I have a 26 year old quarter horse. She has been treated by a local vet for a thyroid issue. He did not do any type of testing just looked at her coat “cresty” neck and said he thought she needed medicine. We have had her on this for about 18 months I don’t see any change in her. Her neck is still cresty and she has a long coat in the winter but sheds off in the spring. Currently she is very slick and looks good. The local vet has mentioned several times we should also test her for Cushings. At this point I’m not willing to do that as I do not believe she has it. Would it be okay for me to take her off the thyroid medicine and see what happens? I have read a misdiagnosis can cause the “crestyness” of the neck as well as coat issuing even tying-upThree weeks ago my granddaughter was riding her and she tied-up. We took her off her Nutrena Senior 14% protein feed, gave her a tube of electrolytes, added selenium and vitamin E as well as Source “Focus SR”. This same vet said to give her feed back and start riding her after 48 hours. When my granddaughter got on her she was fine we walked her for a good half hour all was well. When we ask her to trot is was not pretty. We stopped took all tack off and rested her off feed again. She ended up at the vet’s office overnight with about 20 liters of IV fluids with a liter of DMSO. She was put on 7 days of Dex 11cc once daily, 1cc of Ace twice a day for 5 days, and a gram of Bute twice daily for 7 days. She was also BioScanned twice. She didn’t seem to be getting much better so we took her to a Chiropractor her muscles were to tight to adjust her so she was treated with Acupuncture and seem to get slowly better for about a week now she seems to be just at a stand still. We go back on Saturday for another Acupuncture treatment and maybe an adjustment. I guess I’m wondering if the thyroid medication could be causing her more harm than good. Any help or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Type of Animal: Quater Horse
Name of Horse: Jump
Iv treatment, thyroid medicine, Bioscan, acupuncture.
Hi, There are allot of things going on here. I wouldn't recommend stopping the thyroxine without testing her first. It could be that she isn't getting enough. To just stop giving it would be shocking to the system. The long coat and crest could be Cushings, but the only way to know for sure is to do the testing. I am also a little concerned about using the Bute and the dexamethazone together. This can cause ulcers. How is she doing at the present?Dr. Kevin
I would not stop the thyroid medicine I would whine her off slowly. I know this can cause real hormone issues to do so cold turkey. The vet/chiro doesn't think she has cushing either do we. She has a long coat in the winter but it's spring and she looks great all silk, pretty shiny coat. We have stalled her at times and will monitor her water intake and she doesn't drink or pee excessively very normal. I would say she drink about 6 or 8 gallons of water a day. When she first tied-up her neck was so stiff she could hardly move it and the "cresty" part was so hard and tight, now it pretty much normal. She had tight knots along most of her core muscles but that has pretty much corrected itself. She still has to areas at the back of her hips near her tail that are still tight. These areas are much better just not 100% the left side is about twice as tight as the right.
I guess my real question is could any of the problems we are dealing with be side affects of her being on thyroid medicine if she doesn't need it? I also read that the normal dose is about 15 grams per day but she has been on 1 gram per day until January when he increased her to 2 grams per day. I agree if she does have an "issue" chances are she is not getting enough medicine to help her. Wouldn't testing her now be inconclusive seeing that she has been on the medication for 18 months?
You have a very good sense of the problem. I too like the fact that she sheds out an slicks up. Cushings horses don't do that. I don't think the thyroid could cause the signs your describing, but being hypothyroid and then not getting enough thyroxine could. 2 of the worst myositis's (tie up) that I have ever treated were on horses that also had hypothyroidism. Probably best to bite the bullet and get the testing done. Its the only way you will know for sure. Dr. Kevin
Thanks for the information. But now I'm concerned about the thyroid issue. If she is on the medicine how will I know if the test results are correct?
Well it will be easy if the test comes back low even though she is on the thyroxine. Are you treating her once or twice daily?
She is treated twice daily 1 gram in the morning 1 in the evening. Currently she is still on minimal feed just enough to give her medicine and supplements to her with a few tables spoons of corn oil and about a teaspoon of iodize salt. We still are not riding her either. Her normal rider is my 6 year old granddaughter who weighs all of 41 pounds. ;)
So have the blood drawn just before her treatment, this will be her lowest level of the day. if she truly is hypothyroid, the 1 gm twice a day is not going to effect the test much.
The thyroid medicine she is taking is called Thyroid PDR. Just so you know what he is giving her.
What is the recommended dose for a horse on the package.
1 gram twice daily, it's a off-white colored powder.
How many Mg's of thyroxine per Gm of powder?
Don't know we buy it from him and it comeing in a zip-loc bag with his prescription on it. I buy 1 pound at a time at a cost of $35.00. I think I can buy it online cheaper. Do you know the average cost of the test?
I charge 70$ for a thyroid panel in the equine. Thats about average for here in Ca.