Pony question...

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14 years 2 months ago #22396 by DiDi
Pony question... was created by DiDi
This is not for me but a friend's pony. I am just wondering if anyone else would recognise these symptoms and have some thoughts on the subject as I have never owned a little pony - big horses yes.

The pony is a little 8 yr old (I think) 12hh? and has foundered in the past. If he puts on weight, I've been told he gets the crested neck thing going so he has lived in the same smallish dirt paddock with hay and a hard feed for a long time. I was called in to help give him oral Bute as he has a "history" of being a problem to drench. I don't listen to history in that sense and have been able to dose him so that is not the problem. He has good teeth and I believe he has been wormed. Perhaps easier to list good and bad issues and see if any make sense.

Vet has been and suggested Cushings as he has fill above his eyes.
He was showing slight front leg lameness.
No response to Vet using pincers
Blood tests showed nothing abnormal (I don't know what he was tested for)
I can find a strong pulse in one front leg but none in the other.
He is bare footed and the hooves are well formed. Really good actually!
Has very deep creases and I found thrush in one hoof but not bad enough I would have thought to cause lameness.
He normally leans on the Farrier badly but has been good for me. However when picking out either of his front hooves (and not resisting) he will suddenly lean backwards. I don't mean in a deliberate pull away motion as much as he cannot hold his own weight. I drop the foot and he immediately stands up and happily lifts the leg again.

Problem is: He has gone off his food (th Vet was happy with his diet) in the past couple of days (which he normally ate with gusto) and has been noticeably losing weight quite quickly over this whole period. His poos are fine and normal looking. He is not showing noticeable lameness now but could that be the Bute?

I am just concerned with the weight loss and now lack of appetite. Not knowing the pony prior to this, I'm not sure if it is my imagination but he does seem puffy around the jaw line. Vet checked his teeth as fine. His owner has had an accident so I am helping her father out in the interim.

I am certainly going to recommend he gets the Vet back out in a couple of days time if his appetite doesn't come right but thought I would throw it out to see if someone has seen this picture before. Any advise welcome.

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14 years 2 months ago #322333 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Pony question...
www.hudsonvalleyhorses.com/articlesM2/th...ne_cushings_cure.asp

www.horsetalk.co.nz/health/bute-149.shtml

The above couple of links may be helpful. haven't had any experience with Cushings in horses.

What about azoturia. Did the vet check for that in the blood test? A small pony on hard feed could be a candidate for tying up, even if not under heavier work.

Sudden weight loss, could be an indication of a tumour and I note that one of the links above, talks about cancer on the pituitary gland.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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14 years 2 months ago #322335 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Pony question...
Thanks for those thoughts stikkibeek. The one that jumped out at me was the one about how much bute to give. I think he may be being overdosed so will be on to that first thing in the morning to double check. Certainly works with the going off his food.

Cushings? Just can't get my head around that apart from the eye fill (anything else cause that anyone?). Certainly no curls in his coat as it seems even (no extra long hairs) all over if maybe quite thick. I think he is a Welsh pony. I also know he is not being washed or groomed - full of dust and dirt!

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14 years 2 months ago #322338 by drifter
Replied by drifter on topic Pony question...
The only time I've seen fill above the eyes the pony had access to avocado. Avocado causes some sort of allergic reaction and has a huge variety of symptoms if he has had access to it perhaps google and see if it fits.
'Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is dangerous to even graze horses on pasture where avocado trees are growing or have grown.' from the NZTCA website

The other thing I wondered was: if his owner is not currently working him has his feed been cut back? Ponies can founder so easily. They need so little feed it almost feels cruel :( He also sounds as though he is not getting enough movement in his daily regime because he is in a small paddock. Some people make tracks or mazes to force the pony to move. At the very least, putting his hay in small random piles would make him move. The puffiness, undetermined lameness and leaning back to readjust his weight could all point to founder happening again. Which would then cause the weight loss because he will stop moving around to feed, and then you are in a viscous circle :(

Strange how much you've got to know, Before you know how little you know.

