Monday, April 20, 2009
Our first experience with Equine Cushings Disease has arrived. Our best foundation Appaloosa broodmare has Cushings.
We rescued Trouble many years ago along with her yearling daughter after she had just lost a foal, she was in horrible shape, running with a stallion and pregnant again. She also was unsound in a front leg, she has always had a slight limp that gets no worse or better. She lost the foal that she was pregnant with when we got her and we nearly lost her. A kind Vet spent a lot of time with her that night through the early morning hours. The foal was a gorgeous black and white leopard filly.
Trouble has given us some of our best foals and we never have a problem selling her babies. She has produced a black filly with large spots on her rump, a black colt with blanket, a palomino leopard, a palomino few spot (Ranger, my gelding), a blanketed Buckskin colt, a sorrel blanketed filly (when bred to a sorrel AQHA stallion), and her last foal was a blanketed Buckskin filly. In addition to the beautiful babies that she gives us, some of them are Indian Shufflers like my gelding Ranger.
We bred her back last year after a year's rest and this winter she has started showing all of the signs of serious Cushing's Disease. She has a long wavy coat that will not shed this spring, has lost muscle tone and stands at the water trough most of the day. She is drinking tons of water. She has not gotten laminitis (founder) yet, but from what I have read about horses with Cushings, it is just a matter of time.
There is no cure, it is a tumor that grows on the pituitary gland. However, you can treat the symptoms, give them back a normal life and extend they lives with treatment. In researching the disease, I found that normal Veterinarian treatment is very expensive on a monthly basis. But I found many good reports on a natural treatment that works just as well without any complications.
The treatment I found is Chaste Tree Berries, I could buy a liquid form that is as expensive as the other chemical medicines that I have researched. So I thought surely there must be a cheaper way to go. Then I found this rescue site: Eye of the Storm. I am thankful for the information that I found there.
I began my search for whole Chaste Tree Berries in bulk that I could grind myself. I would also have to buy a coffee grinder since I don't have one. Then I looked on eBay and found a powdered form of Chaste Tree Berries from as seller who sells natural remedies. I purchased 3 lbs. for $9.40 per lb. I think she will only have to have 1 Tb. once or twice per day, so this will be a very cheap alternative treatment.
According to what I have read, we should start seeing results very quickly, so I will report how she is doing, along with pictures, here on my blog from time to time.