When To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’S? (Question)

  • Although some of the signs you would see in Cushing’s horses, similar to older horses, can be unavoidable, if a younger horse is sick, it is time to consider euthanasia. Because you’re dealing with Cushing’s, this is especially true if the horse isn’t eating, sleeping, getting up when it should, and doesn’t have the same spirit as before.

When is it time to put a horse down with Cushings?

If your horse is showing a lot of clinical signs of Cushing’s disease, your vet may even recommend initiating treatment before the ACTH or LDD tests come back positive. Because pergolide can have side effects, including a loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, and colic, it’s best to treat with the lowest dose possible.

Do horses with Cushings suffer?

In a horse suffering from Cushing’s disease, there either is not enough dopamine present or the body is not adequately recognizing it. This has an effect on the adrenal glands and the kidneys, and the horse becomes prone to having infections. In severe cases, Cushing’s disease can cause neurologic disease.

Will Cushings kill a horse?

” Cushings disease is dangerous and if not picked up in early stages can be fatal, not from the disease itself but from conditions such as laminitis or colic,” says Australian dressage rider Brett Parbery who had to euthanize his most successful Grand Prix horse to date, Victory Salute, due to PPID.

When is it time to euthanize a horse with laminitis?

Grade 3 laminitis can occur suddenly (complete separation can happen as fast as 48 hours after the process begins), or very gradually over time. In either case, the pain is constant and excruciating. Grade 3 laminitis turns deadly when euthanasia becomes the horse’s only means for relief.

What happens if Cushing’s is left untreated in horses?

If a horse has untreated Cushing’s Disease, it is more likely to develop laminitis and the laminitis will be more difficult to control. If an equine has any of the clinical signs suggestive of Cushing’s, a blood sample can be taken to check ACTH levels in the blood.

How long does it take for Prascend to work?

How long until I see an improvement with my horse after beginning treatment with PRASCEND? Depending on the specific clinical sign, improvement may be observed beginning within 30 days and continue through 6 months of initial treatment.

Can you take a horse off Prascend?

Currently the USEF rule states that horses must be pulled off of Prascend 24 hours prior to competition. This does not benefit the horse as he or she can experience increased ACTH levels and thus increased levels of the body’s own steroid production during that time.

What does a horse with Cushings look like?

Clinical signs include increased coat length and delayed shedding of the winter coat, laminitis, lethargy, increased sweating, weight loss and excessive drinking and urinating.

How much does it cost to treat a horse with Cushings?

Pergolide is typically most effective. Treatment for a full-sized horse usually costs between $80-$100 per month. Cyproheptadine is less effective, but is also less expensive, at about $35 per month.

How long do horses with Cushings live?

Vets encourage owners of Cushing’s horses to decrease the amount of carbohydrates they feed (e.g., grains or other concentrates), maintain the horse at a healthy body condition score, and ensure his diet is properly balanced. Well-managed horses should live about five to seven years or more past diagnosis.

What grain should I feed my horse with Cushings?

Increased energy requirements can be met by feeding alfalfa (lucerne) hay or chaff, super-fibers such as beet pulp and soy hulls, or a low- to moderate-NSC feed. Feeds that are higher in fat (greater than 6%) are preferred as they are less reliant on carbohydrates for energy.

Does a horse with Cushings need medication?

Improvement of clinical signs will most often improve the quality and length of life for your horse. Some of the medications used to treat horses with Cushing’s include pergolide, bromocriptine and cyproheptadine. Studies have shown that pergolide is the most effective drug to control Cushing’s disease in horses.

What to feed horses with Cushings?

Feeds low in soluble carbohydrates (sugar and starch or NSC) are recommended. Feeding recommendations are to provide a total diet with less than 20% NSC for most horses with Cushing’s disease. Some horses and ponies may need a dietary NSC level of less than 10% to avoid excessive complications.

Should you euthanize a horse with laminitis?

Laminitis is not in itself a fatal disease; however, the associated pain and debility can be of such severity and duration that euthanasia ultimately is in the best interest of the patient.

How does Cushing’s affect horses feet?

All of that cortisol and circulating blood sugar also has a deleterious effect on the lamina in the feet, which predisposes the horse to laminitis. The cortisol causes abnormal fat deposition and escess hair growth all over the body.

The Challenging Question: When To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’s?

When Is It Time To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’s Disease? It is a difficult topic to answer for a horse owner who is passionate about his or her animal. Because horses are increasingly surviving for longer periods of time than ever before, this is a very common and difficult problem. Horses used to not live for very long periods of time owing to the high level of exposure they had to a variety of events during their lives, one of which being the numerous colic episodes they experienced throughout their lives.

What is the Equine Cushing’s or PPID?

Cushing’s disease is the most prevalent endocrinopathy identified in senior horses (often those older than 10 years), but it is also seen in younger horses extremely seldom (3 years old). A research conducted in the United States of America (USA) utilizing the Veterinary Medical Data Base (VMDB) discovered that PPID was documented in 217 horses between 1992 and 2004. Another study conducted utilizing questionnaires around the world discovered a 1% incidence among horses over the age of ten (18 years).

