets to go galloping about in the forest as always been a little rocket so to notice a few hacks recently him not raceing Sparky or Dakota lately and lagging behind a bit was upsetting. Then the trying to roll that's what made me post here and re think. Untill 2 weeks ago he was totally normal. I was watching him earlier today in the field and he was raceing around playing with my mini Shetland Angus like nothing's wrong. I don't want him not to feel like doing that or going out as he loves it. Obviously if he has to retire I'm fine with that but want him to go on as long as he wants to. My old girl Cassi who passed at 31 1/2 last August was STILL going strong like a race horse at 28! I never had to ask her to go once. She then slowed up that year and I had to ask her to go one day and she looked a bit stiff after the hack. She had arthritis develope that meant she was on bute. She still enjoyed walking out in hand bumbling and being nosy untill one day out the blue she collapsed in the field after what can only be described as a funny turn. The vet gave her some meds but she didn't seem quite right. After 2 hours of watching her I went in for some dinner as was very late. Came out a hour later to find she had passed. Lovely way to go really. As upsetting as that was. I've lost some good friends over the years and not ready to loose mini any time soon!
 

hellfire

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We'll the new vet called me the other day and was on the phone for 45mins with her! I'm very impressed. It's been decided to start him on 1/4 of a tablet and re test in a month or so and if needed put him on 1/2. Theyll even supply a pill cutter!!
She said she understood why he wasn't put on it before but agrees it's a advance in symptoms and reckons in 6 weeks time I should see a difference. If he doesn't get on with tablets (he's extremely fussy for a Shetland) she will give me the paste version they do now instead. Apparently often easier to dose for wee ponies. I'm sure he will eat it in the fast fiber later. He gets fast fiber, a hand full of light bailys chaff, vit + mins then some oil. I'm hoping he doesn't notice but he is a fuss ass with flavours. Took me a time to find a joint supplement he'd eat and since he was diagnosed I had to stop as it contained glucosamine. His hocks have been cracking but he's been checked and no lameness. He's suffered slight locking hocks ever since I had him. Never caused a issue to him and the vet said join supplements don't really help that condition but I certainly noticed a difference taking him off it. So fngers crossed he's back to his old rocket self as he loves bombing about and really enjoys driving.
 
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If your management keeps him laminitis free now, it should continue to do so with Prascend, although it might not without it, they don't need grass to get laminitis with Cushings. I certainly wouldn't listen to the marketing hype or change his feed. Prascend treats the symptoms associated with Cushings, so you shouldn't get the pot belly if you put him on Prascend. It certainly made a difference to my mare, although sadly only for about 12 months before she had to be pts.
Slightly off topic but I didn’t realise a pot belly was a Cushing symptom. My Arab is looking much better after a few months on prascend. Sadly I think she’s getting stiffer. She has cushings, sweet itch, navicular and arthritis - but seems to be enjoying life and hacking out a couple of times a week.

OP I think you need a new vet to advise - as you’re planning :). I think there are a range of ways to manage cushings, so they’ll help with what’s best for you.
 

mule

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We'll the new vet called me the other day and was on the phone for 45mins with her! I'm very impressed. It's been decided to start him on 1/4 of a tablet and re test in a month or so and if needed put him on 1/2. Theyll even supply a pill cutter!!
She said she understood why he wasn't put on it before but agrees it's a advance in symptoms and reckons in 6 weeks time I should see a difference. If he doesn't get on with tablets (he's extremely fussy for a Shetland) she will give me the paste version they do now instead. Apparently often easier to dose for wee ponies. I'm sure he will eat it in the fast fiber later. He gets fast fiber, a hand full of light bailys chaff, vit + mins then some oil. I'm hoping he doesn't notice but he is a fuss ass with flavours. Took me a time to find a joint supplement he'd eat angrd since he was diagnosed I had to stop as it contained glucosamine. His hocks have been cracking but he's been checked and no lameness. He's suffered slight locking hocks ever since I had him. Never caused a issue to him and the vet said join supplements don't really help that condition but I certainly noticed a difference taking him off it. So fngers crossed he's back to his old rocket self as he loves bombing about and really enjoys driving.
Great news
 

