Originally Posted by walkinthewalk
For sure, your horse needs tested but, don't let them do the Dex test (dexamethasone). It has been known to cause founder in some (not all) horses. Ask for the ACTH test instead; it's a simple blood test that will determine cortisol level ALMOST as accurately as the Dex method. Have the vet draw a second vile of blood to check the insulin level. Keep records of all this as it gives you baseline. The chastetree won't hurt your horse, even if he isn't cushings. BUT if cushings is suspected, the horse needs to get off bagged feed with oats, corn and molasses in it, five minutes ago. If he is eating straight alfalfa, he needs backed off that and put on grass hay. Legume hays are not good for metabolic horses. He might tolerate the alfalfa ok for the moment but, as time passes he probably won't. Cushings does not go away; the best you can do is manage the horse's diet, hooves and exercise in a very strict manner and hope for the best. As far as performance, while they're heart is in it, their energy level is not. These metabolic horses wear out a lot faster than what is normal for each particular horse. My EMS guy is 24, he still goes out the drive at Mach 80, but after going up and down two steep hills, he really really slows down. This is the horse that used to make the 10 mile trip around our block coming back in the drive at the same Mach 80 he left it with Hope this helps
Thanks! I know you were also helping me out on my other thread, I'm just trying to get more of an idea of what to do lol. Hunter is not eating alfalfa, and I put pics on the other thread of the feed he's on. He and the other horses have done really well on it. His feet are trimmed every 4 weeks and the farrier we use has a horse with Cushing's, so he's been helping me out feet-wise and will be helping keep an eye on him. I have noticed that some days he has less energy than others, so maybe the chaste tree berry powder will help..
I'm just trying to budget it all out and figure out roughly how much it'll cost me for the powder and other supplements and all that he needs.. I also talked with my vet today and he suggested the dex test, I asked about the risk of founder and he said it's low, and it'll cost about 250 with the 2 farm calls and the bloodwork. I think I'm going to ask him about the other test, but I am going to be waiting at least a few weeks to do any testing. I'd really like to try the chaste tree powder to see if that makes a difference first. If it does then I'll keep him on it, otherwise probably do testing and get him on Pergolide. Does this sound like a bad idea?