Cushing or PPID Affects Horse Quality Life

Hirsutism and laminitis are the most prevalent signs and symptoms experienced by PPID horses. Hirsutism is mostly a cosmetic issue that affects general look; nevertheless, laminitis is a major secondary result that can be life threatening. Horses may possibly suffer from muscular atrophy and weight loss as well. Polydipsia and polyuria, two of the most prevalent endocrine-related symptoms, are less commonly observed.

Is it Diagnosis and Treatment Effective-Feasible?

The majority of the time, clinical indications are used to make the diagnosis, with hirsutism in older horses being the most unmistakable (84 percent cases). Laboratory procedures such as the DST (Dexamethasone Suppression Test) and cortisol measures are used to make a conclusive diagnosis, with cortisol measurements being the gold standard.

  • Horses have an average survival rate of 4.6 years after being diagnosed with the disease
  • The medicine Prascend is the first and only FDA-approved therapy for the disease up to this point (pergolide mesylate). Many alternative solutions have been reported, none of which have been scientifically proven, such as cyproheptadine, trilostane, bromocriptine, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and so on. According to a 2017 poll, veterinarians (44 percent) believe that alternative treatment techniques and management are required.

Find out more about How Long Do Horses Live With Cushing’s Disease by reading this article.

Finally, When To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’s?

Nowadays, as a result of the growth in horse life expectancy as well as the increase in the number of senior horses, it is increasingly typical for veterinarians to have at least one patient with PPID in their current practice. In addition, senior horses are more conscious of any indications of hirsutism or laminitis than they were in their younger years. Cushing’s illness is a chronic condition that can have a variety of clinical effects in horses, including an increase in the pro-inflammatory stage.

Since the average survival rate after PPIS diagnosis is 4-5 years, veterinarians and owners must consider the effectiveness of available treatment as well as the affordability of veterinarian costs.

Lastly, you should always examine the balance between treatment options and the possibility of euthanasia as a last resort in the result of horse life quality, in order to provide the most humane approach while also preventing horses from suffering.


A big pituitary gland, which is responsible for the regulation of hormones in the horse’s body, is causing Cushing’s disease in those horses that have it. Horses suffering with Cushing’s disease either do not have enough dopamine in their bodies or their bodies are not able to recognize it adequately in their bodies. Adrenal glands and kidney function might be adversely affected, leaving the horse more vulnerable to infection as a result of this. Cushing’s illness has also been demonstrated to be a cause of neurologic disease, according to research.

Is euthanasia painful for horses?

Having a horse put down, also known as euthanasia, is something that practically every horse owner, groom, caregiver, barn management, and trainer must deal with at some time in their careers. In order to ensure that your horse is not conscious of any discomfort or anguish when life leaves its body, veterinarians prefer to euthanize horses with a fatal injection. One of the veterinarian’s primary concerns is making sure the procedure is as straightforward and quick as possible. A veterinarian does not want this to be a lengthy or drawn-out process, nor does he or she want the horse to experience any worry or suffering as a result of the procedure.

What happens to horses after they are euthanized?

The disposal of a deceased horse may be both costly and time-consuming due to the logistical challenges involved. The following methods of horse carcass disposal are available: cremation/incineration, burial, landfill burial, rendering, bio digestion, and composting, among others. Because not all of these solutions are accessible in every location, it is critical to conduct some preliminary research to determine what your options are and how much they will cost in your particular situation. Depending on whether the horse was terminated by fatal injection or whether it was suffering from an illness, the corpse may be eligible for animal food in some areas.

Whether you wish to bury your horse on your land, you must first check with the local authorities to determine if this is something that is permitted in your region.

Why can’t you bury a horse?

In most places, burning a horse on your own property is strictly regulated by legislation, and in certain states, it is even prohibited by statute. With regard to burial on private land, the most serious problem is the likelihood of groundwater contamination, as well as the stench. Many factors must be taken into consideration when deciding where to bury your horse on your land if you have the option to do so on your property. It is necessary that the burial location is at least 100 yards away from wells, streams, and other water sources in order for it to be acceptable in the specified jurisdictions.

There are several states that prohibit the burial of horses after they have been chemically killed because of the likelihood of additional pollutants from the injection.

Many people believe that employing a backhoe is the best option for this activity.

Some jurisdictions require a permission in order to lawfully bury a horse on private property, so be sure to verify the regulations in your county before you start digging. Find out more about What Do Vets Use To Euthanize Horses in this article.

The Challenging Question: When To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’s? – Source of Horse

  • So, how do you define Equine Cushing’s or PPID? Does Cushing’s disease or PPID have an impact on the quality of a horse’s life? Is it possible to diagnose and treat the condition effectively and safely? Finally, when should a horse with Cushing’s disease be euthanized?

What is the Equine Cushing’s or PPID?

The phrase “horse” refers to a horse. It is also referred to as hypothalamic or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in some circles (PPID). Weight gain, sadness, and a poor feed to work ratio are among the most typical indications of this condition. When generalized obesity is carried too near to the skin, it is sometimes mistaken for Cushing’s disease, which is not the case. Horses with thin extremities and muscular atrophy are common in this breed. The most typical symptom of weight gain is having a stomach that is bigger than one’s shoulders.