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14 years 2 months ago #322345 by 3 horses
Replied by 3 horses on topic Pony question...
If the only sign of cushings is the fill above the eye area I wouldn't be to worried and you can blood test for it. Why is the pony on bute? I wouldn't think mild lameness would require it, bute can cause stomach ulcers, so you could give him slippery elm to help with that and a probiotic, make sure he has been drenched properly, had teeth done by a dentist and I would also be inclined to get his back checked, hope this helps.

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14 years 2 months ago #322346 by muletide
Replied by muletide on topic Pony question...
Some of the symptoms do sound like cushings. The filled out hollows above the eyes, the one I had was tender in her fronts in the later stages. The give away for cushings is a long coat that does not shed out well.

But most Cushings I have known have had a huge appitite but always tend to look ribby, but with a tummy and a crested neck and fat deposits on the butt and such like.

Life is about the journey, not the destination


CHB

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14 years 2 months ago #322357 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Pony question...
Thanks for your advise everyone. The Vet had prescribed Pergolide which has a side effect of suppressing appetite for the first week and so has Bute, so on the Vets advise, he is being taken off all Meds to see what happens. Communication breakdown means the Bute should only have been given for 3-4 days so that has gone on longer than it should! Not sure how stopping both meds at the same time, you then work out which one is affecting him but not my call.

My concern is that he is losing weight. He is off his feed but is still eating it all over the course of the day (in small feeds) so is still getting his nutrition. Not easy being piggy in the middle so will sit back and wait to see what happens. His owner told me the Vet (experienced equine Vet) has no doubt he has Cushings. He's such a neat little guy, I hope this can be worked out and managed.

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14 years 2 months ago #322360 by GloPony
Replied by GloPony on topic Pony question...
I would suspect he's developed an ulcer from the bute.

As for the vet's diagnosis of Cushings, I have learned that no matter how experienced the horse vet is, they can be wrong when they "assume" based on symptoms & don't actually confirm through proper testing. I had a very well known equine vet diagnose a horse as having navicular based on his conformation & history. Turned out, the horse was just jarred up on hard ground. I will NEVER take a vet's opinion as gospel without some hard evidence to back it up.

As for checking teeth. Most vets do a total of one week on dental so unless the vet has completed dentist training, I'd get a qualified dentist in for a 2nd opinion.

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14 years 2 months ago #322372 by Anne
Replied by Anne on topic Pony question...
I agree with Glopony about the bute causing ulcers and tummy aches.
Cushings starts off with few symptoms and often owners who are seeing the pony or horse every day don't really notice the changes. Studies indicate that around 85% of horses and ponies over the age of 15 have cushings!!!
Fill above the eyes, fat in odd places, cresty neck, loosing muscle and fat along the top line (especially back, loins, rump), hairy (not necessarily curly, but coarser than normal. That can be hard to see in ponies, especially welsh ones), laminitis (founder) or sore feet, teeth loosening (so it becomes painful to eat).
The pony does not need to show all of these symptoms to have cushings, especially in the early stages.
I have treated a number of horses with cushings with chaste berry (bought now as cuschy life from the James Hart range). Actually, treated isn't really the right word, because you cannot cure it, but the severity of the symptoms has decreased, the horse has become happier and quality of life has improved. We also stopped needing to use bute, peroglide or any other supportive therapies for laminitis or joint stiffness.

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14 years 2 months ago #322385 by Country Girl
Replied by Country Girl on topic Pony question...
I'm not so sure about the balance thing - we have a TB and when dressing his hoof over a long period he would just start leaning backwards slowly.........slowly.........slowly :D :D Honestly I think he we didn't put the hoof down he would sit on his a**se!! :D Pefectly well & healthy - oh apart from the foot abscess - is there any heat in the hoof on the side you cannot feel the pulse - I remember the vet when in the winter with the abscess said the pulse on the affected side was less detectable. Also ponies like horses have small tums so if he is eating his ration over the day and not in one meal maybe that's ok - he might be a bit off for other reasons. Has he had another pony removed from him lately?? Just in case he felt he had to gobble his dinner or he would miss out:confused: Hope all is well with him :)

