Rescued pony~ cushings?
 
 

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Rescued pony~ cushings?

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  • Cushings pony euthanised before winter 2013

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    02-04-2013, 07:21 PM
  #1
Foal
Rescued pony~ cushings?

I will try not to be too lengthly with this post, but I would like to give enough information about our story. Last week I decided to pull a pony from the auction house. Not my first horse, but its been many many years. I was inexperienced the first time, and young. I did not have guidance back then, and I know mistakes were made when it came to his care. I now have a few close friends I can turn to who have more experience I can ever hope to gain. I was leasing a horse thru fall of 2011 thru the end of 2012. Didnt make me a pro, but I gained some helpful knowledge. I would like to think eventually I will be adopting thru a rescue. A pleasure horse.
Now.. where does the pony come in? Simple. He was rescued, or sent to slaughter. A friend of a friend is looking for a companion horse/pony for her TB. She doesnt want a dime for board, just cover my feed cost. He will be on her property with a paddock and run in. So, I took the chance. All he has to do is be happy, Ill ask nothing more of him. Lawn ornament/pasture buddy.
With my friends experience I learned today that the little man (most likely) is dealing with Cushings. Until the vet comes out to tell us otherwise, he is supposedly 12 yrs. His hooves show the tell tale signs of founder time and time again. His coat~ explosive. But he is adorable, he is kind, and he is going to get the best care I can give to him. My lack of experience led me into this situation. I followed my heart.
I have mulled thru the internet, read the specifics, read about the requirements for proper care and nutrition. The vet will be out on Wed. This week.
I was hoping to hear about other members experiences. Any suggestions for supplement, meds, hoof care that may seem to work better than others? I appreciate input from people that have experienced first hand.
You may wonder why my friend didnt step up at the time of purchase.. because we went to the auction to see a horse that wasnt sold the week before. Just wanted to take a look and see what was going thru. Three days later, the pony was still for sale. The boarding offer fell into place. I rolled the dice before it was too late for him. I made the call, and he went to the QT farm on Sunday (yesterday). I am not disappointed that he will never be a riding pony. That was never the plan. I feel terrible that he has been neglected and sick. The rescue group that is involved with the QT has offered to take him should his blood work reveal something bigger than I can afford to take on. I am hoping for a simple plan.. that he can live happily with hoof care, strict diet, and required meds and supplements.
Another lesson learned.
     
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    02-04-2013, 07:57 PM
  #2
Started
Does he have fatty deposits? The most noticeable location is the area above the eyes. My pony had zero indentation above the eyes.

My pony's case is the exception to the rule, but I did not put him on any special diet. He was pasture kept and got grass hay in the winter. He got Pergolide daily, compounded into a liquid by an online pet pharmacy. That was pretty much it. Once he was put on the medication, he stopped foundering, his coat shed out normally, and the fatty deposits disappeared. He was like a young colt again.

This lasted about eight years. Then, the medicine stopped working. He aged overnight. I couldn't keep him from foundering. He had a full winter coat in the middle of summer.

I could possible have extended his life by stalling him or keeping him in a dry lot. He had spent 25 years with 24/7 pasture access. He loathed being in a stall. I made the decision to let him go.
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    02-05-2013, 01:17 AM
  #3
Trained
Hi Suzanne, welcome,

Wow, lucky pony to have you! Cushings(PPID) is not curable or effectively treatable at all, but you can greatly slow the progression & symptoms of the disease, with drugs &/or herbs & management of his diet, in order for him to hopefully live happily for a long time yet.

As nikel said, there is a drug called Pergolide which your vet will probably proscribe him. A herbal alternative that many have found effective is Chasteberry.

Diet may have to be carefully managed, as obesity & metabolic disease tends to go along with Cushings. If he's to be out with a horse at pasture, unless it's very poor, sparse grass, he'll likely need a grazing muzzle or be otherwise restricted. Appropriate nutritional supplementation to balance his diet will need to take that into account - for eg most pelleted 'ration balancers' are grain/starch rich. Also on that note, extra magnesium would be a good move IMO. Google 'Magnesium For Horses' for more info on that.