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As a result, one of the contributing factors to PPID is the body’s attempt to restore balance to its hormone levels, which causes the body to stop producing cortisol, the natural form of the steroid hormone cortisol, and to produce an excess of the precursor hormone pituitary growth hormone in an attempt to do so.

Cushing or PPID Affects Horse Quality Life

When it comes to clinical symptoms, pathogenesis, and pharmaceutical therapy, Cushing’s syndrome (also known as Cushing’s disease) and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) are quite comparable diseases. For the most part, horses affected by this disease remain sound and functioning, and a quick deterioration in health is unusual. The presence of progressive and hyperkinetic behavior, which can result in hyperactivity and even violence, is a clinical indication. Clinical signs and symptoms might be diffuse, resulting in a broad change in mood, motility, and demeanor as a result of the illness.

It is possible that this will cause the horse to exhibit strange behaviors such as stumbling, lurching, and appearing to be off balance.

Is it Diagnosis and Treatment Effective-Feasible?

Given the pituitary gland’s hormone-producing role, the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal axis hormone profiles can become disordered, which can interfere with the horse’s ability to express its endocrine function normally. In certain situations, it can affect the horse’s performance in scheduled activities and, in other cases, it can have an impact on the findings of diagnostic tests. This is regarded as a difficult issue, and as a result, it is not feasible to avoid answering it entirely.

If the horse is otherwise in good health and symptom-free, and the owner is committed to keeping the horse for a long period of time, then managing the disease is a fair course of action to take.

These can include the following:

  • Mineralocorticoids have negative effects on bone and muscle, as well as anemia. Growth hormone’s negative effects on muscle, bone, and the liver are documented. Excessive hunger, weight gain, and excessive thirst are all symptoms of this condition. Changes in behavior, including flipping and biting

Finally, When To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’s?

When a younger horse becomes ill, it may be necessary to contemplate euthanasia. Although some of the indicators you might see in Cushing’s horses, which are similar to those seen in older horses, may be unavoidable, it is important to evaluate the best course of action. Because you’re dealing with Cushing’s disease, this is especially important if the horse isn’t eating, sleeping, or getting up when it should, and doesn’t seem to be in the same frame of mind as previously. euthanasia is the most humanitarian course of action under given conditions Cushing’s disease in horses is notoriously difficult to diagnose, and in many cases, the condition is only diagnosed when the horse is nearing the end of his or her natural life span.

If you are considering euthanasia for your pet, speak with your veterinarian about the options available to you as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure.

It is not an easy chore to put down a horse in this condition.

For those who are interested in euthanizing their horses, it is best to schedule a time when they will be put down and make arrangements for the horse’s last moments. Consult with your veterinarian to find out what is permitted in your state.

Saying Goodbye: a discussion about euthanasia — Burwash Equine Services

Euthanasia is a phrase that originates in the Greek language and, when translated into English, means “pleasant passing away.” A barbituate medication is the most commonly used technique of euthanasia, however there are alternative procedures that can result in a “happy death,” such as a fatal injection. Many factors influence an owner’s choice to put their horse down, and the decision to euthanize a horse is typically a difficult and highly emotional one for the individual making it. One of the most prevalent grounds for premeditated euthanasia is advanced age, followed by a reduction in quality of life.

Whether it is due to a chronic disease (such as arthritis or Cushing’s disease) that has become too difficult or expensive to manage, or the horse is doing poorly and the owner is concerned about how it will do over another winter, the owner often has the best judgment when it comes to their horse’s health.

  • A veterinarian may also have other management suggestions that may help your horse to be more comfortable for a longer period of time.
  • Laminitis is an excellent example of a condition that, when the pain and agony become unbearable, usually leads to euthanasia as a last resort.
  • While in certain circumstances euthanasia is the only choice available owing to the severity of the condition, in other cases the owner must choose between pursuing treatment or opting for compassionate euthanasia to end the animal’s suffering.
  • As a horse owner, preparing ahead of time for an emergency can prevent you from agonizing over which course of action to take when an emergency occurs.
  • Formulating a budget for how much money you can afford to spend treating an emergency (and then putting money aside in an emergency fund or getting insurance) are two important considerations.
  • Take into consideration what you would treat differently in each horse if you had more than one (for example, colic surgery may be an option for a younger horse, but not for an older retiree).
  • When it comes to euthanizing an animal, each veterinarian has their own procedure that they adhere to.

After the horse has been sedated, the euthanasia solution is delivered to it.

They are completely ignorant of what is going on and do not experience any emotional or physical discomfort as a result of their unconsciousness.

We frequently advise owners to remain silent while the euthanasia solution is delivered, until the horse is lying down on the ground on its back.

The time it takes for this to occur varies, but it is usually only a few minutes once the horse has been knocked out.

Because the horse is either asleep or has already gone away, it is completely oblivious of these events.

The veterinarian will next listen to the horse’s heart to determine that it has stopped beating and will frequently touch the horse’s eye to ensure that there is no blink reflex, indicating that the horse has died away completely.

