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Older horse with Cushing

Joined
18 February 2020
Messages
9
Sorry if it’s been asked a hundred times. My beautiful older mare (shes 23) has Cushings the vet has confirmed . She has had foot abscesses in 3 feet over the last 3 months, all treated by the farrier and us but didn’t seem to be fully clearing so is now at the vets . Can anyone tell me about their experiences of cushings . Symptoms , treatment , management please . Hoping for a good outcome for my much loved girl.
 

paddy555

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 December 2010
Messages
4,542
symptoms for mine was endless abscesses. Also lost weight however much he was fed, skin problems, excessive drinking and peeing. Lost a lot of muscle over the topline. Lethargic when ridden.
Treatment is prascend a little pink pill that works wonders and foot abscesses just went as did the skin problems. Put him on high dose vit E and got the lost muscle back. He was a totally changed horse on prascend (the cushings med).
I would expect if vet has confirmed cushings by blood test (ACTH test) that he will put the horse on prascend, usually one tablet per day to start with and then blood test again after a couple of months to see if the ACTH levels have gone down.

Vets usually suggest you just give one tablet a day. Most people have found it works better if you build up gradually starting the dose at a quarter tablet and building up to 1 tablet over about a month. That way you produce less side effects and many horses get onto 1 tablet very easily. People also find that one tablet works better if given half morning and half at night.

Vets charge a fortune for prascend so most people probably just get a few from the vet to start with and then get a prescription and buy the meds online which is a lot cheaper.
 
Joined
18 February 2020
Messages
9
symptoms for mine was endless abscesses. Also lost weight however much he was fed, skin problems, excessive drinking and peeing. Lost a lot of muscle over the topline. Lethargic when ridden.
Treatment is prascend a little pink pill that works wonders and foot abscesses just went as did the skin problems. Put him on high dose vit E and got the lost muscle back. He was a totally changed horse on prascend (the cushings med).
I would expect if vet has confirmed cushings by blood test (ACTH test) that he will put the horse on prascend, usually one tablet per day to start with and then blood test again after a couple of months to see if the ACTH levels have gone down.

Vets usually suggest you just give one tablet a day. Most people have found it works better if you build up gradually starting the dose at a quarter tablet and building up to 1 tablet over about a month. That way you produce less side effects and many horses get onto 1 tablet very easily. People also find that one tablet works better if given half morning and half at night.

Vets charge a fortune for prascend so most people probably just get a few from the vet to start with and then get a prescription and buy the meds online which is a lot cheaper.
Thank you so so much . That’s so helpful and gives me hope.

All sounds like my girl. She’s been retired for the last 7 years but just not herself energy wise at all, dropped top line etc . Vet mentioned about pergolide once a day. He took a lot of hoof off today on a front foot as the abscess hadn’t come through and think she will need it on 4 feet. Also hoping the xrays don’t show up any damage .
 

Gloi

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 May 2012
Messages
4,363
Mine had 5 good years on Prascend. You will likely find once she is being medicated and you have got the dose at the correct level she will not have any more trouble with abscesses than a normal horse would. Be careful to keep her on a low sugar diet as she will be prone to laminitis especially until the medication has kicked in.
 
Joined
18 February 2020
Messages
9
Mine had 5 good years on Prascend. You will likely find once she is being medicated and you have got the dose at the correct level she will not have any more trouble with abscesses than a normal horse would. Be careful to keep her on a low sugar diet as she will be prone to laminitis especially until the medication has kicked in.
Thank you so much for your reply. Feeling much more hopeful that we can manage it now.She’s currently on gain freedom which is low carb but will do some research on feed now . She has been nanny to our foals the last 2 years so was probably on grass and feed that was too rich for her .
 

meleeka

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 September 2001
Messages
4,281
Location
Hants, England
Mine has been on Prascend for 6 years now, shes 26. I haven’t really got any negatives to report, apart from her gut is quite sensitive (think maybe hind gut, she gets Acid Ease which stops the symptoms). Getting her to take meds was the worst bit but she takes it via syringe no problem (she was always a nightmare to worm so that was a surprise!)

She doesn’t get laminitis anymore, which was her only symptom and looks a little too good for the time of year.

