Our Horse of the Month for May is Diaz-Dorada! This beautiful Lusitano X Andalucian mare is owned by Aileen who says that she was increasingly concerned by a few changes in Diaz-Dorada who had become slightly footy, had some new fat deposits, was showing more spookiness and there was even some nastiness in her temperament. Finally Diaz-Dorada had an episode of laminitis which lingered on and was particularly evident after a farrier trim, so her vet took a blood sample and x-rayed Diaz-Dorada’s hooves. The blood sample confirmed that Diaz-Dorada had Equine Cushing’s disease, so she was prescribed one tablet a day to treat this condition. Aileen also started to soak her hay, to change her feed to a lower sugar option, to feed her bran, garlic and light fibre and to restrict her grazing as part of a laminitis management regime.
We’re delighted to hear that Diaz-Dorada is much more comfortable now: she’s shod and walking much more freely, she’s less spooky (although apparently she can sometimes still be a bit over-reactive) and she has returned to her previous good natured behaviour 😊 She’s on her second month of treatment for Cushing’s and her vet will be blood testing her again in 2 weeks to monitor her progress.
Because the signs of Equine Cushing’s disease are caused by hormone imbalances, they can take some time to develop as well as to disappear. Any changes in the severity of this disease will usually show up as hormone changes before clinical symptoms are apparent. This is why it’s so important to blood test regularly, especially after first starting treatment and after any dose changes, so that any changes in the level of disease control can be picked up and managed before they start to cause symptoms such as laminitis.
Thanks so much for sharing Diaz-Dorada’s story with us Aileen – we hope she continues to be happy and comfortable on her Cushing’s treatment!