The use of these methods is appropriate in specific circumstances or when executed by a well trained individual, and they can result in a death that is equally peaceful as the administration of a barbituate substance.

This is something that you, as the owner, must decide.

A systemic sickness or ailment that affects the horse’s circulation will make this situation much more difficult for him to handle.

Attending your horse’s euthanasia is entirely voluntary, and it is frequently something that is mentioned at the time of the procedure.

Many horse owners have heard horror stories about euthanasia procedures that have gone horribly wrong.

Some veterinarians have reported difficulty locating the jugular vein in their patients, making it more difficult to deliver the medications.

Veterinary euthanasia is made more difficult by these considerations; as a result, the process may not be completed as smoothly as one would have hoped.

As luck would have it, in these circumstances the horse is already asleep and oblivious of what is taking place; but, if the horse is put down in a harsh manner the owner, if they have chosen to attend, may find it quite distressing.

An extra anesthetic medicine can be delivered to the horse between the sedative and the euthanasia solution if the horse is lying down and comfortably resting and the owner wishes to say goodbye to their animal in this manner.

As a result of the greater cost and time required, this is not normally a standard element of euthanasia; nonetheless, it is an option if the owner prefers to spend additional time with their horse before the final goodbye.

Once euthanasia has been done, the disposition of the remains becomes a critical aspect to address.

It is necessary to dispose of waste in an appropriate manner.

If the horse’s ashes are returned to the owner, the horse’s owner can choose to do so.

Being aware of local rules and making preparations for disposal ahead of time would make the procedure much simpler in the event of an emergency euthanasia situation.

The cost of euthanasia varies depending on the horse since various horses require varying doses of medications.

Costs will vary from one veterinarian facility to the next, so contact your local veterinary clinic for additional information on their pricing.

Dog and cat owners have varied degrees of emotional attachment to their companion animals.

The mane and tail of many horses are saved in order to have a memento of their horse; there are firms that will take the horse hair and make it into a memorable souvenir such as an ankle bracelet or key chain.

It is common for people to make the decision to end their lives because they are experiencing a decline in quality of life, but it is also all too common for people to do so in an emergency scenario.

Everyone’s circumstance is different, and euthanasia should not be considered lightly. When it comes to euthanasia of a beloved horse, planning ahead with your veterinarian and having a plan in place will be the most helpful to you as the owner in being prepared.

When To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’S?

When Is It Time To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’s Disease? Do horses suffering from Cushing’s disease suffer? Cushing’s illness is characterized by either a lack of dopamine or a lack of sufficient recognition of dopamine by the body in horses suffering from the condition. Because of this, the horse’s adrenal glands and kidneys get overworked, and he becomes more prone to illness and infection. Cushing’s disease is a hormonal imbalance that can lead to neurologic illness in extreme instances.

The following are the three most prevalent circumstances that may need a euthanasia decision: a sudden and serious sickness or injury, a progressive decline in health that causes quality of life to suffer, or temperament problems that lead a horse to become a risk to you or others.

For horses exhibiting signs of Cushing’s Disease but with normal ACTH levels, we recommend either re-testing ACTH levels between Mid-August and Mid-February, or doing a TRH stimulation test to rule out Cushing’s Disease.

When To Euthanize A Horse With Cushing’S – Related Questions

Pasture grass can contain significant quantities of NSC, hence it should be avoided or used only in small amounts when possible. The majority of hays contain NSC levels ranging from 10 percent to 15 percent, and they can be given in conjunction with a suitable Triple Crown feed to keep the dietary NSC content below 20 percent.

Can horses with Cushings eat carrots?

Unfortunately, the majority of commercially produced horse treats, as well as apples and carrots, can contain a lot of sugar. This creates a difficulty for horses suffering from Cushing’s illness, also known as Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome, because the sugar and starch consumption of these horses must be restricted.

What happens if Cushing’s is left untreated in horses?

It is more probable that a horse suffering from untreated Cushing’s Disease will suffer from laminitis, and that the laminitis will be more difficult to control. If a horse exhibits any of the clinical indications associated with Cushing’s disease, a blood sample can be collected to determine the presence of ACTH in the blood.

Do horses with Cushings lose weight?

Symptoms. Symptoms in horses with Cushing’s Disease can include a number of physical characteristics, the most noticeable of which is a hair coat that is unusually long and curly and does not shed in the summer. Among the other symptoms are: weight loss owing to lack of active back muscle, which manifests itself as a swayback and potbelly; and fatigue.

How serious is Cushing’s disease in horses?

Horses suffering from Cushing’s illness may undergo recurring bouts of laminitis (founder) despite the absence of any other recognized predisposing factors in the environment. Breeding mares suffering from Cushing’s illness frequently have reproductive issues, including total inability to cycle, irregular estrous cycles and estrus suppression, as well as impaired reproductive ability.

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What is the most humane way to put down a horse?

A fatal injection is the most often used method of euthanizing horses.

To remove the body, you’ll need to take the horse to a location where it will be easier to remove the body without inflicting unnecessary suffering on it. A sedative will be administered first, followed by a substantial dosage of barbiturates administered by the veterinarian.

