EMS/CUSHINGS MARE - I need some positivity

amandal

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Feb 12, 2004
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My elder mare, 21, was diagnosed with Cushings last year, first blood test came back around 260 when the seasonal norm should have been 50. She was retested recently and her result was in the 50's, vet said the seasonal norm is 30. He's told me short term to increase to 1.5 tablets.

Since trying this she's stopped eating her feed. I'm now feeding 1 tablet which she may take in her feed, but more often doesn't and so then has to have it with a treat to eat it.

She's barefoot, most of her hoof cracked off about 8 weeks ago on both near fore and off hind, she was trimmed about 3 weeks after she lost the wall and a week after the trim was level and sound in the field although lame in our school with me on and while being lunged. I kept away from riding her as didn't want to hurt her feet at all. In between trims she lost some wall on her near hind and relost wall on her near fore. Her wall is growing back well but her feet have always been really difficult to keep whole over spring/summer. Damn grass. She's in the most bare field on the yard (bonus of being there the longest) and has adlib hay. I've also planted some meadow grass seed and herbs in the field so that when they're established she can self select / have more grass as it's horse friendly.

She's been trimmed again (last week),I've walked her out in hand for a week, extending time gradually, and have worked in hand in the school with varying levels of lameness. However she was fine to leap over the fence last week to get into the long sectioned off bit of the grass and canter round in front of me for 40 mins !!

Can I have a kick up the proverbial to keep me going please ? I just want to hack her around the place in her dotage (or my dotage whichever comes first !). It's so difficult, her coat is fine but her feet are such a problem I can't see a way forward.
 

Trewsers

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Sending you tons of positivity. Our Chloe is 26 and has Cushings but is not ridden and touch wood the Prascend seems to do it's job and keep her healthy.
I presume you've a good farrier and can get recommendations for her feet?
Really hope you can hack her again.
 

Jessey

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Jess has cushings, when she was diagnosed 2 years ago she looked awful and was a neurotic b**h from hell to put it mildly, she doesn't show typical symptoms but trying to kill every living thing near her is one of her symptoms!!! :eek:

I had Jess on the prasend for about a year and she has now been off it for a year and I manage her predominantly through more exercise and I changed her management initially too. My farrier made me really chuffed the other night, he said her feet could be used as a perfect barefoot model now :D I promise you they weren't always good, in fact she was LGL when diagnosed and we spent 18 months really getting her feet to come right. He also commented last time he was out that he hasn't got another horse on his books that is in better shape than she is and my vet agreed :D I'm happy to chat about what I have found helps her cope if you are interested.

We did a 40 mile ride last weekend and we are planning to ride 300 miles in September, it is possible to bring most cases back to full work and living full and happy lives, so boot up the whatsit delivered ;)
 

Jessey

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At her low
2e59d0d903ee3ef4030ab1170c8b7c68.jpg

Now
aba5b0ab0c6e9ec12a1bc12ff0a12e0c.jpg
 

Jessey

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I booted to do the 40 miles this weekend but other than that I havent booted really this year. She just gets fed a balancer and magnesium oxide, though im phasing that out now shes on a low iron balancer. The key was more exercise, grass but restricted intake and more regular trims.
 
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joellie

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Wow @Jessey what a transformation in those pictures. Have you had her levels checked since taking her off the prascend? although the picture really speaks for itself, what ever you are doing must be right:D My wee pony has cushings and he is on 2 tablets a day but he is looking well at the moment, he has shed all his winter coat at long last and his summer coat looks lovely, he still looks a bit ribby but he is coming 32 years old so as long as he is happy i'm happy.
@amandal when i first started my pony on the tablets he went off his feed too, but they do soon come around again as long as i was getting the tablets in him and he was eating his hay i didn't worry too much, his test score was well over 500 then after being on 1 tablet he went down to the 300's now he is on 2 tablets and i haven't got him tested again or increased the tablets as he is looking well. If I was you I would put hoof boots on your mare until she is a bit more comfortable.
august14 011 (800x600).jpg
This is him almost a year ago if you notice I had to boot him up most of the time as his feet were so sensitive.
And below is pictures taken last week and no longer having to use boots for turnout.
IMG-20150620-00476.jpg
IMG-20150620-00474.jpg
 
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Jessey

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Wow @Jessey what a transformation in those pictures. Have you had her levels checked since taking her off the prascend? although the picture really speaks for itself,
I gave up after about the 3rd tests which were while she was on the prasend, I've been going off how she feels and looks and my vet agrees unless I'm concerned it's probably not of huge benefit to test, though I will probably do it every 2-3 years now just to keep an eye on things.
 
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amandal

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I feed thunderbrook feeds, and normally she licks the bowl clean. The last 2 weeks she hasn't been eating it at all. Trimmer comes every 4 weeks in summer to try and keep on top of it all. I think I'm worrying excessively as last night got her in, tacked her up, got on in the school. She didn't like walking over the gravel to the school but it's only 4 steps from the barn so I made her do it. I'm not sure if the planting is not wanting to go in the school or her feet tbh. We wondered round the school and she felt sound, and could do lateral work in walk easily which she hasn't been able to do until now.

Last night we went to leave the school to try a walk up the lane and back and see how she is on tarmac and gravel with me on board, I wasn't really holding onto the reins as we left the school, she took a right turn and marched up to her stable where she stopped - I think she was hinting heavily she'd had enough and needed more eating time.