My vets price match so that’s saved me a lot of money.
 

NOISYGIRL2

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 January 2019
Messages
54
Mine is 41 diagnosed PPID Nov 2015, was put on prascend (went through the veil) which unfortunately some horses do, if I could avoid it I would, as long as no current laminitis with your horse its advisable to start on a low dose, 1/4 couple of weeks then increase to 1/2 you could give 1/4 am/pm if you wanted to build it up that way. Unfortunately vets are not that good at informing clients of this.

So he was medicated since diagnosed, had problems with him eating, on and off, lethargy, skin issues, eye issues, came to the point April 19 he wasn't eating enough to maintain/gain weight so was thinking the worsed, I dropped the meds to 1/4 pill which meant his appetite increased but it wasn't enough to control the PPID, I left him on this dose as he was eating for a few months, then someone told me about BOVA paste which is the same drug (pergolide) but in a paste form, for some reason some horses are affected by whatever they use to make the pill. I changed him to the paste Nov 2019 and within weeks his behaviour changed, he was no longer this dopey thing that stood in the back of his stable, he is now back to his old self, like he was before diagnosis.

So I would definitely start meds, see how it goes. What was her ACTH level when diagnosed and when was that ? There is a great facebook group if you search Equine Cushings (PPID) lots of info, lists of low sugar/starch feeds, aim for 10% and below, there are lots of options, what is her weight like ?
 
Joined
8 February 2020
Messages
10
Sorry if it’s been asked a hundred times. My beautiful older mare (shes 23) has Cushings the vet has confirmed . She has had foot abscesses in 3 feet over the last 3 months, all treated by the farrier and us but didn’t seem to be fully clearing so is now at the vets . Can anyone tell me about their experiences of cushings . Symptoms , treatment , management please . Hoping for a good outcome for my much loved girl.
Hi we have one who is 26 retired and had it for about 2 years. He has had a few bouts of colic and a couple of mild bouts of laminitis but I don't think the colic was to do with the cushings- i think it was because he has a very sensitive gut. We were offered the prascend that the vets usually prescribe but they were too expensive so we were recommended Agnus Castus herbs to feed from a friend and they work very well and last a long time, and are cheap. So far *touch wood* they have worked well and he is coping fine, albeit being very fluffy and drinking/ weeing a lot. We feed him on sugar beet/ hay replacement because of his teeth and because it is low sugar for laminitis etc and because he tends to find it hard to keep his weight on.
hope this helps x
 

splashgirl45

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2010
Messages
8,130
Location
suffolk
being fluffy and drinking and weeing a lot are cushings related symptoms so the herbs you are feeding are not working well enough......

.OP please go by what your vet recommends , i had my mare on prascend and all of the cushings symptoms disappeared and she never got laminitis. i started her on 1 tablet daily and she was fine, no loss of appetite etc, but after a couple of years she then went off the feed which she had been having so i contacted feed companies and got samples to try and changed her to baileys light chaff(which smells minty) formula4feet and fast fibre (instead of speedibeet). mine wouldnt touch a feed with the tablet in so i used to put it in an apple or carrot and fed that before she had her feed or hay so i knew the tablets had been eaten. her dosage increased annually and at the end she was on 4 tablets a day, i used to cut a hole in a carrot and put the tablets in and she always ate them....good luck
 
Joined
18 February 2020
Messages
9
An update on my lovely mare. Back home after spending a week at the vets and two surgeries . Abscesses had caused her feet to be under run and infection into the bone on 2 feet. She’s now had pretty radical surgery on both of those and the outer sole removed on a third foot. Abscesses cushings related. Thank god we have the most amazing and caring vet . Post op , she is in the most amazing form , already totally sound and pushing me around the place . She’s now on prascend, currently 1/2 tablet a day and will build up to 1 tab daily, low sugar and carb food , oil for fats and dose of vitamin e for condition . Turns out our vet has a mare with it but a year older and in flying form . We have about a 6 week journey of serious bandaging ahead and then turn out on bark mulch in a small paddock for 6 weeks which we are starting to build this week . So happy to have my girl home and happy and thank you all for your advice , it was spot on .
 
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