Do horses feel pain when euthanized?

However, if you follow your usual routine and offer your horse care and love right up until they are euthanized, the final minutes of his life may be just as comforting for both of you. This also implies, however, that your horse is not conscious of any agony or pain while the life from their body is expelled from their body.

What happens to horses after they are put down?

The horse is sedated (and hence unconscious) to such a degree that its heart stops beating and it dies as a result of the procedure. If it is utilized, the carcass must be disposed of either by burial (see below) or cremating, depending on the circumstances. Human or animal consumption are not permitted with this product.

How do vets test for Cushing’s in horses?

Test for activation of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRHST) This is now the most accurate test available for the diagnosis of PPID, according to current research. When compared to normal horses, horses with PPID have an exaggerated pituitary response to the injection of Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). This is the basis for the testing procedure.

What are the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in horses?

Among the clinical indications are an increase in coat length and a delay in the shedding of the winter coat, as well as laminitis and lethargy as well as increased sweating and weight loss, as well as excessive drinking and urination. Individuals over the age of ten are most commonly affected, with the typical diagnosis occurring when the patient is 19.

How is Cushing’s disease treated in horses?

Pergolide, the only FDA-approved medicine for PPID, can be used in conjunction with dietary modifications to treat the condition. “When used in conjunction with medicine, dietary adjustments, and exercise, nutritional supplements targeted to promote the coat and hoof are quite effective,” Crandell said.

Is alfalfa bad for older horses?

It is common for horses to require an additional dose of calcium or protein in their meals, and alfalfa is a great natural supplier of both minerals. Because of its appealing taste, increased digestibility, and the fact that it is simpler to chew, it is frequently recommended as a helpful supplement to the diet of ill horses or elderly horses, among other reasons.

What month do horses start shedding?

The loosening and shedding of a horse’s winter coat occurs as the number of sunshine hours increases. Although this procedure began in late December, it is not uncommon for the visible, hairy consequences to not be seen until the following month.

Do horses with Cushings sweat?

Cushing’s syndrome is characterized by the failure or delayed shedding of the winter coat, which may grow excessively long, matted, and curly, particularly around the legs and thighs. Excessive perspiration. Drinking and urination have both increased.

Can horses with laminitis eat grass?

High levels of sugar in grasses can cause laminitis in horses that are predisposed to the condition. Horses who are susceptible to parasites should be given minimal grazing or no grazing at all. If you choose to graze, do so between the hours of 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Maintain the horse’s physical condition.

Are bananas good for horses?

Bananas: Yes, horses are capable of consuming bananas. Bananas are a great source of potassium, as are many other fruits.

Some horse owners and riders who compete with their horses have been known to feed their animals bananas (with the peel on) between events to keep their horses healthy. Similar to how bananas might aid a runner or tennis player, horses may benefit from eating bananas as well.

Can Cushings cause breathing problems in horses?

A common consequence of Cushing’s Disease is the development of laminitis in horses. It is more difficult for a horse’s body to fight off illness when its hormones are out of balance. Depending on how far the condition has progressed, the horse may experience respiratory difficulties.

Is Equine Cushings curable?

Although PPID cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed and controlled with medication and other measures.

How can a horse with Cushing’s gain weight?

To encourage weight growth in thin horses with PPID, it is recommended to employ a balance of fats and carbs, along with more fodder, because a high-fat diet may decrease glucose tolerance and a moderate carbohydrate intake enhances insulin response.

What age do horses get Cushing’s?

Equine Cushing’s Disease is an illness that affects elderly horses. It mainly affects horses over the age of 15 years, however it can affect younger animals as well.

Does Cushings cause laminitis?

The relationship between Equine Cushing’s Disease and laminitis is still being unraveled to this day. At this time, it is considered that elevated amounts of circulating cortisol and cortisol-like substances may have a significant role in the development of laminitis, as well as the development of an abnormal metabolic state known as “insulin resistance.”

Euthanize for Cushings?

