Cushing's+founder+colic??
 
 

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Cushing's+founder+colic??

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  • Signs to put a cushings horse down
  • Cushings disease linked to colic

 
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    05-28-2011, 06:11 PM
  #1
Weanling
Cushing's+founder+colic??

About 2 months ago, I switched barns. I wanted to stay at the first one because it had my favorite horse (I loved her), but I could not bear to stay with a trainer who trains both riders and horses in ways I don't agree with and horses that could be considered by some to be neglected or even abused. I'm glad to be gone, but I missed the horse like crazy.

Yesterday I found out she was just put down. I later found out the reason was that, and I quote, "She had Cushing's and we didn't know, then she foundered and colicked at the same time." ...What? First off, is it common to just flat out not know a horse has Cushing's? And how much were they ignoring the horse that they didn't realize she was foundering until she colicked? I looked up the symptoms of Cushing's and at least when I was there I saw none of them.

Can you help me figure this out? I feel awful and all, I just want to know why this possibly happened and if I could have helped actually notice problems by not leaving the barn.

ETA: Sorry if I explained anything badly. Ask me to clarify if you're not sure.
     
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    05-28-2011, 09:58 PM
  #2
Trained
Hi,

Basic answer is yes, horses can have cushings without showing obvious symptoms, like they can have IR or such. Common 'symptoms' that often go unrecognised are overweight horses, fat pads, or 'hard keepers' and horses being slow to shed or retaining a long coat. Horses can also founder without people realising. A lot of people don't understand or appreciate early signs or understand that diet/management etc may be problematic, such as feeding grain or other starchy stuff, feeding large &/or infrequent meals, lack of free movement, etc. So a horse can appear to founder suddenly and inexplicably. Horses can also become acutely laminitic quite suddenly too, which can happen if they break into a grain shed, into a rich spring pasture, etc.
     
    05-31-2011, 08:58 PM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Hi,

Basic answer is yes, horses can have cushings without showing obvious symptoms, like they can have IR or such. Common 'symptoms' that often go unrecognised are overweight horses, fat pads, or 'hard keepers' and horses being slow to shed or retaining a long coat. Horses can also founder without people realising. A lot of people don't understand or appreciate early signs or understand that diet/management etc may be problematic, such as feeding grain or other starchy stuff, feeding large &/or infrequent meals, lack of free movement, etc. So a horse can appear to founder suddenly and inexplicably. Horses can also become acutely laminitic quite suddenly too, which can happen if they break into a grain shed, into a rich spring pasture, etc.
Thank you for the reply. I honestly think the "sudden" foundering was just the owner not appreciating the early signs and not caring anyway. The same owner let a pony recovering from founder be ridden (and they wonder why he foundered again), so I would not be surprised. Poor horse. It's a shame.

Do you think Cushing's contributed or added to the problem in any way? The person who told me said "She had Cushing's *so* she foundered and colicked at the same time." I don't know how/if the two are related.
     
    05-31-2011, 09:10 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tymer    
Do you think Cushing's contributed or added to the problem in any way? The person who told me said "She had Cushing's *so* she foundered and colicked at the same time." I don't know how/if the two are related.
Definately. Cushing's is a disease where the body makes too much of the stress hormone cortisol and just like any other stressful situation (eg. Surgery, severe illness, etc) this will make them prone to laminitis. Again if they are (or their hormones are telling them that are) stressed and/or potentially in pain from laminitis that can then lead to colic (the stress alone could lead to colic or laminitis in either order and both would contribute to the other)
Also Cushing's horses are often quite overweight which by itself can lead to laminitis.
     
    05-31-2011, 10:17 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masquerade    
Definately. Cushing's is a disease where the body makes too much of the stress hormone cortisol and just like any other stressful situation (eg. Surgery, severe illness, etc) this will make them prone to laminitis. Again if they are (or their hormones are telling them that are) stressed and/or potentially in pain from laminitis that can then lead to colic (the stress alone could lead to colic or laminitis in either order and both would contribute to the other)
Also Cushing's horses are often quite overweight which by itself can lead to laminitis.
Interesting. Could the excess hormones potentially make the horse temperamental and hard to ride?
     
    05-31-2011, 11:44 PM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tymer    
The same owner let a pony recovering from founder be ridden (and they wonder why he foundered again), so I would not be surprised.
To be fair, that's not necessarily a reason to criticise. Depends on the horse, the stage/degree of the problem, etc, but riding a rehabbing foundered horse is not necessarily a problem at all & the extra work & exercise can help. It can be the 'stall rested' type cases that suffer more/longer due to lack of exercise.
     
    06-01-2011, 12:35 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
To be fair, that's not necessarily a reason to criticise. Depends on the horse, the stage/degree of the problem, etc, but riding a rehabbing foundered horse is not necessarily a problem at all & the extra work & exercise can help. It can be the 'stall rested' type cases that suffer more/longer due to lack of exercise.
That's true. I like putting down my old trainer. That's a habit I should stop.

Any answers to my horse temperament question?
     
    06-02-2011, 07:36 AM
  #8
Foal
I have never experienced cushing's horses having particular bad temperments or being difficult but the physiology of the excess stress would make sense that it might.
     
    06-02-2011, 03:59 PM
  #9
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masquerade    
laminitis that can then lead to colic (the stress alone could lead to colic or laminitis in either order and both would contribute to the other)
Exactly.

When a horse is hospitalized for a colic or laminitic episode, we check all of the vitals every so many hours. They include gut sounds and digital pulse. If the horse is at risk, we ice the hooves.
     

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