Monday, March 15, 2010

Good News & Suspected Bad News


Well, during the first days of March, I was very pleased to see Kola coming out of Winter not nearly as fat as she was last Spring. Slightly overweight, but not bursting at the seams. She looked good and then what seemed to be overnight, she blew out in a bunch of extra long hair and her face looked odd, but I could not put my finger on it. She was still eating & drinking normally and acting her goofy self, but she doesn't look quite right. Pretty soon, like this past week, I noticed some muscle wasting in her neck and rear. Last week a pot belly and a sway back stance. I wormed them both last week and switched up my wormer in case of resistance. Tomorrow the Vet, Doc Terry will come out and I warned her. I'm pretty sure Kola has graduated from Equine Metabolic Syndrome to Cushings. I will not do the High Dose Steroid Test with subsequent lab draws, because I do not wish to bring on a laminetic episode, my luck she'd founder. Needless to say I will get a diagnosis soon and I will put money on Cushings. I have no doubt my Vet will agree.

After doing some reading on the symptoms, I finally figured out what was wrong with Kola's face. She has the classic fat deposits above her eyes. They look puffy. There is a drug I'm interested in for her, should the Vet agree with me and it is called Cyproheptadine. It is a 70% to 80% effective treatment of Cushings in Equines. And from what I've read, you dose it and up the dose until symptoms begin to subside. Comes in a crushable pill form.

And can someone Please tell me what the hell are these birds? Are they a Partridge? They were huge and quite aggravated with me as I brought the car to a stop to photograph them.

I did say there was good news didn't I. The good news is that I managed to survive cleaning the lean-to, although the paddock and pen are nasty deep muddy poo. That will get scraped after it dries a bit here. Also Stephen bought me a new camera for my Birthday. It's a Sony Cybershot, the latest one. Very nice camera. I'm still playing with it of course and I have a lot to learn about it yet.


14 comments:

gtyyup said...

Luckily I don't have a horse with cushings, but I just met a gal in the county above ours that does. She was real excited about what she was doing and how it seemed to be helping her horse. So, I'm just going to give you the info she mentioned that I jotted down. She's feeding chaste berry powder (1/2 - 1 tablespoon daily). She buys it online through Whole Horse Herbs. She referenced Getty Equine Nutrition as a good website (which is where she heard about the chaste berry). Again, I don't know anything about it, but it might be something to check out.

Good luck with your horse...healing thoughts going your way.

PS~the cost was substantially less than the veterinarian prescribed meds.

Mrs Mom said...

Bummer news about Kola Cal, but I know you;ll give her the best care.

Those look to be Guinea Hens. GREAT for tick and bug control, though those are some NOISY suckers!!

Gail said...

Sorry for the news but looks like you are on top of it. Good luck.

JeniQ said...

I was thinking Guinea's too.. but head is a bit off.. the head looks turkeyish...

Good luck with Kola...

~Jeni

Netherfieldmom said...

Those are guinea fowl--don't think you can tell between male and female. They are great watch dogs, although their warning noise is a scream, literally. They will eat the ticks from the trees, so you might wanna keep em. Good luck with Kola.

Pony Girl said...

Interesting birds although I have no idea what kind they are, we don't have them around here! :)
Oh dear, poor Kola! Sorry to hear that Cushings might be setting in. It does sound like there are some new advances and meds available, even the Chaste berry powder another reader mentioned. I really believe in natural products for humans, but have had little experience in horses. Keep us posted!

Jean said...

Hope things look up for Kola. All I can do for now is wish you both well.

Guinea hens for sure. They come in lots of colors. The usual color is kind of a speckled black and white, but these look to be the pretty dove gray??? I think the coloring makes their heads look a bit unusual. They are noisy critters but really cute.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh bummer. I'm so sorry. I'm sure you're worried.
I was struck by how greyed out Kola's long hair growth is. Does she typically grow her hair out in the shade of color?

I don't know much about Cushings, but I know it's not good. I wish there was something I could do or say to help, but just know I'm thinking of you and Kola and hope between you and the Vet you can get her well again and the Cushings under control.


((((hugs))))
~Lisa

Paint Girl said...

So sorry to hear that Kola might have Cushings!! Will be sending good thoughts your way!
No idea what those birds are. I have never seen one of those before! Very interesting!

photogchic said...

I am crossing my fingers for Kola... I friend from a few years back used Peroglide for Cushings...but I know for awhile it was pulled off the market...not sure why. I am hoping for the best.

Cool looking birds...shows what I know...I thought they were turkeys.

Midlife Mom said...

One of my welsh ponies has Cushings and has been on Pergolide for three or four years and is doing very well. He was only 9 or 10 when he got it which is young but so far so good. I have his levels checked every spring and so far have never had a laminitis issue with him. Good luck to you my friend!!

John and Regina Zdravich said...

I am sorry to hear about Koala and the Cushings..I hope you can get it under control. As far as the bird, I looked in my Peterson Field Guide and do not see anything like it. But the general consenus here is Guinea hen which I hope is true -- they do eat lots of ticks....

Victoria Cummings said...

Happy Belated B-day! I've had my hands full with flooding and mud so I'm sorry I missed it. As far as Cushings info goes, there are two excellent sources. One is Dr. Eleanor Kellon and the other is the Equine Cushings forum at Yahoo groups. They have so much info on Cushings and IR that it's kind of overwhelming, but they are really knowledgeable and you can ask questions and get answers. I've known several horses that have lived a long time with Cushings. Sending positive thoughts and prayers for you and Kola.

Linny Kenney said...

Great site! Thanks for all the info! I am riding my horse, Sojourner, across the country right now and sites like yours are super helpful!