cushings · senior horse

Fall 2017 Cushings Update

I haven’t done one of these in a while (in fact, almost exactly two years) because it’s been going overall pretty darn well, but I wanted to sit down and make these notes if only for my own reference later on.

Tristan was diagnosed with Cushings or PPID in the fall of 2014. He was started on 1g of Pergolide a day, and has continued on that since.

We have not tested his ACTH levels since 2015, in part because the vet does a regular visual assessment of him every few months. I ask her each time, and each time she says that absent any resurgent symptoms, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on new testing. So, I’ve held off.

He’s holding on the same levels of food he was in 2015: 1/4 quart of Blue Seal’s Carb Guard, and a daily vitamin/mineral ration balancer supplement. I took him off the SmartPak supplements and put him on Blue Seal’s Min-a-Vite, because the barn offered it as part of grain, and he handled the transition just fine and is doing just as well.

blurry-headed but in good condition

With the colder weather, he got a teensy bit ribby, but the barn adjusted his hay upward and he’s looking terrific. So now he gets free choice hay in turnout, and 5 flakes a day in his stall, spread over three meals. He’s still eating out of his Nibble Net to slow him down.

He’s grown a thicker winter coat this year, but I’m not sure I’d attribute that to Cushings; I think it’s going to be a bad winter. He hasn’t had any trouble shedding his coat out yet, so this spring will be the real test.

He is running a bit colder overall. I invested in some new blankets this year, a turnout sheet and a stable blanket with medium fill, to give him more options as we get colder and darker. I am holding in reserve the possibility of buying another new blanket as needed; potentially a heavyweight. We’ll see.

pretty good muscling, too!

Energy levels are pretty darn good, and his fitness is holding better than it has in some time. He’s in higher-level work than he’s ever been (which, I grant you, is not much) and he’s adapting and bearing up nicely. He’s overall cheerful and happy, too, which is the best part of everything.

So, three years of Cushings, and a healthy, happy horse.

2 thoughts on “Fall 2017 Cushings Update

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