Talk to me about Cushings...

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Dona Worry, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    So I moved both my horses to new barns last week, and it's been great. But, within a couple days of each move, the respective BO's have contacted me with the same question: how much does this horse normally drink?
    Well, I'm not really sure. I hardly ever stall them for a full 24 hour period, but if you fill up a bucket at night, no matter how late, it will always be dry by morning, no matter how early, and usually after breakfast the water vanishes pretty quickly as well.
    I always knew my two drank more than the morgans, but they also eat more. The morgans get obese if they THINK about food, so it never bothered me that they drank so much less.

    But each barn has noticed that my two are drinking twice as much water as any of the other horses in the barn.

    Consistently.

    And now the barn Quest is at is asking if I ever considered Cushings for either horse, but especially Calypso, with her non-existent winter coat and those crazy spots.
    A quick google search shows a long list of symptoms, which neither horse has, except that pesky 'excessive water consumption and urination.'
    Spots aren't mentioned anywhere.
    Calypso DOES have one heck of a belly, and I have never seen her in heat, BUT she is an old broodmare, and vet did say that her placentitus could leave her sterile. So idk.
    Thought?
     
  2. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    My horses drink a ton. That is a good thing.staying hydrated is important. Think how much water we should drink in a day. Horses should drink 5-10 gallons a day. My experience in the horse world is that often horses are drinking out of filthy dirty troughs and buckets. A lot of horses colic because they don't have good clean water sources. Most horses I have been around will drink more when they have fresh clean water. I am super particular about keeping water sources clean and accessible. Also, unfrozen in the winter.
    Also, if horse is getting salt...I feed mine free choice, they will tend to drink more. Water follows salt.
    I wouldn't worry about it unless the horses were showing other symptoms of Cushing.
     
  3. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    I too am fussy about water. At home the trough is kept clean and has a heater, and I would always bring by buckets of hot water on cold nights in the barn and Calypso loooovved the hot water, would guzzle down one bucket and demand a second, usually drinking half of that.
    Both horses have a pink salt block on a string, amd love them. Calypso will actually put the whole thing in her mouth and slide her tongue around it in meditative way. I joke it's her pacifier.
     
  4. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

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    The hair coats on either of the two horses I have had contact with that were diagnosed with Cushing were excessively long, thick, and did not shed.

    Sometimes horses develop a habit of water consumption. You have made their water appealing, which I think is a good thing, especially in the winter. We are fanatics about clean buckets, warm water and lots of it. None of ours have Cushings and they are all in their later 20s.

    It’s possible the new barns horses haven’t had the abundant clean water and buckets that yours have. Not criticizing them, just it may be different priorities.
     
  5. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Short coats mean they don't have Cushings. It affects hair growth. We always put two water buckets per stall and the eqivalent of more than one bucket is empty by morning. That is normal water intake for a horse who has forage available during the night.
     
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    A nonexistent winter coat is not indicative of Cushing Syndrome. Some horses just do not grow a lot of winter coat and that's determined by heredity, only part of coat growth is determined by the length of day or temperature. That's why some horses need blankets and others don't.

    My mare looks almost as light-coated as a clipped show horse all winter. My Welsh Pony looks like a yak all winter. She gets more blankets.


    Horses often get into the habit of not drinking much water from buckets if they aren't given much water in buckets.

    Then they get their water from puddles, wet grass, even snow (horses have an instinct, usually, to not eat too much snow, as it can cause them to get cold and most snow does not contain much water compared to how much effort the horse has to make to eat it and how much it cools them off).

    Horses prefer tepid or warm water. If I give Wuss Horse two buckets, one of cold water and one of warm water, he will drink the warm water.

    And in the morning he drinks about 6 gallons of water. Before lunch, 4 gallons. Before dinner after being turned out, not interested, gimme eat. Before late dinner, 2 gallons. Late barn check and more hay, 2 gallons.

    PART of his water intake, I am sure is, 'It's fun to have mom hold a nice warm bucket of water for me.' I'm sure he drinks a little more than he needs. That's fine.

    My guess is that in cold weather, horses prefer to drink out of sun-warmed puddles and shallow pools, rather than eat snow, but they eat it if there's nothing else around. And if no bucket of water is available, they learn to supply their needs other ways. They are very resourceful and if thirsty will lick condensation off surfaces like gates - they usually make sure they have exactly what they need.

    Watch them in the pasture, they generally will pick up on what the other horses are doing and meet their needs quite well.
     
  7. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    Horses in all three barns (mine, and both boarding barns) have free access to water at all times, either from buckets or tubs. Tubs appear clean and well maintained.

    It just seems odd that both places are asking about water intake, and that my two are just plain drinking more.
     
  8. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

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    How old are your horses? Breed?

    Cushings presents with a butt load of symptoms. One of my recently diagnosed mares is only 14/15 and did not present with any of the typical symptoms. The other mare who also was diagnosed with cushings had frequent abscesses, dull personality, dull coat and a poor body condition. Cushings is one of those things I would be mindful of as our horses get older. Especially because it doesn't always present as textbook. I have a mini that looks like a yak. Had her tested for cushings and she came back negative. (we tested twice). You just never know!
     
  9. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    One is a yearling, the other his 17yo mom. Yearling has a normal fuzzy coat, thick and shiny. Mom looks like a shiny show pony. Both are at healthy weights, no fat build up, no hoof problems.

    Quest's BO says she read something about poor metabolism of sugar causing white spots, but I can't find anything online.
     
  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I'm SURE you can find SOMEONE online who claims that white spots are due to 'poor metabolism of sugar', LOL!!!!!!
     
    manesntails likes this.

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