Chasteberrie for Cushings? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-04-2012, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Chasteberrie for Cushings?

My horse gets a very shaggy coat that sheds slowly in the spring. That seems to be the only sign he has of Cushings disease and he has had negative test results. The vet had suggested giving him Pergolide just because of his coat. I really do not want to give him something he might not need and the cost is an issue. Has anyone heard of or tried Chateberries?
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-05-2012, 08:58 AM
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No surprise the blood work didn't show anything. From everything I've read and from my good friend's experience, by the time blood tests show cushings, the Owner doesn't need the blood test to know the horse has it

Yes Chasteberry works but it effectivity varies from horse-to-horse and with the severity of the disease.

I feed it to both of my horses with metabolic issues; neither of which have cushings.

I also feed Chia seeds to one of them. I buy people chia seeds as they are much cheaper than when the word "equine" is put in front of chia seeds. Plus I can eat them too.

This is just one of many links if you Google "chia seeds for cushings horses".

Dr Chia, Pet Chia, Equine Chia

The rest of diet also has to be changed. Absolutely no grain and no legumes such as alfalfa. Grass hay is best for these horses.

You could read the labels on whatever Ration Balancers are available in your area to find the best one with vitamins/minerals.

If your horse doesn't want to eat his new diet plan, buy some straight timothy pellets and add 1/2 measuring cup to each feeding. I soak them for about five minutes in cold water as they really plump up, once moisture is added.

You might also think about adding Brewer's Yeast to the diet to help alleviate gastric ulcers or hind-gut ulcers. The stress of the disease can cause ulcers -- ask me how I know that

Diamond V YC is made for horses and my vet suggested feeding 2 tablespoons, twice daily. Three of my horses are now on it; the one that colicked in a major way is on something else.

If you can't find equine brewer's yeast, go to the grocery store and buy some. I don't know what the feeding amount would be; it seems to me it would be a little less than 4 TBS/daily.

Be sure to keep up with the hooves. Letting the hooves of metabolic and/or cushings horses go even to 7 - 8 weeks is too long. Keeping up with trims will help prevent laminitic or founder issues with these horses.

My 25 yr old was diagnosed with EMS in 2007 and the 17 yr old with IR in 2010. I've lost track of how many times I've had to modify their diets.

Metabolism is the driving force with these disease (add in the pituitary gland for cushings horses) and as they age, those things change; just like with humans

Good luck and be prepared to tear your hair out as what works now may not work in six months.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-06-2012, 02:14 AM
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Yeah, I've heard of great results with Chasteberry & also of no improvement.

From what I've seen(bit behind on Cushings research tho), you cannot have a false positive result for Cushings, but false negatives are common. Is he insulin resistant? I'd be inclined to treat him as if he has it, although I too would be looking for alternatives to the drug.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-06-2012, 10:53 AM
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Yes chasteberry can help cushings symtoms. I had a neighbor with a older mustang who didnt shed out, was foundered, fat pockets etc, and I knew immediately she had it without being tested. I had her owner order some crushed/powder chastberry (not expensive it at all) and add 2 teaspoons to her grain (also suggested he minimize her grain and change from sweet feed to a pellet version), and she showed alot of improvement. She really perked up after adding that to her diet, and as others advised the grain really has to go down to almost nothing, and hay/grass be the main diet. ALso he had this mustang grazing 24/7 which didnt help at all so suggested he start stalling her in the evening with a leaf of hay to give a a break off the grazing. Diet is very important with cushings....
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-07-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great advice. I just ordered the powder and will be talking to the barn manager this weekend to change him to a pellet food. Probably senior. He has had the shaggy coat problem for a few years now and luckly no other problems.
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