Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Miss, this isn't what I ordered." Harv's new menu

Are Harv's grass-eating days over?
 Recall my story of Harv's Friday night with the emergency vet. I thought Harv had taken a turn for the worse neurologically ("ataxic"), but the vet diagnosed laminitis.

Saturday am, Harv was dramatically improved -- on 1/3 tube of banamine every 12 hours he appeared to be mostly back to normal. For the next few days he held onto his improvement, and I wondered if laminitis is typically so short-lived.

Thursday pm, the farrier came out and did an evaluation -- important, because unlike the vet, he knows Harv well. Harv tested somewhat reactive to hoof testers right where the coffin bone is, but not too bad. Some signs of toe bruising. He moved well, though, doing tight turns in his stall. The farrier trimmed his feet.

Friday, I got the results of the Cushings test -- he is positive for Cushings, positive for insulin resistance.

No more molasses treats. No more grass. No more senior feed and its molasses deliciousness.         No more grass. The first day we fed him his unsweetened beet pulp and -- well, nothing else, his look was somewhere between "there's been some mistake" and "this isn't what I ordered." This is going to be hard for me, and hard for the folks at Harv's barn, as we're very treat oriented.

He started Pergolide Friday, a week after his episode.

I'm reading up on his condition, and hoping I can strike a balance -- let him be a horse, let him eat some things he likes, and keep him in good weight.  For a 28 year old horse with neurological issues, there is no concept of  "long term."


  1. is the best source for Cushings, IR, laminitis, etc. Huge database of info on what works best for these sweet older horses.

  2. Wow, that's tough, but I know you'll find that balance!

  3. My horse has PSSM, which has similar rules of no sugar, no grass turn out (thankfully she is able to tolerate a muzzle for some grass turn out). Its hard for me to not shove her face full of treats. Thankfully she does like celery, which does not have a lot of sugar in it.

  4. My senior IR horse got peanuts (raw in the shell, but they can only have a couple at a time) or sweet potato as treats, maybe one of those would be a good substitute? I was also told green beans but he didn't like them.


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