walkingthewalk, that is the pony in my avatar. She is about to put it to my big brute of a QH in the picture. She went into very deep mourning when he died suddenly,hence the arrival of my emaciated walker and her app pony companion. She quit eating and would just stand in the middle of the field waiting for King to return. She got a little better when the other 2 arrived, would eat again but not with gusto like usual. She would then take up her post in the middle of the field watching and waiting. Very sad to watch her like that.
Today she seemed to snap out of it and was putting the two new ones through their paces just because she could. She had made it clear she was in charge earlier but hadn't really awed them. Today she did. I was worried she would never be the same.
I think I was 17 or 18 when they started requiring Coggins to get on show grounds but I only remember having to have it laying on the dash. Can't say I remember anybody actually asking for it. My dad's bluetick hounds never went to the vet. It's likely he brought the shot home from a vet at the government center he worked at and did it himself though.
I've been reading a lot about IR issues. The pony has always been fat. Never gave her much in the way of grain. For the past 10 years it's been a handful of complete feed with grass pellets. I've worried about her getting enough vitamins and minerals out of this but couldn't feed her more without her getting really fat. This past year she is gaining on even this. But now I'm thinking she is always feeling hungry because she is needing more nutrition and eating more grass and hay than she really needs. I don't think it's Cushings. She doesn't have that moth eaten look about her. She is a curly anyway but her coat is soft and sleek. She still is pretty athletic for an old girl just fat on nothing. Sometimes she seems a little stiff but some days so am I. At her age any change in her food is going to need to be done slowly. And I'm afraid my severe winters are going to be problematic as well. Soaked hay would be an iceberg before I made it to the pasture. Can't even say what made me start wondering if something has changed about her, just odd little things coupled with more weight gain for no real reason that made me start wondering.
What a relief she is coming out of her grief; that is heart wrenching enough to read. My two 20-somethings have been BFF's for over 18 years. I have said if the Arab goes first, it might be the end for my TWH eventhough the TWH is the alpha dominant horse in the herd.
When I put my Rottweiler to sleep with throat cancer two years ago, my Lab/Sharpei quit eating, refused to go outside alone to do his business. I had no idea the Rott was such a huge enabler for the Lab/Sharpei. I had to hand feed Luke, put leash on him and walk him around. It took him 2 - 3 weeks before he became self-sufficient again, but it was months before he got back to being his normal self.
Even though it's late in the year, I might still consider drawing blood and doing an ACTH test to check for cushings. They could also draw a vile to check her insulin level.
Everything would probably be high because horses naturally store fat this time of year but there's an acceptable high and an "OMG" high that might indicate either insulin or pituitary issues or both.
Many times a cushings horse doesn't have that splotchy look or Yak-like hair until they are well on their way into the disease.
If you are feeding her bagged feed and feeding the recommended amount so she gets her vitamins and minerals, that might be the reason for the weight gain. She may not need that much anymore.
Ration balancers provide vitamins & minerals, or maybe just a plain old bag of vit/min without any grain in it.
You have gotten the Sweetie-Face to age 37 so I am no one to say anything but just wanted to put some other "foods for thought" on the table to consider.
What a sturdy and hardy Little Booger she is -- whatever the gene pool THAT is a pool that should have been bandied around the entire planet