Riding her last night she has put on a lot of weight in a month, in a bare field, so it's the riding I need to do so I think boots will be the way forward to ensure we can ride.
 

Jessey

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If my size 2 cavallo simple boots will fit you're welcome to borrow them to try out :D when jess's feet weren't great they were a God send
 

amandal

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Thanks for the offer Jessey but they won't fit ! I have been leant a pair of size 8 G2's and they only fit because she's sheared so much of her hoof off in the last few months. I did manage to get them on last night and we went for a walk in hand to check she was ok in them, she is, I'm v happy !

I'm also off to rob a bank as getting 2 mahoosive boots for her would appear to cost a small fortune.
 
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Jessey

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Oo how big is she, one of the boot companies was advertising some free boots to trial on a barefoot/boots facebook page, but they were mahoosive for shire/percheron size feet... if she's got huge plates I'll have a look and see if I can find the info for you?
 

amandal

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It's difficult measuring her as she's lost most of her hoof now on both front feet, sheared off into the white line on one of them so currently she only has about 3/4 of her actual hoof. Despite this she's still galloping round the field when the mood takes her. I'm going to take some pieces of paper down tonight and draw round her current shape. Size 8 G2's are too small when she has her whole foot.
 
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horseandgoatmom

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WOW JESSEY what a transformation!

Amandal we kept max going for quite a few years with cushings. He was on pergolide.

We were very careful with his diet etc but he ended up getting a bad case of founder - and there was going to be no good end from that.
They wanted to do a hoof resection and cut 2/3 off his hoof away and he would be stall bound for a year or more- this is a horse that
had never been locked in a stall in his live he always had in and out - and you want me to lock him in for a year or more.
We had to make the honest choice for him- he would never have survived that and been miserable and gone way down hill
fast.
It was a hard choice to make to put him down but to try to keep him going cause I could not let go
would have been unfair and cruel to him.
Even with the cushings we had a lot of good years,
 
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amandal

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I was away at the weekend overnight on Saturday, left them both (after working them Saturday morning) in a bare field with hay and a friend checking on them. Came back on Sunday to find Ziz with thumping digital pulses and totally lame, she'd also managed to shear off more of her off fore. I went into minor panic. Left her out as although lame she was walking around the field, she has to walk over hardcore to come in which would have been too painful and I thought out on a bare field with hay would help as she was keeping moving. Got down early Monday morning and pulses had almost gone, massive relief !! Monday night, brought her in and lunged her in the school, she wasn't footy going over the hardcore to get to the barn and popped up into canter in the school without being asked. Now can't wait for the trimmer to arrive on Friday, her feet are the worst they've ever been but the borrowed boots still fit her self harmed feet so am going for an amble somewhere after work tonight booted up.

I made the decision when she was diagnosed last year to go for quality of life over quantity, she is out more than in and the field is bare with adlib hay, I did try a track but she kept jumping into the grass in the middle. Next spring I'll try again with 4ft posts. Currently she's out with hay during the day and with the fence moved a tiny bit overnight so they can both get a bit of grass, I've reseeded part of the field with better seeds - chicory, burnett, sheeps yarrow and parsley and they're growing - saw chicory flowers yesterday. I've also started to plant herbs in the field. I'm on livery and the field is rye grass and clover so "normal" grazing is impossible for her.

She's 21 now and there is no way I'd butcher her feet / keep her in 24/7 etc, she gets stressed and it's not her. Just so worried it will happen this year, selfishly I've already lost an uncle and my mother this year and Ziz going will be the end to any hope of sanity I fear.
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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I was away at the weekend overnight on Saturday, left them both (after working them Saturday morning) in a bare field with hay and a friend checking on them. Came back on Sunday to find Ziz with thumping digital pulses and totally lame, she'd also managed to shear off more of her off fore. I went into minor panic. Left her out as although lame she was walking around the field, she has to walk over hardcore to come in which would have been too painful and I thought out on a bare field with hay would help as she was keeping moving. Got down early Monday morning and pulses had almost gone, massive relief !! Monday night, brought her in and lunged her in the school, she wasn't footy going over the hardcore to get to the barn and popped up into canter in the school without being asked. Now can't wait for the trimmer to arrive on Friday, her feet are the worst they've ever been but the borrowed boots still fit her self harmed feet so am going for an amble somewhere after work tonight booted up.

I made the decision when she was diagnosed last year to go for quality of life over quantity, she is out more than in and the field is bare with adlib hay, I did try a track but she kept jumping into the grass in the middle. Next spring I'll try again with 4ft posts. Currently she's out with hay during the day and with the fence moved a tiny bit overnight so they can both get a bit of grass, I've reseeded part of the field with better seeds - chicory, burnett, sheeps yarrow and parsley and they're growing - saw chicory flowers yesterday. I've also started to plant herbs in the field. I'm on livery and the field is rye grass and clover so "normal" grazing is impossible for her.

She's 21 now and there is no way I'd butcher her feet / keep her in 24/7 etc, she gets stressed and it's not her. Just so worried it will happen this year, selfishly I've already lost an uncle and my mother this year and Ziz going will be the end to any hope of sanity I fear.

Sending you lots of positive vibes. I do hope things improve. I totally understand the not wanting to keep in 24/7 it just isn't fair at that age - and specially if they don't cope well.
 
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