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Cowgirls Boots 01-19-2013 06:37 PM

It's me again! More questions about my gelding..
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I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's tolerated me thus far with all these questions regarding my new gelding. It's good to know I have reassurance here! :D

I will be bringing this up with the vet on Thursday when she comes out for his X-rays, but my friend keeps bugging me to have him tested for cushings or maybe is it pre-cushings? She believes he has it because

1. He has a huge winter coat and he sweats if it gets over 45 out. Like today, it was 50 degrees and he was a bit sweaty. Is this normal? It's winter here so normally it isn't this warm but we've been having a few warm days inbetween.

2. He had a pretty big pot belly when I got him due to worms. Apparently a 'pot belly' is another sign for cushings? So far I wormed him and put him on a better diet and its basically gone. Of course I think it's more of a hay belly, now.

3. When I got him he was a bit underweight. He had no muscling/fat around his spine and his tail dock was a bit prominent. I've had him since November and the spine is nearly gone and he's now got a big round butt!

Anyway, she still keeps egging me to get him tested cause l those are 'signs' of a horse with Cushings. I know she's just trying to look out for me but I feel like its very well a coincidence. Any opinions or thoughts to help me out?
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waresbear 01-19-2013 06:46 PM

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I hope your horse doesn't have Cushings but for your & your friend's piece of mind, test him, the vet is out anyways.

stevenson 01-19-2013 06:57 PM

does he shed out nice or is it clumpy wierd shedding. I had a gelding they gave dmso to, and it made his hair greasy, fall out in clumps, his frogs shed off, part of the stuff used to test for cushings, awful..made him sicker. and a friends mare had the same reaction , and her mare never became sound . you can test or just start on the pergolide , because those symptoms to match Cushings. ask your Vet. If the pergolide helps, then stay on it.

2SCHorses 01-19-2013 07:04 PM

Well, as for Cushings, you should have him tested if you are concerned, but nothing gives me the immediate red light for Cushings right away. If he developed a winter coat for winter, and then it was suddenly warm and you work him, he's going to sweat. It would be like you putting on your winter coat and going jogging in warmer weather ... you will sweat from the heat, and he was doing so. Nothing tremendously odd about that. As for the belly, I would have the vet do a fecal and make sure all the worms are gone. If not, he will give you the appropriate wormer in the right dose to give him. As for getting fat quickly, what are you feeding? Are you overfeeding? website is very helpful, but if you don't want to spend the money, if he is now up to scale, you should cut down his feed. He doesn't need how much food that got him fat, but now he needs to maintain, so less food than what he was on. But if the vet is there, you can test him. But I wouldn't worry until you actually have something to worry about.

Cowgirls Boots 01-19-2013 07:13 PM

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He sweats just sitting in the pasture when he's sun bathing. I haven't had him long so I'm not sure about the shedding. I'm honestly not concerned but may hve him tested just for the sake of it. Just wanted opinions on it and his so called 'symptoms'
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spirit88 01-19-2013 07:46 PM

how old is your gelding? cushing horses dont shed out their winter hair or are very slow too.The one to ask about this is Walkinthewalk she seems to know alot about this kinda of stuff. Send Walkinthewalk a PM iam sure shed be glad to help you with this.

Cowgirls Boots 01-19-2013 07:53 PM

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I doubt he has it but my friend keeps buzzin in my ear, ya know. And he's only about 12 or 13. I will PM her though, thxx
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Wanstrom Horses 01-19-2013 08:02 PM

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We had an 18 year old gelding awhile back. His hair was long and very very curly. He wouldnt shed at all and we had to full body clip him every single year. We also had a really hard time trying to keep him from foundering on anything he ate. And he drank A LOT. If your horse's coat doesnt look like the horse below, I honestly wouldn't be very concerned unless he didnt shed out in the spring.

poppy1356 01-19-2013 08:03 PM

It is a possibility. Since he also has had laminitis issues with his hooves it is a very real posibility that he has cushings. Walkin is a really good source for this info. I would test. Cushings and laminitis kind of go hand in hand.

walkinthewalk 01-19-2013 09:07 PM

Thanks Spirit and Poppy for your kind words:-)

Cowgirls Boots, you could have your horse tested for Cushings and he could come up negative, even though he might just be on the hairy edge of developing the disease.

If you do test him, I would wait until whenever your Spring is and he is starting to shed.

If you don't remember anything else on this thread: Do NOT let the vet do a Dex test on him (Dexamethasone). That can possibly send a horse into founder. The Dex Suppression test involves suppression of cortisol in the horse.

There's a blood test called the ACTH test that is nearly as accurate that the majority of vets prefer.

If you do have the ACTH test done (to check cortisol level) please also have the vet draw blood to check insulin level. If there's going to be a shocker, my money would be on the insulin results over the ACTH results.

The picture "Wanstrom Horses" posted is a classic Cushings coat BUT not all horses develop that coat early on; my friend's horse took a couple years before he finally ended up with that Yak-looking coat. He was a sorrel and initially had tufts of hair that would sort of "stand up" and were off color in a orange kind of way. He looked like someone splatter him with a paint brush and those tufts of hair were always the last thing to shed off him. She finally ended up having to clip him three times during the warm seasons.

As far as your horse sweating on a 50 degree day; that could be normal for his thermostat. My three with heavy coats won't sweat at 50 unless they get to playing in the pasture but 60 degrees will make them on the tacky side, just grazing.

There is also the metabolic disease called "Equine Metabolic Syndrome", a/k/a "peripheral cushings". I don't know why it's pseudo name is Peripheral Cushings because the Pituitary gland allegedly is not involved, like it is with true cushings.

I have a horse with EMS and also a horse with true insulin resistance.

I can't remember but I may have said on your other thread that the laminitis issue might be raising a red flag on some sort of metabolic issues.

It wouldn't hurt to take this horse completely off grain and just feed him a vit/min supplement if his hay is of poor quality. If he's got good hay, I might consider just feeding him 8 ounces, twice daily, of straight timothy pellets in
his feed pan so he thinks he's getting something:-P

I have to do that with my IR horse. The horse with EMS went from an air fern to a hard keeper, plus he's 25, so he gets rice bran and well-soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes, along with a liquid vitamin.

There are some very credible websites regarding metabolic diseases; Dr. Kellon's is right at the top.

It is well written and very informative. It may help you determine just where your horse might be in the metabolic scheme of things.

Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Information

When shedding season starts, you will have to watch his shedding pattern. The thing I noticed with my EMS horse was that he was not going to let go of his leg hair OR his personal hair. I have to shave all that off but not as much once I started him on Chastetree. Chastretree works miracles on the EMS horse but doesn't do a thing for the IR horse.

The horse with insulin resistance isn't like that. He never grows a winter coat - so much so that he has to wear a blanket if it's 40 degrees, the air is cold and the wind is blowing more than 15 MPH:shock::shock: He is 17 and his previous owner told me he's been that way all his life. The IR only exploded on him in 2010, so I can't blame that for the lack of his coat.

I wanted to compare both my metabolic horses so you could see that not every horse reacts the same to these diseases. My two don't even eat the same - all they have in common is they eat as little starch as I can possibly feed them. Mr. IR wears a grazing muzzle 9 months out of 12 and severely foundered last March. Mr. EMS only needs one during the spring and has never had even the slightest laminitis issue:shock:

I hope this helps some:-)

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