Latest Cushings Check

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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#1
As some of you will know, Raf has Cushings, diagnosed 3 years ago when he was 9. I had his ACTH levels tested back in August when the vet came out for something else. At the time they were borderline so the vet advised me to have him retested in a couple of months, when the levels should be at their highest. I had him retested last week and this time his results are negative. I was at work when I took the call and couldn't really talk, so I wasn't able to quiz the vet as much as I would have liked. She said to leave him on his current dose of Prascend (one a day) which I'm happy to do as he is feeling and looking well at the moment, but I wonder why his levels have dropped so much. When he was tested back in August he had an abscess (although we didn't know that's what the problem was at the time) - could that have inflated his ACTH levels to make such a difference?
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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#2
Pain definitely increases acth in all horses (not ppid only) so it could be that, it's also effected by stress and sedation, and does naturally fluctuate throughout the day so testing at different times can change the results. If it's now in normal range it's not negative for cushings, just shows it is controlled with the current drug dosage :) from memory, the seasonal rise begins in August and is tailing off now, so perhaps the ups and downs effect him slightly differently.
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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#3
Thanks @Jessey. I think the vet said his level was actually in negative figures, but I may have misinterpreted her. She was quite perplexed by the result too. In any case I need to find out what the level was so I can keep a record. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the ups and downs affect him differently, he doesn't seem to like conforming to normal clinical standards :rolleyes:
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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#4
Being in the normal range for acth is 'negative' in a non ppid horse, but my point was that the drugs don't get rid of the disease so they are never negative for PPID once they have it, it's just the acth is controlled into normal range. I am sure you understand that though :) but I've known one or two to think that when the vet said 'negative' (whilst medicated) they thought they had been cured and they could stop medicating.
Now re-reading your reply, do you mean like -5 for example? I don't think that's physically possible but I'd be interested if it is :)
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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#6
I've known one or two to think that when the vet said 'negative' (whilst medicated) they thought they had been cured and they could stop medicating.
Yes, when I told someone about the result, this is what she thought - she thought maybe he'd never had it in the first place. Unfortunately I realise this couldn't be. I meant to ring the vet today but got stuck in a meeting at work so still no wiser about his actual levels. Will try again tomorrow!
 
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Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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#7
Nothing useful to add - but is it really three years since he was diagnosed?!! Where did that go?!!!
Unbelievable isn't it - I sometimes worry about how old he is getting - 13 next year, I've had him since he was only just 4. I've aged myself a fair bit, mind :)

I hoped that he and I would last together until I was in my 70s and he was in his 20s/30s - I thought we'd be ready to slow down together. With his Cushings I don't know if he'll make it so long, but then again maybe I won't either. I'm just grateful for the time we have together, however long that may be.