Cushings?

Cortrasna

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Aug 5, 2009
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Any of you with cushingoid horses - does this look like the start of the curly coat syndrome to you? Very slow to moult last year - thicker coat this year with several patches that are now looking distinctly curly....no excessive thirst or loss of weight and still cheerful - had the test about 2 years ago and was very negative reading then apparently. Not sure if these pics will work - if not I shall have to upload to photobucket
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=754365131395314&set=pcb.1219538674827045&type=3
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=754365238061970&set=pcb.1219538674827045&type=3
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
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Ok bear with me please peeps I will upload to photobucket and do it that way.....can't upload directly as it says they are too big and I don't know how to make them smaller.:rolleyes:
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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Raf's first symptoms (in hindsight) were when I started to have problems with saddle fit. At the time I blamed a reflocked saddle for pinching him and causing muscle wastage. In reality I think he was losing muscle due to the Cushings. Second symptom (and when I got him tested) was weight loss and lethargy. He didn't have a curly coat - just a tiny patch on his neck that went curly when it got wet. Since diagnosis his coat has changed - he's fully clipped now apart from half a head and legs but those bits that aren't clipped have quite long hair. BC he always had short dense hair. He's never suffered excessive thirst or laminitis.

Hope Dolly hasn't got it and she's just got a funny coat this year. At least she's still lively and that's got to be a good sign.
 
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Cortrasna

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sorry my internet is limping along like it has lost the will to live, as have I this past hour :rolleyes:---hopefully there might be one pic here to give an idea of what is happening with her coat?

 

Cortrasna

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As you can see from the whole picture of her - she looks in good condition but has lost topline and the belly is a bit slack but I put that down to very intermittent riding this winter and usually by the end of april this has improved, belly lifts and top line back......but not so sure this year if it is just the lack of work?

 

Lollykay

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Can't tell anything from the picture. You really need to do a full body picture from the side of the horse without the mane.

Cushings is a gradual disease of the pituitary gland, thus the technical name "Pituitary PRs Intermedia Dysfunction", aka "PPID".

By the time a Cushings horse develops the curly/patchy shedding coat, it is already on its way to needing meds.

Cushings horses can also develop insulin resistance - not always but sometimes.

IMHO, it would be prudent to ask the vet to draw blood to not only check the ACTH level (cortisol level for Cushings) but also a second vile of blood and check insulin level.

Diet restrictions before this type of blood draw have changed in the last ten years, so your vet would be the best person to tell you how many hours prior to the blood draw to withhold feed pan foods.

Grass hay no longer has to be with held but I'm not sure about legumes such as alfalfa, etc.

Please don't wait if you suspect Cushings. It is a gradual, debilitating disease that requires prescription medication. It can be slowed down at best, it cannot be eliminated, I'm afraid.
 
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Lollykay

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Ok wait a minute, lol. Now I see two full body pictures:)

She looks iffy. I would get the blood work done on her:)

Founder can be an issue and from what I have seen on two of my friends horses, Cushings horses seem more prone to abscesses with founder than insulin resistant horses do.

I have a seriously IR horse that foundered big time and knock-on-wood has never abscessed.
 
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joellie

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My Marley's coat goes like that this time of year when he is shedding and I never thought anything of it. I do have a cushings pony but his coat just grows long not curly. Sorry I am no help but you know Dolly better than anyone and if this isn't normal for her maybe you should get the vet to take some bloods
 
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Cortrasna

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Thanks so much for the comprehensive reply Lollykay but I have had Cushingoids in the past so that in itself is not my issue in posting. I am we'll aware of all tests available and all risks, and all treatment options - just not one with the curly coat so wanted to know if anyone else had had the curly coat and if it looked like this. :)

As I mentioned above I do see other suggestions from the pics that this might be what I am looking at, and of course I am also well aware of all the points you mention and will be getting my vet to give their opinion, as we all know internet opinion is just that...unknown internet opinion that could just be gleaned from google or some such - heaven forbid;) - so obviously I can assure you any treatment of her will NOT be based on replies here as vet visit is already on the agenda. but thanks so much for your input - really appreciate it :)

But would still like to know if any others who have had cushings horses present like this as one of the first signs?
 
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Cortrasna

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My Marley's coat goes like that this time of year when he is shedding and I never thought anything of it. I do have a cushings pony but his coat just grows long not curly. Sorry I am no help but you know Dolly better than anyone and if this isn't normal for her maybe you should get the vet to take some bloods


yes this is my experience Joellie - the very long and thick coat and the late shedding too.... but never seen the curly coat other than in a friends very ancient pony. Trouble is it isn't the ideal time of year for bloods.....now wish I had gone with my instinct and had them done in the autumn. :(
 
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newforest

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Well my mare's Dam is being tested for cushings because she has recurring abscess. I don't know re curly coat.

To me those photos just look like horse with a thick winter coat. They have got wet / sweated and it's gone a bit on the curled side. Mine does.
Mine started shedding early as in January this year but we have had mild winter.
 

Cortrasna

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No shedding at all newforest - and yes very much just a horse with a thick winter coat - except until last year she actually never had much winter coat at all - more of a Tb type winter coat if you know what I mean? Oh well - tests will tell one way or the other. ;)
 

Jessey

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The coat could just be coming in thicker as she's feeling the need for more warmth as she gets older, it doesn't look definitively cushingoid to me. Jess hasn't got the curly or long coat, sheds normally and def isn't skinny but does drink and pee more and get recurant low grade dermal infections. My old boy pheonix had a long coat and late shedding a long time before he went more curly and even then his was more wavy. I'd test if you are worried, the TRH stimulation test is indicated when resting ACTH is negative but you still have reason to think they are positive. Jess only tested borderline ACTH positive once, but her reaction to medication means she def is according to my vets.
 
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Cortrasna

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She tested negative 2 years ago Jessey l, but of course a lot can change in 2 years - and yes I agree she is 16 now so just growing a thicker coat as she ages is also to be taken into account. She doesn't drink or pee more than usual.....so that is keeping me feeling reasonably positive. to be honest I am not overly concerned, if she is, she is. It is just that it will add another dimension to her care regime as she is also a sweet itch horse and when she is very bad I do inject her with kenalog (never more than twice in one season- but even so) - if she has cushings that will not be at all possible because of the increased risk of lammi. so a bit catch 22 really.
 
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Trewsers

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How interesting you should post this! My STorm looked much the same and given her age (21) I thought it was high time I got her tested. But it came back extremely negative, not even borderline! We have put it down to her not working and being turned out more - plus the change in climate here. Though it is generally milder up here, it can feel colder due to the wind. Also with her not working at all due to her tendon issue, I did wonder if because I wasn't grooming her and rugging at all it had made a difference? But bottom line was no need to start her on Prascend and that the vet was not at all concerned.
 

Kite_Rider

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I have no idea Cortrasna, just wanted to say Dolly still looks such a Doll. Fingers crossed it's just her getting older and nothing more, but whatever it is I know she'll have the best care from you any horse would wish for.
 
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