splashgirl45

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good news hellfire, have got my fingers crossed for you. my mare wouldnt eat her feed if it had prascend in it and i gave hers in either an apple or carrot. i used to cut a hole,put tablets in and put the piece i had cit out on top. i used to give her a small piece of the carrot/apple first,then the tablet piece and immediately another small piece that had no tablets, i only ever used 1 carrot or apple and although there is some sugar in them at least she got all of her tablets. and she was on 4 daily and i always succeeded so with just a quarter you may be lucky...
 
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good news hellfire, have got my fingers crossed for you. my mare wouldnt eat her feed if it had prascend in it and i gave hers in either an apple or carrot. i used to cut a hole,put tablets in and put the piece i had cit out on top. i used to give her a small piece of the carrot/apple first,then the tablet piece and immediately another small piece that had no tablets, i only ever used 1 carrot or apple and although there is some sugar in them at least she got all of her tablets. and she was on 4 daily and i always succeeded so with just a quarter you may be lucky...
Funnily enough before I read your post I cut a end of a carrot off hollowed it out and plugged the tablet back in! I used to do it when my old horse had a short course of tablets and wouldn't eat them. He ate it no problem. In the bag there was a pot of liquid parafin but no instructions as to why. The receptionist said she's get the vet to call me Monday as she wasn't in. I'm guessing as a sort of carrier for it? Will see how he goes and hope he improves on the 1/4. 4 a day is a lot and hopefully being smaller it will never come to that. I'll post back with a update to how he gets on and his re test.
 

splashgirl45

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i am intrigued, never heard of liquid paraffin being used except for colic may years ago...please let us know what it is for...glad you have got 1 dose down him successfully, lets hope it continues...
 
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Shall let you know tomorrow. Today fir the first time in ages he just walked away from his feed. Can one quart of a tablet do that so quick??? He had his bit of carrot and spat part out. Luckily the tablet was gone. Maybe he tasted it and refused his feed as he's eating hay happily.
 

splashgirl45

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i think it does taste horrible. i used to hand feed mine her carrot, then let her eat a bit of hay then let her have her feed. if i put the carrot on top of the feed she wouldnt eat any of the feed....i think you just have to experiment. if you cant get the tablet into him you can dissolve it in warm water ,mix with a little yogurt and syringe it in. luckily i didnt have to resort to that but we had to for one of the ponies on the yard and it worked well..the yoghurt is not so easy to spit out as tablet mixed with water alone..
 
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i think it does taste horrible. i used to hand feed mine her carrot, then let her eat a bit of hay then let her have her feed. if i put the carrot on top of the feed she wouldnt eat any of the feed....i think you just have to experiment. if you cant get the tablet into him you can dissolve it in warm water ,mix with a little yogurt and syringe it in. luckily i didnt have to resort to that but we had to for one of the ponies on the yard and it worked well..the yoghurt is not so easy to spit out as tablet mixed with water alone..
I remember preds being a horrid taste and used to have a nightmare feeding them. I know they are vial as I took them for a short time. I shall experiment. He is the definition of fussy which is odd for a Shetland. No prob yesterday. Maybe the carrot was crunched in just the wrong place. He got it as a treat then his bucket right after. I had the bucket as am scared hell drop the carrot and tablet on the floor. He ate two mouthfuls of feed and stormed off to the hay. Tried him again half hour ago and point blank refused to eat it! I'll maybe switch it to a treat with just a empty bucket when I do morning of lunch time feed then feed as normal later. Be a pain keeping the others away tho unless they all get a bucket with a treat in ha ha. Did you ever have to use appetite stimulators at all as the vet said they can stop eating. Yoghurt a good idea or did read Apple purae but that's extra sugars so rather not. They rarely get carrots only now and then but a chunk a day I'm sure will be fine. Can't exactly use a sugar free polo or horse herby treat to put it in.
 
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