Cushings - What were the first signs/symptoms in your horses?

YorksG

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Sisters Draft mare had the excessive drinking and wet stable, along with skin infections which took too long to resolve. The old Appy showed none of the classic signs, but looking back, she smelled very odd,she went on to develop the big tummy and lost back covering. She tested ok on the ordinary test, but was 8 times the acceptable level on the stim test!
 
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Mine was an abundance of tooth and sinus infections, long coat and fatty eye pads. She had her 1st and only (touch wood) bout of lami last autumn. She is on presend now and is out all day again as normal. Still struggling with infections though and I think that is what will finally see her off rather than the cushings itself
 
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My horse (14 year old Welsh part bred gelding) didn't show any signs at all, but the vet suggested testing him before we treated hock arthritis with steroids, just in case. His levels came back high and he has been on the prascend 1tablet a day since. We didn't treat with steroids in the ened. We are managing his routine instead at the moment.
Since his diagnosis, he has got a few symptoms surface: dirty smelly willy all the time, sweating excessively ( though we normally clip in winter but havent this year), wet in the stable.
 

ihatework

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I had an out of work 15yo who just didn’t look himself, muscling changed, winter shedding took longer and he was just a bit pottery. He came back with an acth of high 300’s,
As a 12yo he had what I thought was (and treated as) a laminitic episode but my vet told me I was ridiculous and he was just a footsore Tb. In hindsight I suspect I was right.

My other horse as a 6yo went through real peaks and troughs of lethargy, something wasn’t right but I couldn’t put my finger on it. He then had an accident so got turned away. Something really niggled me about how his body shape changed and again he was slow to shed in the spring, plus he got obese turned away. I asked the vet to test him as a rising 7yo, she said she’d eat her hat if he was positive .... I think she is still picking bits out of her teeth to this day!
 

splashgirl45

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first sign for my mare was lethargy, she was always a very lively challenging ride and turned into a lovely easy to ride horse. she also started to get a bit grouchy when her rug was changed which was not normal for her, she was always very friendly and happy to have attention, then her coat didnt shed as freely as normal. i called the vet and told her what i thought and vet said she didnt look like a cushings horse but would test her anyway as i was so sure something was wrong. levels came back as 172 so started on prascend immediately...if you know your horse well the signs are usually there ..
 

Dusty M Yeti

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Thanks for the replies so far.
I had an out of work 15yo who just didn’t look himself, muscling changed, winter shedding took longer and he was just a bit pottery. He came back with an acth of high 300’s,
As a 12yo he had what I thought was (and treated as) a laminitic episode but my vet told me I was ridiculous and he was just a footsore Tb. In hindsight I suspect I was right.
^^ Interesting, mine has no outwardly massive symptoms but this resonates. It's niggling at me. He was trimmed on Saturday by same farrier who has done him his whole life, feet looked neat afterward and I didn't think anything of it, by Sunday evening totally footsore, I know ground is like concrete etc but he's normally tough as old boots never been footsore, ever! That got me thinking.

first sign for my mare was lethargy, she was always a very lively challenging ride and turned into a lovely easy to ride horse. she also started to get a bit grouchy when her rug was changed which was not normal for her, she was always very friendly and happy to have attention, then her coat didnt shed as freely as normal. i called the vet and told her what i thought and vet said she didnt look like a cushings horse but would test her anyway as i was so sure something was wrong. levels came back as 172 so started on prascend immediately...if you know your horse well the signs are usually there ..
^^ Yep, definitely grumpier this year. Also agree with your 'knowing the horse' sentence, I've owned him his entire life - he's 17 now, something is not right. Think I'll be getting him tested next week.
 

ihatework

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Thanks for the replies so far.

^^ Interesting, mine has no outwardly massive symptoms but this resonates. It's niggling at me. He was trimmed on Saturday by same farrier who has done him his whole life, feet looked neat afterward and I didn't think anything of it, by Sunday evening totally footsore, I know ground is like concrete etc but he's normally tough as old boots never been footsore, ever! That got me thinking.

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Funny you should say that, I’d completely forgotten about my horses shoeing - it was a right palava, he would go very footy (bilaterally lame 😜) after being shod - and I can promise you it wasn’t the farriers fault. We managed it for years by using Bute strategically before shoeing and pretty much cold shoeing (barely searing them at all).

It was far enough ago that metabolic issues weren’t really so well understood, especially in sporthorses.
 

ycbm

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I have advised a number of people over the years whose fairly young horses were inexplicably foot sensitive to test their horses and not one yet has come back clear. It's my impression that foot sensitivity is often the first sign, but often missed in horses which have shoes on.
 

Dusty M Yeti

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I have advised a number of people over the years whose fairly young horses were inexplicably foot sensitive to test their horses and not one yet has come back clear. It's my impression that foot sensitivity is often the first sign, but often missed in horses which have shoes on.
It is the first time it's ever happened with him but that's exactly what has got me thinking! It's happened, then WHY has it happened? Like I say, no other outward symptoms, drinking/weeing totally normal, not sweating, not lethargic but sometimes grumpy.

I'll call the vets after the BH weekend, it's niggling me so I'm not going to let it rest!
 

Gloi

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Regularly stopping for a pee when out riding when he never had previously. With my friend's it was horrible rain rash.
 

Micky

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Major lethargy when ridden, tortoises were passing us! He developed a tummy and then became footsore where he hadn’t been before,plus his winter coat took longer and longer to shed, mid July befor it was all gone so I knew something wasn’t right, had him tested but he came back borderline but because of the symptoms presented, my older vet decided to trial prascend, it took a while and for him to become almost skeletal in the process before the pills worked their magic and after adjusting his feed and soaking hay plus restricted turnout, x rays of feet etc, he suddenly had his old and previously unseen vavoom back, to the point I had to restyle my riding to control him! He was and still is great fun and full of energy..I suspect he had had it for a couple of years but I’d no time picked up on the subtle signs (lethargy and tiny bit pottery in spring and autumn)
 

Sprout

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With mine, I noticed he peed every hack, then despite being slim and trim, he suddenly got laminitis in his hinds. Vet thought it was concusive lami, and tested for Cushings. That was quite a few years ago now, he is 25, on meds and is doing really well so far.
 

paddy555

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I have advised a number of people over the years whose fairly young horses were inexplicably foot sensitive to test their horses and not one yet has come back clear. It's my impression that foot sensitivity is often the first sign, but often missed in horses which have shoes on.
this. My barefoot horse couldn't cope with just living BF even as a 6 or 7yo. This was not riding but just living around the yard etc. Next sign becomes abscesses. However not all young ones test positive which makes it very confusing and you don't get some symptoms till much later on. The next symptom in him as a 6yo was his difficulty in going uphill in October when his winter coat was coming in. That was only walking and he should have coped but he sweated a lot and found if hard work. He was tested at 13 and tested very negative, tested 2 weeks later and still very negative yet he had all the symptoms by then.
Also a fondness for antibiotics for every tiny thing that a normal horse would just get on with.. He needed a double dose of antibiotics a normal length of course was insufficient.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Skin problems, she was tested and the result was well within acceptable levels. She had another test in the August which show a slightly higher level bust still acceptable. Then in October she got a hoof abscess which just would not clear up, the next test showed that her ACTH level had rise again and she was put on Prascend. The abscess cleared up and she never had another one.
 

Sarahs83

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My mare sweated a lot even in winter with a lightweight on, had to fully clip, her stable got wetter, then she went lame with laminitis, got her tested, levels was high, box rest for 3 months then the pedal bone had rotated, unfortunately I lost her at 23
 
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