HorseMommyFiveOReg. Jan 2012 Posted2014-10-201:45 PMSubject:Euthanize for Cushings?
Elite VeteranPosts: 1034 Sorry for the sad post.This is the gelding I rescued over two years ago.(He was my niece’s barrel horse who her dad left tied to a tree for five years and fed bagels and bread to.Super nice little White Lightning Ike horse.You all gave advice on rehabbing and found him on allbreed for me.)Well we got him all fed up, got his teeth done, back on track for vaccinations and worming and healed up the abscesses.He went on lease to a good friend for a year while we found a house with property because I didn’t want to pay board x 2.He’s been my barn babysitter for a year now and I’ve noticed a huge change. He is literally wasting away.I’ve been working with my vet and winwillows on nutrition for him, had his teeth re-done, quit letting the kids ride him so he can rest, and the weight just keeps coming off.I hate watching it.He’s super lethargic, too.Have any of you put down for Cushings?Advice, please!I’ve never had a horse with this.
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Mainer-racerReg. Oct 2004 Posted2014-10-201:52 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Maine-iacPosts: 3330Location: Got Lobsta? My 30 year old horse has Cushings. He was on 2 different meds but it made him sick and he lsot a lot of weight. We now have him on Nutrena Special Care and Smark Pak Pituitary. He has put a lot of the weight back on. The vet was just here to do teeth and was alarmed I took him off the meds. He did say that its common for horses with Cushings to lose weight and sometimes they can’t recover from it. I am so sorry you and your horse are going through this. Sounds like you are seeking out good advice. Good luck
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quikchikReg. Jun 2007 Posted2014-10-201:53 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Extreme VeteranPosts: 548 Have you tried Pergolide or Vitex?We had great luck with those for my Cushings’ horse.She gained back some weight, her coat improved, and she lived many more years.
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DunItReg. Jan 2010 Posted2014-10-201:55 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Elite VeteranPosts: 700Location: Driving, Grooming, or Saddling for a Kid! This is my daugthers old barrel horse at 20 that had Cushings.We had him prescind(sp?)(Walker2.JPG)Attachments -Walker2.JPG(58KB – 78 downloads)
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zipperReg. Jan 2004 Posted2014-10-201:55 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
The Expert ExpertPosts: 3455Location: Western performance horse Hades Needs to be on pergolide ASAP. Prascend is the brand name. You need to know her ACTH levels first and then find out the correct dose. We have a senior citizen that gets to 2 Prascend daily and she’s like a different horse.Edited by zipper 2014-10-201:58 PM
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HorseMommyFiveOReg. Jan 2012 Posted2014-10-202:02 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Elite VeteranPosts: 1034 zipper – 2014-10-201:55 PMNeeds to be on pergolide ASAP. Prascend is the brand name. You need to know her ACTH levels first and then find out the correct dose. We have a senior citizen that gets to 2 Prascend daily and she’s like a different horse. I’ll ask about that.My vet is coming out to do blood work on him soon.Do you mind me asking how much it runs?Do you get it through your vet?
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pepsiReg. Jan 2004 Posted2014-10-203:00 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
VeteranPosts: 167Location: Wisconsin You have to get the pergolide through a vet or you can order it online with a vet’s prescription. I get mine through my local vet. A package of 60 1 mg tablets costs around $123(this includes tax). You will know how much you need to dose after you get your test results back. When our pony was first diagnosed, we gave him 1 mg tablet a day(this was about 2 years ago). We are now giving him 1-1/2 tablets per day. He is doing great but I usually have to up his dose in the fall.
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zipperReg. Jan 2004 Posted2014-10-203:58 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
The Expert ExpertPosts: 3455Location: Western performance horse Hades HorseMommyFiveO – 2014-10-20 1:02 PMzipper – 2014-10-20 1:55 PMNeeds to be on pergolide ASAP. Prascend is the brand name. You need to know her ACTH levels first and then find out the correct dose. We have a senior citizen that gets to 2 Prascend daily and she’s like a different horse.I’ll ask about that. My vet is coming out to do blood work on him soon. Do you mind me asking how much it runs? Do you get it through your vet?I get it at cost because my husband is an equine vet. It’s $140 for 60 tabs, but we pricematch with clients that can find it cheaper online.
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BibliafarmReg. Jul 2008 Posted2014-10-206:31 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Warmblood with WingsPosts: 27844Location: Florida. How Old is horse.
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NateracerReg. Feb 2008 Posted2014-10-206:39 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Miss Laundry MisshapPosts: 5228 We had our old mare with Cushings on Sr feed, and grassy hay.Also had her on a supplement called Remission.Need to cut out the sugary feeds and cut out alfalfa.
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rodeoveteranReg. Jan 2009 Posted2014-10-206:41 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
I Don’t BragPosts: 6960 If you cannot afford the Pergolide or it doesn’t work well, you can try feeding Chaste Tree Berry.It worked quite well on hubby’s gelding who got squirrelly and went off feed on Pergolide.His cortisol levels dropped from over 12 to around 6, so I know it was more than just me thinking it helped.Ask your vet about adding Thyroid to his diet too.Best of luck.
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wyoming barrel racerReg. Apr 2006 Posted2014-10-207:10 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Neat FreakPosts: 11209Location: Wonderful Wyoming Bob at THE has a special formula for Cushings and it is very cost efficient. It also contains Chasteberry”Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction, better known as Cushing ’s disease, is a painful, debilitating and potentially fatal condition for horses. It is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland in the horse’s brain and leads to uncontrollable level of hormones in the body. The symptoms of this include heatstroke caused by an inability to shed fur, laminitis episodes, anemia, colic and impaired liver function. While there is no cure for Cushing’s, the symptoms can be managed using our proprietary Cushing’s Formula, which may help to increase blood flow and provide vital nutrition to the affected areas. ”
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CocoChexReg. Mar 2013 Posted2014-10-208:43 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
VeteranPosts: 268 Do you have him on any medication? I have a 29-year-old Cushings horse. He is on pergolide and is feeling great, I’ve attached a recent pic below. He doesn’t shed as well so we body clip him a couple times a year. He’s happy and healthy. We have him on grass hay and feed him a good amount daily, he isn’t on pasture or grain. I wouldn’t give up on your horse until you try medication and see if it helps.
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HorseMommyFiveOReg. Jan 2012 Posted2014-10-2010:59 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Elite VeteranPosts: 1034 Bibliafarm – 2014-10-206:31 PMHow Old is horse. 21.He went 5 years tied to a redwood tree with only bread to eat and no vet or farrier care.Even though he never colicked it was still hard on him.Good thing he’s a Driftwood.:-(
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HorseMommyFiveOReg. Jan 2012 Posted2014-10-2011:01 PMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
Elite VeteranPosts: 1034 Thank you all.We don’t want to give up on him – we rearranged our entire lives just to save him.
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canrunnrReg. Sep 2003 Posted2014-10-218:05 AMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
ExpertPosts: 2154Location: USA I used to board and they had a mare with Cushings. WHen I moved my horses home, they gave her to me since I helped take care of her and they couldn’t afford to do so anymore. Anyway, I put her on pergolide and she did really good for awhile. Then being the picky horse that she was, she quit eating it. I then put her on chaste tree berry and she did good on it too but eventually wouldn’t eat it, so I’d go back to pergolide.I kept her on a low starch feed, cool calories and grass hay. Had her feet done every 6 weeks with the rest of them and she got her teeth done and blood taken at least once a year. Eventually she wouldn’t eat anything that had her meds in it. I then gave up and didn’t give them to her. She did great for several years until she passed away a few weeks after she turned 30. Vet said it wasn’t the cushings, it was just old age. 21 is young. Chaste Tree Berry is cheap. I think I got an 8lb bag for about 30 bucks and it lasted FOREVER! I used the pergolide powder. It was easier to be able to sprinkle it on the feed. I feel your pain as I know Cushings is frustrating. What does great on one horse may not on another and it’s a trial and error thing. You say your horse is wasting away but how is his attitude? Is he still perky? Does he have a light in his eyes still? If so, it’s not his time. Keep working on him til you find out what combination works for him. Good Luck!
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findintimetorideReg. May 2008 Posted2014-10-218:35 AMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
RegularPosts: 82 Don’t want to hijack your thread, but does anyone know if you can give chaste tree berry with meds?Our 30 year old pony gets so much worse in the fall(typical hormonal changes for a Cushings horse I understand).Just wondering if we could add the berry in the fall to help her.
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cheryl makofkaReg. Jan 2011 Posted2014-10-2111:41 AMSubject:RE: Euthanize for Cushings?
The Advice GuruPosts: 6419 There is a liquid pergolide, my aunt has a few horses on it with cushings, she administers it via syringe once daily.She also adjusts the dosage depending on their levels and the time of year.
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Pain That Kills

