Cushings and treatment

poiuytrewq

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I have s horse who I’ve posted about before and was advised a cushings test due to the symptoms i was seeing is being tested this week.
I hadn’t done it sooner as he did seem to improve for a time and a friend rode him finding him no different to how he’s always been. However more recently again I’m wondering so the vets coming on Thursday.
Obviously if needed he will get the treatment but I’ve recently seen posts on Facebook about people stopping giving precsand due to horrible side effects. I also have a companion blue X pony who I was told had cushings diagnosed years ago but didn’t get on at all well on treatment so wasn’t to have it. (He’s fine, I’m not even sure what prompted testing him!)
So I’m a bit worried, what are these horrible side effects? Will the good out weigh the bad? If it’s going to work/not work how soon will I be able to tell?
 

EllenJay

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My boy has been on prasend now for almost 10 years. He hasn't had any side effects, and without the pills he would be dead.
He started on 1/4 a tablet a day, and over the years this has now increased to 2.5 pills a day. I've never had any problems giving them to him, just drop it in his dinner and he eats them up.
I think the side effects are if the dosage is too high. Chat to your vet, and start on the lowest dose possible. My boy is tested twice a year so that we can monitor what the dose should be.
 

JillA

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What side effects have you been told about and what is the prevalence?

I have fed Prascend to two over many years - an arab mare who lived well to the age of 35 with its help, and my current horse has been on it for about 3 years now. The only side effect I have found is loss of appetite to begin with and occasionally later (which you can deal with by reducing the dose temporarily) and it has meant a good veteran retirement for both, my current horse would not have such a good life because of the risk of laminitis, he would have to have severely resticted turn out.

I did have a mare with PPID before Prascend and pergolide became available and affordable and she had a terrible final year. Sweats, sodden beds, laminitis and foot abscesses - for me the benefits far outweigh any (very rare) side effects. It's a no brainer IMO
 

Gloi

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I had mine on them for 6 years. It did change the food he would eat but he went back to looking years younger than he was. His levels were always kept under control by half a tablet a day.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I know someone who has elected not to give her pony Prascend because he just didn't get on with it but we have had 2 16hh horses on it with no noticeable side-effects, except that they could be a bit suspicious of their food at first. You do need to bear in mind that Prascend merely treats the symptoms, it doesn't stop the progression of the condition, which will continue behind the scenes, so it is unlikely to prolong life, except by mitigating against laminitis.
 

Micky

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Have a look at thelaminitissite ..lots of information on there to help you. Agree with the above, mines been on prascend for many years now, start on a low dose and gradually upp it to whatever is recommended by vet,
 

Shay

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I too have used prascend throughout the life of the affected pony - no side effects. getting the dose right can be tricky - particualrly with very small ponies / minis. You can actually still get pergolide prescribed if they cannot tolerate a 1/4 tablet of prascend. Diagnosing and treating cushings massively improves their quality of live - and I think extends it too as they remain comfortable for longer. Pearlasinger is right that it doesn't stop the condition. but they can continue for a decade or more on prascend.

But it is banned in competition for all groups other than pony club.
 

paddy555

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a small number have side effects but don't forget on the internet that is what you hear about. You don't hear about the thousands who are having prascend quite happily only about the problems. Same with most things to do with horses. Whatever the vet recommends if you start at a quarter and work upwards over a month until you get onto 1 tablet you will have a lot more chance of success.
I saw results after about 6 weeks but the 1st month was probably meaningless as I built up to 1 over that month. I would give it 3 months.
 

meleeka

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The benefits far outweigh the side effects. My pony also wouldn’t be here and certainly wouldn’t feel as well as she does without Prascend. I had issues with getting the tablet into her. She started refusing hand feeding so I put it in her feed, then she started refusing that. I now syringe it in daily and considering she was always awful to worm she’s accepted that really well. I don’t need a head collar on her, just out my arm over her neck and there’s no struggling at all.

It really does take years off them. I thought she was just getting old, but she acts like a 10 year old these days. She’s been on it for 5 years.
 

oldie48

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I second everything already said. My old boy was on it for years, he lived a normal life, never had laminitis and was able to go out in the field with his friends. He looked well although I did have to clip his coat in spring or he got a sweaty, I used to do a low trace clip in winter and rug to keep him comfortabe in the winter. I couldn't put the tabs in his food as he'd leave them but I'd pop them in a bit of carrot or apple and get them in like that. It can be quite expensive but I got my vet to prescribe and i'd order online (Animed).
 

poiuytrewq

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That’s all very reassuring thanks.
The apparently really common problem of getting them to take it?
Are we talking fussy horses? It’s such a tiny tablet! This horse of mine is cob X vacuum cleaner. I don’t anticipate him being difficult
 

paddy555

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That’s all very reassuring thanks.
The apparently really common problem of getting them to take it?
Are we talking fussy horses? It’s such a tiny tablet! This horse of mine is cob X vacuum cleaner. I don’t anticipate him being difficult
that made me laugh. Mine is a gutsy pig of a haflinger. Can you image him being difficult about more grub?:D

We are not talking about fussy horses but extremely crafty ones. I started off in the usual carrots, apples etc. He now refuses carrots and apples with or without a tablet.