Teeth, along with hooves may grow quicker than normal, so he may need the dentist more frequently than the yearly average. Hooves, especially ATM when they've been badly cared for so will need 'correcting' will need more frequent care - little & frequent trimming is always best, but this is more important if you're rehabbing - changing angles, heel height, etc. I'd also be very particular about the professional that you choose to look after his hooves, that they are experienced and knowledgeable in *successful* rehab of founder/laminitis.
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    02-05-2013, 02:53 AM
  #4
Started
Our quarter pony may or may not be affected by cushings. She's 23ish. She still races. She's been seen by the vet and he said that if she is cushings, it's still very early and she's very healthy. We opted not to test for it. We feed grass hay and forage based grain. She's happy healthy and glad to work. Shell be one of the few I bury.
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    02-05-2013, 03:16 PM
  #5
Foal
Cushings..

Thank you for the replies.. I will take all of the above into consideration when we come to the exact conclusion of his ailments. The farm we are planning on bringing him to (Ive decided to name him Donovan) does not have a grass paddock, I was told "very minimal grass". Since we are using our QT time for becoming "acquainted" with each other, I would really like to bring him something safe as a treat. I went to the local feed store the other day, but unfortunately there werent treats available without sugary ingredients. I was told hay cubes would be safe. I will find them, but could anyone suggest something else to add some variety? I did a double check on carrots and obviously apples would be a ''no no" at this point. I feel bad showing up empty handed for the poor guy.. its the Italian in me.
     
    02-05-2013, 06:44 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikelodeon79    
Does he have fatty deposits? The most noticeable location is the area above the eyes. My pony had zero indentation above the eyes.

My pony's case is the exception to the rule, but I did not put him on any special diet. He was pasture kept and got grass hay in the winter. He got Pergolide daily, compounded into a liquid by an online pet pharmacy. That was pretty much it. Once he was put on the medication, he stopped foundering, his coat shed out normally, and the fatty deposits disappeared. He was like a young colt again.

This lasted about eight years. Then, the medicine stopped working. He aged overnight. I couldn't keep him from foundering. He had a full winter coat in the middle of summer.

I could possible have extended his life by stalling him or keeping him in a dry lot. He had spent 25 years with 24/7 pasture access. He loathed being in a stall. I made the decision to let him go.
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^^^that was sort of the pattern with my friend's Paso Fino that was cushings and IR.

"sort of" because, once on Pergolide, he shed out normally and the fat deposits disappeared but she could not keep the constant abscessing under control. He was in a dry lot with grass hay, soaked hay cubes and a ration balancer to give him his vit/min supplements.

It seemed like once he started to go downhill, there was no coming back and it was fast, as nikelodeon commented.

In the end, the vet said he was sure the horse also had pneumonia; his immune system got so weak, he couldn't fight anything.

Thank you for bringing him home; I wish you the very best in managing him
     
    02-05-2013, 06:58 PM
  #7
Showing
Please let us know what the vet says. We learn by this. Thanks
     
    02-05-2013, 09:12 PM
  #8
Trained
Healthy 'low carb' treats.... goji berries, rosehips(I collect them from my mum's garden!), fruit tree or grapevine leaves, cucumber, celery, Grain/sugar free pelleted feed(in small quantities) such as Hygain Zero, carrots, cubed, in small quanitites...
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    02-11-2013, 07:39 PM
  #9
Foal
Donovans results..

Donovan side.JPGThe vet called today to report that Donovans blood test show that he does not have Cushings, and he does not have Strangles. I was very happy to hear that, but on the same note.. we will be running another blood test for his insulin levels. So, for now we will continue to watch his diet until we get another idea of what he is dealing with. Our next steps will include his vaccinations, teeth, and also taking x rays of his front hooves to see the extent of the damage. A trained eye would see he was slightly ouchy, very little, when we walked him for his exam. The vet explained that he may very well have "flare ups", so of course we will be monitoring him.
I am looking forward to attending a seminar on metabolic diseases in the horse that is being held by my vets office this month.. talk about perfect timing!
I will try to attach a photo of him now.. if it works, this was his photo from the auction that was published on the rescues page that promotes the horses that did not sell. He's just over 11 hands, and flat out adorable. I will surely update his progress and status for anyone interested in following. And thanks to everyone with helpful advice! Much appreciated..
     
    02-12-2013, 05:38 AM
  #10
Trained
Excellent news! Just be aware that tests for IR & also drugs such as vaccines can bring on laminitic attacks. I personally wouldn't test for IR for this reason, just assume he is. Of course vaccines may be ultra important, depending on where you live, so be prepared & take necessary steps to minimise further damage.

If you would like any opinions/advice on his feet, you can post pics in the hoofcare section.
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