Horses are one of my favorite animals. As an equine veterinarian, one of my most common acts of compassion is to put an end to the life of a horse that is suffering from the horrific pain of acute laminitis, which is one of my most common acts of kindness. I’m not alone in this; many horses are euthanized each year for the same reason by my colleagues equine vets. Mallory Beinborn’s photograph is used with permission. Laminitis, often known as founder, is a disease that can affect any horse. Do you remember the Secretariat?

  • He is widely regarded as the greatest racehorse to have ever lived.
  • Then there was Barbaro, who was a real character.
  • We were all following tales of the several operations and intensive care he underwent over the next eight months—until he finally succumbed to his injuries and was killed to put an end to his suffering.
  • Colonels Smokin Gun, a well-loved reining horse and popular sire, was killed due to this sickness just a couple of months ago.
  • How is it possible that even horses as important and well-cared for as Secretariat, Barbaro, and Gunner are unable to withstand the conditions they find themselves in?
  • Throughout this essay, we’ll look at the how your horse’s feet work and the physical breakdown that happens when laminitis strikes.
  • We’ll look at the risk factors for laminitis, the triggers that cause an incident to occur, and, most importantly, what actions you should take to reduce the likelihood that your horse will become a victim of this potentially fatal disease in the future.

Running, jumping, and sliding on the tips of one’s toes is possible for a 1,000-pound animal.

Over time, he evolved from a little, fawn-like species with a large number of toes to the sleek, long-legged creature that we know today.

Its hoof, a hard, horny structure that surrounds and protects the bones and soft tissues of his foot, serves as the foundation for this support system.

In contrast, the tissue that covers the bones and soft tissues of his lower leg has around 600 equivalent fleshy, fingerlike projections, which are referred to as “sensitive lamellae,” on the opposite side of his lower leg.

The interlocking of these main and secondary lamellae creates the link that secures the hoof in its proper position on the ground.

Secondary insensitive lamellae have a rounded tip and are separated from the neighboring sensitive lamellae by a “basement membrane,” which is a thin membrane that surrounds the rounded tip.

It is possible to categorize this breakdown into three distinct grades.

During this process, the tips of the secondary insensitive lamellae become longer and the cells at the tip lose their contact with the basement membrane.

During this early stage of the illness, no signs or symptoms are visible.

In a typical horse, the coffin bone is aligned with the hoof wall, as can be seen in this photo.

Interlocking lamellae between the insensitive and sensitive lamellae produce a mechanism that retains the coffin bone in place.