For mine the only thing that works is a tiny handful of soaked sugar beet and hi fibre nuts. One of my ponies needs this so we just take a bit out of his feed.
Getting the pills down can be a real struggle for some. Some people give up and just dissolve it and syringe it in. I do this for my pony.
 

JillA

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That’s all very reassuring thanks.
The apparently really common problem of getting them to take it?
Are we talking fussy horses? It’s such a tiny tablet! This horse of mine is cob X vacuum cleaner. I don’t anticipate him being difficult
1/4 of an apple, even the old not so fresh ones off my trees, just shove the tablet into the flesh and drop the whole thing in the morning feed. "Ooh yummy, apple" and it's gone lol. My late middle aged so far unaffected TB gets the other half of the apple just in case he will be needing it at some point in the future. The very old, very clever arab mare was dentally challenged so I put it in apple puree and syringed it into her mouth with a lamb colostrum syringe
 

meleeka

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That’s all very reassuring thanks.
The apparently really common problem of getting them to take it?
Are we talking fussy horses? It’s such a tiny tablet! This horse of mine is cob X vacuum cleaner. I don’t anticipate him being difficult
I believe it now comes in apple flavour. I haven’t bothered as I’m managing fine. Prascend can make some lose their appetite, so bland things they found tasty they’ll no longer eat. Mine has a teeny handful of Sixteen Plus mix, probably a mouthful but that means she eats the whole feed. She was never a vacuum cleaner though, just normal with her appetite. A friends horse has never refused a feed so it’s not always the case.
 

swilliam

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I put the half tablet on the end of my finger and push it right up inside my little welshie's cheek. Never seen it drop out, and he's only bitten me once, and that was an accident - he was quite upset!
 

Hallo2012

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our old boy(25) is 16.2hh and can only tolerate 1/2 tablet a day...any more and he stops eating completely and becomes very depressed.

his levels are stable so far, but if he gets worse, and cannot tolerate a higher dose we wont try and force the issue, nothing worse IMO than the juggling act of meds and feed and a depressed horse in the middle of it.

we will treat the symptoms and then PTS if it becomes a quality of life issue but so far hes happy and healthy and full of beans :)
 

BarneyTheChestnutOne

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I have my boy (15 year old welsh gelding) on one tablet a day. He showed no symnptoms but was tested to be on the safe side before he had steroid injections for a non related injury. Had to introduce very gradually as he went on complete starvation strike the first few days/week! It took approximately 8 weeks for him to get a better appetite back and he was depressed/lost a lot of weight. He is stable, eating and has put on alot of weight now. He still won't eat the tablet in a feed or treat so I syringe it into him with water or some apple juice.
 
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One of my horses was diagnosed with Cushings at 12. He is 15 now and up to one tablet a day. He hasn't had any side effects but once he started taking it, his coat looked amazing and he was a lot perkier.
 

_HP_

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I know someone who has elected not to give her pony Prascend because he just didn't get on with it but we have had 2 16hh horses on it with no noticeable side-effects, except that they could be a bit suspicious of their food at first. You do need to bear in mind that Prascend merely treats the symptoms, it doesn't stop the progression of the condition, which will continue behind the scenes, so it is unlikely to prolong life, except by mitigating against laminitis.
Prascend can slow the progression as well as treat the symptoms ,unlike things like Agnus Castus which just treats the symptoms.
 

_HP_

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My pony was diagnosed this year and I started her on a quarter tablet. She immediately refused all feed and got the runs and as she was at a very low weight already due to poor teeth and struggling over winter, I have decided not to treat her, and let her go sometime this summer. Within days of stopping the meds, she was eating and totally back to herself.
My Shetland went straight onto half a tablet and had no side effects whatsoever.
The general advice these days is to start on a quarter tablet until they can tolerate it and build up
 
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I had my old mare on & off Prascend for the last few years of her life. I had similar results to previous posts, in that it really effected her appetite. I tried to increase the dose gradually, but as soon as I gave her more than 1/2 a tablet, she wouldn't eat anything and became quite miserable. Despite me changing where I'd hidden the tablet on a regular basis, she always seemed to know where it was so I ended up syringing it down.

Given her age, I was more concerned about maintaining her weight so I don't think she ever got enough Prascend to judge if it was successful.
 

teddypops

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That’s all very reassuring thanks.
The apparently really common problem of getting them to take it?
Are we talking fussy horses? It’s such a tiny tablet! This horse of mine is cob X vacuum cleaner. I don’t anticipate him being difficult
l could not get my mini Shetland to eat them after about 6 months, no matter what I tried.
 

splashgirl45

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mine was on prascend for 5 years and the only side effect was that she went off her normal feed so i had to go through quite a bit to find something she would eat, after that she was fine with feeds and hay but i had to give her prascend in a hollowed out carrot before she had her feed. this worked for the rest of her life....the good thing was she could have a normal life and was turned out all day in the winter and 24/7 in the summer, the only thing that changed was i gave small low sugar feeds....
 
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