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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Doesn't this horse look fabulous!

You'd never guess she has Cushings (PPID) would you.  And neither did the vet.  But interestingly, there were a lot of clues in her hooves.

Her care giver/owner is amazing and honestly I am in awe of the work and diplomacy that has been executed in getting this mare what she needs whilst keeping everyone on board.

I initially suspected some sort of metabolic problem because despite barefoot protocols being followed the hooves were not responding.  Growth was poor both in terms of quality and quantity and the soles were thin and rather soft.

The mare had a poor topline and other issues which also backed up the idea that all was not well.  Prescriptions of protein powders and the other traditional initiatives did nothing to help the mare and the vet was resistant to the idea of testing for PPID as she was quite young.  The owner tells me she did consider having her PTS as she didn't want the mare to suffer.

After much diplomatic negotiation on the part of the owner the PPID test was done, Prascend prescribed and the horse started to recover.

The picture are of their first ODE one year on. 

Notes on PPID/Cushings

Even just ten years ago we only suspected our horses may have PPID if they became unusually hirstute and failed to shed properly.  Symptoms could, if we were lucky be moderated, but the outlook was poor. 

Today PPID properly controlled doesn't have to be the death sentence it once was.

We have a PPID test, although it's not 100% accurate and we have Prascend (Pergolide).

The test has to be done properly and not all vets are completely up to speed with interpretation of the results. So if you suspect your horse has PPID I recommend you read for the low down.

In the UK until recently vets would prescribe Pergolide but it wasn't/isn't titrated or licensed for horses.  Pergolide has been replaced by Prascend which is both.  Horses on Pergolide before the change are allowed to continue on it. 

It is important as an owner or care giver to realise that there are many subtle signs that your horse may have PPID that manifest years before the hairy, curly coat stage.

Loss of topline, pot belly, lack of energy, difficulty fighting infections, slow wound repair, poor hooves both quality and quantity and particularly a failure to grow a good sole, . The coat may be duller than you would expect.


Anonymous said...

Other less common signs of Cushings that my horse exhibited for two years before diagnosis are unusually heavy sweating in patches with even light exercise and, the one which almost caused me to have her destroyed, intense itching similar to that caused by sweet itch but over major parts of the body. After two years of self-mutilation, within 48 hours of starting on Prascend my girl stopped scratching and has been fine ever since - oh, and her hooves are much better, too!

Lucy Priory said...

Anonymous, I am so glad your mare is responding well to the Prascend

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