Cushing and diet

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Dee214

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Hello,
We rescued a mini from auction about 2 months ago.
Filled with worms, lice, horrible feet, teeth, and pretty skinny.
She is now lice and worm free. Her teeth are done yay!!! Some had to be extracted they were so broken. Feet have been done twice now and getting better slowly.
Farrier things she may have foundered at one point. Vet fugues she has cushings, but can be managed with diet right now.
So she got the bony back, much like the vet says Cushing horses can have.
Currently I just have her on 24/7 good quality grass hay. What can I give her to plump up a bud without effecting her founder? Do you think beet pulp would be ok? I’m worried about too much sugar and it effecting her founder.
thank you
 

MaryFlora

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Welcome Dee and wonderful you rescued a mini! A happy little mare.

I have two who have foundered in the past, one donkey and one mini. Both are older and receive recommended measure of senior feed twice a day plus hay with no harm to their feet. Senior feed is often good for any mature horse that needs the support and calories. In particular, since she has lost some teeth, she may not be able to metabolize the hay enough to build up her weight.

I have no idea what equine senior feed is available in your area but the company(s) may be very happy to answer your questions in regard to feeding. I have contacted two in recent years and they were Both very helpful.

All the best!
 

chandab

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Many senior feeds are going to be too high of sugar/starch for one that is metabolic; but there are a few that are low enough, Triple Crown Senior is one, and there might be others, but it'll depend on which brands are available to you.
Forage along with time, might be enough for the calorie side of it for weight gain; but no forage is complete, so at least a good vitamin mineral supplement or ration balancer will fill in the gaps and would be safe for most metabolic equines.
 

Abby P

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Was she actually tested for Cushing's or is the vet just assuming she has it based on looking at her? It would be important to know if she really is, and have some baseline blood work done to find out her status WRT Cushing's as well as insulin resistance. Once you have that information then it would be easier to know how is the best/safest way to feed her. Not all Cushing's horses are IR although if she has previously foundered then the chances are high that she is. However, it would be really good to know whether she has one, both, or neither of those issues and the only way to find out for sure is bloodwork. It's entirely possible she just has a cruddy hair coat from being neglected and full of parasites, and foundered previously due to some management issue that won't happen again under your care.
 

Standards Equine

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Cushings horses that I've met are almost always overweight, even with minimal feed, and keep a thick, winter coat all year. We have a mini right now that I suspect is cushings, but I'm not sure about his IR situation. Not my pony, we just board him. We have a mini with likely some degree of founder (rotation of the coffin bone) caused by previous neglect. I understand from the home we'd bought her from that she'd gone through a long time of not having her feet trimmed, being tethered out to graze and fed white bread... I'm not sure we'll ever get ahead of those feet to get them growing right, but we will try. I'm not going to bother getting her x-rayed unless there becomes concern with soft soles. Currently, no issue.

When we last had a cushings horse, Insulin Resistant, we fed a LOT of beetpulp, a high-fiber supplement and minerals. He had timothy hay exclusively. It's a balance of finding them enough to eat to be happy without all the extra sugar.
 

chandab

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Strictly Cushings is more likely to cause weight loss, especially along the topline; but it's sometimes mistaken for IR or IR comes along with the Cushings, and then you'll be more likely to have weight gain. Cushings is only controlled with medication; IR is mananged with mostly with diet (there are meds that can help with the weight loss, when diet and exercise alone don't get the job done..
 

Silver City Heritage Farmstead

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Everyone has given you excellent feeding advice...once you know exactly WHAT you're dealing with. Abby P gave the best advice to start with: have the blood work done. Miniatures do have different "normal" levels than the biggies do. I KNOW I had a research paper with the numbers saved, I just can't find it right this minute. As soon as I doo, I'll link it. It has some very useful information for you and your vet.
 

DianaM

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I had a vet suggest my mare had Cushing's. She doesn't and I knew it. I think he wanted to sell me the required meds. I don't use that vet anymore, and I am not accusing your vet of anything, but I think they don't know a lot about horse gut problems. I started feeding that same mare homemade treats with prebiotics, probiotics, amino acids, sunflower lecithin and applesauce, rolled into balls. She is doing great.
 

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