Old girl has Cushings:(

Winters100

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My poor old lady has been diagnosed with Cushings today:( Interestingly she did not have symptoms other than a slightly longer coat than the others, has always been alert and forward going, but due to her age, we have for the last few years tested each Autumn, and this year it is positive. ACTH is 119, which the vet tells me is not a disaster, and today she started on 0.5g Pergoquin (I believe this is marketed as Prascend in the UK).

So new things to learn as I have never managed a horse with Cushings. Do any of you have links to websites which you found particularly helpful? Or any tips?

Thanks in advance.
W
 

paddy555

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/129...ently_seen&multi_permalinks=10159804936039810

this group, despite being FB, has a lot of info.

sorry about your horse. Mine was on prascend for 8 years. My current pony on it for about 5 years. Prascend tablets are 1mg and I guess that is what you will be on with pergoquin. It seems to be what most horses here get put on. Main thing, is to build up slowly. I would build up to 1 tablet over about 3 weeks. If you don't you risk the "veil" when they get unhappy, won't eat well etc. If you build up slowly it takes longer but you get there without any problems.
Dr Kellon recommends PPID horses have 5000iu vit E oil per day. Info on this on the Forage plus site. Mine had this and it made a difference and kept him well to avoid muscle loss and loss of topline.

have a read of the files etc on the FB site and come back if you have questions. The posts and questions on that site are very comprehensive and the mods. keep everyone on the straight and narrow. :D Lots of info on diet/grass etc so you can see where your regime fits in and if alternations are needed.
 

poiuytrewq

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Don’t be too disheartened. The tablets are amazing, I have a pony from the Blue Cross, he’d been diagnosed but his only symptom as yours was coat related. It was untreated and he did fine for a few years.
When he started getting footy I got him tested myself and we started Prescand. Hes been great on it. Nearly 30 now I believe and he still jig jogs in for his breakfast. Symptoms have been virtually nil since medicating. He had a lovely summer coat this year.
I had a little trouble at first getting him to eat it. He decided every few weeks he no longer liked what ever I hid it in but for at least a year now he’s just had it chucked in a handful of nuts.
 

MuddyMonster

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Try not to worry too much (easier said than some I know) but I don't think it's the sentence it once was for a horse. My teenage gelding was diagnosed this year with PPID (he had/has EMS too) with very few other 'obvious' symptoms than intermittent footiness and having lost his spark. He's always been a very good doer (but then he's a native, so 🤷‍♀️) - looking back knowing what I know now, he's had minor things pointing to it for a while.

His levels were low they are technically borderline but the difference a low dose of Prascend has made to him is huge. You honestly wouldn't know he had anything wrong with him now. He's back in full work - & really has his spark back ...arguably too much at times 🤣
 
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meleeka

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I have two on Prascend. One only just diagnosed and one diagnosed about 8 years ago .

The original one was a nightmare with getting the tablet into her. These days I syringe it in and she’s fine with that, loose in the field and doesn’t even need a headcollar. Most recent one is taking it with two pony nuts and so far so good (I started on a quarter, now up to a half).

The only negative I’ve found is to my bank balance! Both ponies have regressed to teenagers and are very happy and healthy. Original one had laminitis originally and a mild bout when her 1 tablet wasn’t working anymore. She’s not had anything for years now. They live out on fairly sparse grass with my other natives and tbh I worry more about the others getting laminitis. I watch them all like a hawk anyway, but properly medicated my mare is less sensitive to grass than the others.
 

Winters100

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Thanks all for the good advice and the encouraging stories. I guess we will just have to see how she does. I am hoping that laminitis is not a big risk as she has always been a poor doer, and for now she is reasonably fit. I am happy to retire her if that look like it is in her best interests, but for now the vet says to keep her moving. I think that for now I will lighten her work but keep her ticking over. If she ever needs semi retirement there is a child at our yard who rides very gently and who I sometimes allow to ride her. The parents have asked many times if I would sell or loan, which I would not do, but I could consider letting the child be the only rider. I don't need any financial contribution, so she could stay in my management. This pony is golden to me and I owe her the very best life that I can give her.
 

Winters100

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Actually, just to say that, for anyone with senior horses, it does seem that it is worth routinely testing for Cushings. We do not know the age of this pony, but my vet has tested her every year since we have had her since she was older than 15 (her passport said 14 when we bought her, but even the seller told me that she was for sure older and that we should make our own mind up about her age). I was so sure that the test would be negative because she seemed so well, so it has been a good lesson for me to watch out for this.
 

JJS

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I’d second joining the Facebook group. I’m one of the moderators on there, and we have a lot of resources to help you out.

My own pony is now 28, has been medicated for around seven years, and is still full of life. The symptoms that led to his original diagnosis were also a slightly longer coat and struggling to hold weight, and his initial numbers were very similar to yours. The improvement once he was on Prascend was dramatic.
 

splashgirl45

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i would keep on working her as normal, once the medication has started to work (can be up to 6 weeks) she should be back to her normal self. you may get away with keeping her on a low dose which is better for the bank balance, mine was diagnosed at 20 and her level was 172 and once the tablets had kicked in she was back to her normal nutty self and loved life again. her only symptoms were late losing her coat and depression / lifelessness... i had to increase her dose every year and she was on 4 tablets daily and her levels were still going up so i PTS after discussing with my vet when she was 25 because she became a bit pottery and i wouldnt want her to get laminitis.. all the time she was on medication, she lived a normal life , out 24/7 in summer and in at night in the winter. i kept her feed and hay very low sugar and soaked the hay, she never got laminitis on that routine..
 
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