Cushings horses and steroids.

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
Joined
14 September 2006
Messages
13,730
Location
West Yorkshire
Our Older Appy had dreadful heaves in the summer, in fact it started last spring and she had to have three or four courses of oral steroids. She had the stim test for cushings early autumn and the figures came back 8x the acceptable number, was retested after six weeks on prascend and was only 3x the acceptable number, prascend was increased. This has left me wondering, given that over production of corticosteroids is part of the cushings syndrome, if the old belief that steroids cause laminitis is actually that horses with cushings (not tested and apparently asymptomatic) when treated with steroids, are pushed into full blown disease. Does anyone have any knwledge, or light to shed on this theory?
 

ihatework

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 September 2004
Messages
17,370
Our Older Appy had dreadful heaves in the summer, in fact it started last spring and she had to have three or four courses of oral steroids. She had the stim test for cushings early autumn and the figures came back 8x the acceptable number, was retested after six weeks on prascend and was only 3x the acceptable number, prascend was increased. This has left me wondering, given that over production of corticosteroids is part of the cushings syndrome, if the old belief that steroids cause laminitis is actually that horses with cushings (not tested and apparently asymptomatic) when treated with steroids, are pushed into full blown disease. Does anyone have any knwledge, or light to shed on this theory?
An interesting observation and one I don’t have an answer for but have wondered myself.

I own a now semi retired horse that at the age of 6 had an accident that, unknown to me at the time, was causing a bigger issue than I realised /back/hind limb related).
In parallel to this he showed mild pollen allergy symptoms. We put the fluctuating performance down to this, and he was treated in part with oral steroids.

Roll on 9 months and having undergone a bit of a rollercoaster I had a 7yo diagnosed with full blown cushings. But he didn’t respond to prascend.

He is now Rising 13 and interestingly his ACTH level hovers onnthe lower side of abnormal, that is without prascend and just managed proactively and with danilon for his long term orthopaedic issue.

Stress (environmental or pain) can raise cortisol levels which in turn raise ACTH.
I’ve often wondered whether the oral steroids exacerbated maybe an underlying predisposition to cushings or just a stressed Horse.
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
Joined
14 September 2006
Messages
13,730
Location
West Yorkshire
ihatework, that is very interesting, our Older Appy was very stressed in November, when we lost our Draught mare, her field companion. She is still not her old happy self, partly because we cannot put her in with our other two, which we were hoping for, as when we removed the "no mans land" between them, she kicked out the electric fence, at the young cob! She is now showing signs of ataxia and she will be going tomorrow :( as we believe in quality of life. There was no option other than steroids last spring and I am thinking that she will need them again this spring, which turns this into a no win situation :( If the steroids pushed her into being symptomatic for cushings, then at least she had six good months.
 
Top