A pessimist is never disappointed

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14 years 2 months ago #322426 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Pony question...
Wow - you guys are awesome and thank you. Anne you described this so perfectly - he has so few of the symptoms of Cushings (from my visuals) and yet not having dealt with this and reading plenty of papers now - I am not sure. He has none of the visuals described but does have the eye thing. No random fat deposits, good back line, a rounded bum, no issues with his teeth - just a slightly offset jaw but not enough to cause feeding problems (but no idea who his dentist was and how well the back teeth are). He is actually in really good condition overall - just getting ribby, if that makes sense, without obvious weight loss in other body condition. I should add that he was in really good condition before the ribby thing happened. Not overweight by any means - actually about where you would want to see a 12hh pony.

I too read about chasteberry on an American site so will definitely follow that up with the owner now I know how it can be sourced.

Countrygirl I think you are onto it as well. I have thought from get go that he has a brewing absess and your description of the horse going slowly backwards is exactly what he does. To be totally honest I am past my limit in deciding which front foot has the problem - if not both. My gut instinct is that it is the leg with no pulse but the slight heat, if any, is in the opposite foot. I have in the past dealt with an excessively prolonged foot absess that did not blow out the coronet but simmered for weeks until the horse went down with a temperature before we could locate it and release it through the bottom of the hoof. Guess that clouds your judgment on these issues.

One of my problems, never having owned a pony is that the owner (with all due respect) has taken everything she has been told about the pony for gospel and is reacting to that information in making decisions. I am more inclined to ignore everything I have been told about a horse and start afresh.

Anyway, he is not my pony and I am piggy in the middle on this so am butting out for the moment and taking a wait and see attitude. I will be there in a heartbeat if asked but for the next few days, it makes sense to wait and see what the outcome is when he is off all drugs. Thank you for your thoughts though. Much appreciated.

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14 years 2 months ago #322463 by Double8
Replied by Double8 on topic Pony question...
Shame you couldn't set up a track system so the pony has to move to get to his water and feed (meaning his hay) without being on any grass. My old girl definately had cushings (all the symptoms) and had a blood test also. Before she had all the full blown signs she was always cresty, bluges over her eyes, but never foundered. Only time she looked really good was in full work. Also mentioned was insulin intolerance (dibetes kind of thing) which could also be hand in hand with cushings in some horses. Maybe it is a foot abcess?

Does any one have any experience with melanoma's in horses? Have a young coloured mare with a black spot 50 cent piece size in her mane. Vet had a look at photos (not the horse) and thought it looked like cancerous melanoma. I've seen them in grey horses in their mouth, face and nether regions, but not on the neck in the mane.

88

What am I? Fly paper for freaks?!

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14 years 2 months ago #322473 by Country Girl
Replied by Country Girl on topic Pony question...
Double 8 - You should post your photo - I'm sure there are plenty who could comment on it for you :D :D I have only seen melanoma on grey horses - the ones on the head were all internal so just large bulges in the temporal area and as horse was very old and did not appear bothered with it just let her be until her days ended :(

If it is black? is it crusty?? Yeah best to post a pic :D :D

A pessimist is never disappointed

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14 years 2 months ago #322474 by Anne
Replied by Anne on topic Pony question...
Double 8 I have seen malignant melanomas on bays and dark coloured horses. Greys usually have benign (not a problem) melanomas. The malignant melanomas usually start off like large warts, with a crusty top. SOme were removed with surgery - cutting out a large area of skin and muscle underneath to get all of it, others had chemotherapy to get rid of them. All removals were successful for at least 5 years (as long as I was able to keep in touch with nes owners etc).

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14 years 2 months ago #322547 by kaponga
Replied by kaponga on topic Pony question...
My mare had melanoma - she was a grey. Yep lumps on her lips, nether regions, but the first one was on her forehead - which was removed by surgery. She also developed one on her rump, and another about halfway down her neck. Not black, just raised hard lumps. Definitely malignant in the end, not sure about the beginning as she wasn't in my care then.

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