possible Cushings - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-16-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Phoenix Arizona
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possible Cushings

so our apache mustang is 28 years old. ever since she was a 2 year old she has grown a pony like winter coat and been fuzzy. she SHEDS like CRZY in the spring but the last couple years she would shed her winter coat but her summer coat was like rockes (our 34 year old who grows a sad short winter coat) winter coat. this year i had her shaved in march. right now her coat is about 1 1/2 inch long. looks like she grew her winter coat back IN THE MIDDLE OF AZ SUMMER!


i read about lameness issues and mood issues as well as weight issues that cushings horses get. she has none of these issues at all. she is no more of a hard keeper than she has been for the past 15 years. no lameness (the only horse we have who has not taken a lame step in years). not acting anymore moody than normal. her hooves and everything look fantastic. she is just a fuzzy monstrocity. i have not gotten the vet out about it since my other 3 like to hog my vet fund and she is not acting like it bothers her.

if she still sheds is it cushings? she has no other symptoms. is it even worth the vet comeing out or putting her on meds since she just needs shaved 2-3 times a year?

note her lower wight in the pics was a barn feeding issue. now that they are moved she looks alot better weight wise. not ALOT of muscle because she is not in work and she is 28.

this was the day she was shaved in march. i was pre washing and drying her to make clipping easier. she is this fuzzy right now. she is dropping huge chunks of hair still but its never ending hair.

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KigerQueen is offline  
post #2 of 3 Old 07-16-2019, 10:12 PM
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People tend to confuse Cushing's and Insulin resistance, because Cushing's horses so often have insulin resistance. The hoof issues you are discussing are from insulin resistance, but many horses with Cushing's do not have insulin resistance so don't have hoof issues. My Cushing's mare does not have hoof issues or insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance causes the abnormal fat deposits and laminitis.

Cushing's alone has different symptoms. They include the long and/or abnormally shedding hair coat, muscle loss along the topline, pot belly appearance, sweating abnormalities (either too much or too little), drinking a lot, urinating a lot, lack of energy. The biggest issue, however is a tendency to get infections easily. Those might include thrush, abscesses, pneumonia, or any wound infection.

Most likely your horse has Cushing's. Probably that is why she is lacking muscle along the topline rather than due to lack of exercise. My mare had some muscle loss along the topline in her mid-20s and gained it back without exercising after starting on the medication for Cushing's.

Most likely your horse's Cushing's is progressing so slowly that at her age you wouldn't necessarily need to put her on medication. If you're fine with clipping her, that's probably your biggest issue it sounds like. However, just understand that her cortisol levels are high and depressing her immune system, so any infection could easily get out of hand and be the end of her. But at 28 I feel that is a given for horses anyway, even without Cushing's.

I really like how my horse does on the Prascend, she sheds out, is able to sweat normally, has a great topline, and lots of energy for 28. However, to give 1 mg. (1 pill) a day costs about $60 a month.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-17-2019, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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She swets fine and is not lacking too much energy. Good to know though! Ill keep an eye on sweating and infection thing though. She lost her top line at about 26/27 so I did not think of it much. The shedding issues have been getting worst over 10 years. This is the second year she has been shaved. This growing her coat that fast was when I realized it was definantly not a pony thing.
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