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This is a discussion on Cushings within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Bute for horse with cushings
  • Equine Cushing's Discussion

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    02-28-2009, 03:40 PM

Sorry I haven't been on here in awhile. I have been really busy with the horses.
Anyways. Im taking my 24 year old to the vet on Tuseday to have his teeth done as well as a physical, a sheath cleaning and to get some blood work done. We are doing the physical because he has been acting really sore in his loins but he is going to the bathroom perfectly fine. He has been biting at his stifles causing them to bleed. We are hoping that he just needs his sheeth done but his behavior is very bizzar. He is on bute until Tuesday to keep the pain at bay and its been helping dramatically. He has stopped biting himself and he isnt as sore.
My mom came out to see him and asked if maybe we should have him tested for Cushings. She said that his hair felt weird and his attitude was off.
Has anyone every had a horse with Cushings? Im sure the symptoms. I plan on doing lots of research but I also want everyones opinions as well.

If you have any questions please ask!!!
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    02-28-2009, 03:48 PM
Green Broke
Has his water consumption increased? When you said his attitude was off, does he appear dull or depressed? Is his coat dull or excessive for him, I realize he has a winter coat, but is it different from past winter coats?

If diagnosed early, I'm told treatment is pretty good for extended their life and activity.

Keep us posted.
    02-28-2009, 04:05 PM
You can find lots of info on Cushing's on

A good article is It talks about insulin resistance and Cushings, both of which are more likely in senior horses.

Signs that might lead to testing for IR or Cushings are:
History of laminitis
Loss of muscle mass, especially along the topline
Abnormal fat deposits--cresty neck, fat pads at withers and tail head
Drinking/urinating excessively
Poor hair coat, not shedding out well
Decreased performance
Increased susceptibility to infections

Hypothyroidism used to be thought to be the cause of alot of these symptoms, but hypothyroidism without something causing it is rare in horses. Insulin Resistance can cause decreased thyroid hormone levels. Bute use will also cause lowering of thyroid levels. (I'm telling you these things just so you don't end up being told that it's just "low thyroid". )

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