Grassroots: With each step your horse makes, the cells of the lamellae are dragged farther and further away from the basement membrane.

When the insensitive lamellae come into contact with one another at their base, they lose their “holding power,” and instead of holding firm to the matching fleshy fingers of the sensitive lamellae, they release their “holding power.” As the cells of the lamellae detach from the basement membrane, tiny blood vessels known as capillaries are also dragged away from the surface of the basement membrane, resulting in a decrease in blood flow resistance.

That’s why your horse’s blood vessels in his feet have a high or “pounding” pulse during the early stages of laminitis—a symptom that usually occurs in conjunction with the start of discomfort.

By the time your horse is in discomfort, the link between his hooves and his feet has already been compromised, with the possibility of permanent harm.

It is only via the use of a microscope that this separation may be observed at first.

Within the hoof capsule, the coffin bone takes on the form of a hoof and rotates (the toe begins to drop).

In this situation, referred to as “fatal sinker syndrome,” the laminitis is the most horrifying of all the possible outcomes: Because of this, the horse is no longer tied to his feet.

In either instance, the agonizing agony is unremitting and unrelenting.

What Causes Laminitis in Horses?

These are: hormonal problems, digestive disturbances, and mechanical trauma.

Hormonal abnormalities include the following: All of this is centered on insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling the metabolism of glucose (sugar).

The production of insulin occurs as soon as glucose enters your horse’s bloodstream, causing the absorption of glucose into his tissues, where it may be digested and stored.

In the event that your horse develops insulin resistance, this indicates that his insulin is no longer efficient and that the flow of blood through the capillaries in his foot is impaired.

They are also considered to be “easy keepers” who thrive on fresh air and are prone to respiratory problems.

It is also possible that Cushing’s illness, a hormonal disorder, will contribute to laminitis indirectly, especially through its influence on insulin levels.

The final consequence is an increase in the quantity of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) released into his system as a result of the situation.

Cushing’s disease may not be a substantial factor in increasing your horse’s risk of laminitis on its own.

That is the most likely time for laminitis to occur.

When the regular bacteria are unable to perform their functions, acid levels rise in the body and the intestines become more porous, allowing inflammatory cells and toxins to enter the bloodstream of the person suffering from Celiac disease.

Insulin resistance is exacerbated by carbohydrate overload, which might occur as a result of a nighttime sneak assault on the feed room or from overindulging in freshly harvested green pasture.

Mechanical: When your horse’s feet are traumatized, the lamellae in his feet might be destroyed, resulting in a delayed but frequently irreparable laminitis outbreak.

During the course of his fracture therapy, the tension from weight bearing on his “good leg” induced laminitis, which left him with “no leg to stand on.” He was unable to walk because of the condition.

Other factors that contribute to mechanical stress on the feet include lengthy periods of hard work on particularly hard ground (“road founder”) and inadequate farrier treatment that results in chronic foot imbalance.

Take Steps to Keep Laminitis From Taking Over Your Horse What causes laminitis to be fatal?

Once again, it’s all about the suffering—constant, awful anguish that never ends.

Illness’s not difficult to see why laminitis takes so many horse lives, and why prevention is the key to avoiding it.

Recognize it as soon as possible.

As a result, it is crucial to notice even the most minor indicators of laminitis early on in order to begin therapy as soon as possible.

According to research, applying cold to the feet can help prevent the breakdown of the basement membrane, which occurs just before the lamellae lose their grip on the skin.

Keep your horse submerged in buckets of cold water and follow your veterinarian’s instructions for delivering anti-inflammatory medications such as bute or flunixin meglumine (Banamine).

Any action might provide additional stress to the lamellae, which can exacerbate the situation.

According to research, advanced age is one of the most significant risk factors for laminitis.

Keep an eye on your body weight.

Don’t allow your horse to become overweight.

To make matters worse, his weight alone contributes to mechanical stress on the lamellae, which further exacerbates the situation.

Adjust his rations on a regular basis, and keep him on an exercise program to keep him in good shape.

Even if your horse isn’t overweight, an overnight gorge on grain or a sudden exposure to lush, green pasture may be enough to trigger a laminitis episode in him.

If your horse does manage to go inside the grain room, contact your veterinarian right once for guidance.

If your horse is an older horse, obese, or has been diagnosed with insulin resistance, you should avoid free-choice green pasture turnout completely.

Cushing’s illness should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

If Cushing’s disease is discovered, it must be treated.

Inquire with your veterinarian about whether this test would be recommended for early detection of Cushing’s disease in your symptomatic horse if the initial test results are negative.

By paying great attention to his work surface and keeping a regular trimming or shoeing interval, he may reduce the amount of mechanical strain that his lamellae endure.

Having radiographs done at regular intervals of six to twelve months will provide his hoof-care provider the greatest opportunity possible of maintaining his feet in correct balance.

One thing is certain: laminitis is a disease that should be avoided at all costs due to the constant, unrelenting pain it causes its victims.

Once your horse has suffered through a serious laminitis episode, it is possible that he will never recover. The most effective treatment for this problem, more than any other, is prevention.

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