Cushings? What is it and could my horse have it? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Cushings? What is it and could my horse have it?

I have a 11 year old friesian gelding. I bought him in December and in the spring his summer coat came it. It was a little thicker and longer then the QH's at the barn. I asked my barn manager and she said it was a friesian thing adn his dad is from Holland. But the other friesian at the barn doesnt have a longer coat (hes 2). I thought it might be from Black as Knight because it is making his feathers, mane, and tail super long and thick. Today someone mentioned to me it could be pre-cushings. I looked on HorseChannel.com and it said symptoms can be excess drinking (and he drinks 4 buckets of water a night even in winter), laziness (he is and always has been lazy), sweat easily (and he does when it is heat index of 100+), and tend to run high temperatures (he doesnt have.). I am not sure if he has it of what to do. Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 08:52 PM
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Not an expert....but I would say if he doesnt show the common syptoms most of the time, that his coat is thicker than the younger fresian's coat, as your horse is older. Like you said the Knight product you are giving him would most probably help his coat aswell.... :) Pictures may help other critiquers :)
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 08:56 PM
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I highly doubt your horse has Cushing's he's far too young, unless he's been seriously over vaccinated in his life. It can be caused by age or over-vaccination. In his case it's clearly not age.

"Equine Cushings disease is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the production and regulation of hormones. Symptoms include a long, shaggy coat that does not shed, excessive drinking and urination, laminitis, a tendency for recurring infections in the hoof (foot abscesses), and a loss of muscle mass, especially along the topline and rump."
Eye of the Storm Equine Rescue: equine cushings

I strongly suggest you read that link thoroughly, even if he doesn't have Cushing's if he does share some of the symptoms you could get the herbal blend (Bess's Choice) that website refers too, as it's an herbal blend not a medication it can't hurt! I have 2 Cushing's horses at our rescue and both are completely sound, mostly shed out their coats, and the one who had sight when we got them still does, the other is blind but has been for years before he arrived with us. We also give it to a few of our older horses who have trouble keeping their hormones in balance.

Good luck with your horse :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 08:59 PM
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We have a mare at my barn that started getting in a thick heavy coat this summer she was not shedding out her winter coat,that was the only symptom and the vet confirmed she has cushings. You have to be careful with cushings, horses known to have it tend to founder easily, like the mare at my barn did. The best thing to do is keep an eye on it And when the vet is around as their opinion.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 09:10 PM
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ALSO! I forgot to mention this!! This is the season for misdiagnosed Cushings!! Horses in this season are eating short, sugary grass and have high blood sugar and often come up positive for Cushings, but in the fall and winter they come up negative again. Don't fall for it >.<
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 09:15 PM
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Watch his water intake, it can really stuff up his kidneys. Chat with your vet and ask if you should limit his access to water. Some stabled horses drink excessively because they're bored, Star did and the vet told us to stop refilling and only give her the usual 2 x 10L buckets a day and just keep an eye out for signs of dehydration. She soon went back to drinking normally and didn't even drink to the bottom of the buckets after a few weeks of this.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I am going to talk to my instructor tomorrow at my lesson. She knows a LOT about random medical stuff (horses and humans). For his water, he would drink the entire bucket from 4:30 to 8:00 and then at 10:00 PM and my barn manager that lives in the barn would have to re filly it. Then at 6:00 it would be empty again. She moved him one stall down with two buckets and he only has them re filled at 10:00 now. I have him a LikIt and he ate it in 10min and the barn manager told me he drank 6 buckets of water that night. I now give him a long lasting one (has vitamins and good stuff for him) and it lasted 4 weeks but didnt decrease his water intake.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 09:50 PM
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I'd not give him a Lickit or salt block if he's going through them like that - it'll make him thirstier and may cause mineral and electrolyte imbalances. If he's bored (sounds like he is), you can get non-food toys to keep him entertained. Also, make sure he's getting lots of hay and spread it out round his stable (but not in his preferred pee and poop areas) as this will keep him busy for a while. Stopped Star from doing all sorts of silly bored-horse things like eating her own poop or her shavings, or standing at the door neighing all day.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 09:56 PM
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My mare is the same, she's a boredom eatter. She ate a 5 pound salt lick in 2 days o.O So now she only gets salt when she's outside, which she normally has better things to do and doesn't abuse it. Keep off the likit for boredom eatters :P
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-17-2012, 10:02 PM
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Cripes, Punk, she would have been saltier than a packet of crisps after that!
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