Monday, November 26, 2012

Crushing's Disease...

No, that's not a misspelling.  That's my new term for Equine Cushing's disease, since Owen has it and I'm crushed by the news.

Equine Cushings is caused by a pituitary tumor in the brain stem, and I've been consciously blocking out the subtle signs I've seen in Owen (most noticeably fat deposits in what is usually an extremely fit horse) because I didn't want to face the disease that ultimately took my beloved Chummie from me.

I forced myself last week to draw the blood and send it out, and though I had girded myself for a positive test I was nonetheless devastated by the news.  Yes, there is medication to manage the symptoms, but it is not without side effects and cannot stop the inevitable and destructive progress of the pituitary tumor.

I fear this means that Owen has peaked and I can expect no further progress with him.  It also means constant vigilance for the remainder of his life in the form of diet and turnout management...Owen is going to HATE wearing a muzzle, but on the plus side it will keep him from cribbing!

Our meeting with our attorney last week was not inspiring, either, since he said it was unlikely we would get any of our money back from the builder and that we would be throwing good money after bad should we try to pursue legal address.

We had hoped to be in our new house by now, and the deal with Bruce was that once we had the new place established I would get another horse.  But I think I need another horse now.  I have so much emotional investment in Owen, and I need to start another project lest something debilitating, such as founder, happen to him.

But what horse can possibly fill his tiny shoes?


  1. As the owner of a horse who was diagnosed as insulin resistant at the age of 5, and who has watched two family horses suffer from the advanced effects of Metabolic Syndrome, you have my sympathies.

    Of course, it is not an immediate death sentence, but I know all about the years of worry, extreme vigilance and careful diet management. Hang in there.

  2. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that Robin - my sympathies! It's not fun to have a chronically ill horse..

  3. Oh no Robin, I'm so sorry to hear about Owen and about your house. I can't believe someone can just take off with your money and not be held responsible.

  4. Find and join the Yahoo Cushings/IR group. You're going to be overwhelmed with info at first, but the people there are extremely knowledgeable.

  5. So sad to hear it!! I hope that Owen still has many long, happy, and fruitful years with you! Maybe not the upper reaches of arena dressage, but it sounds like he's come to love the trails and demos almost as much as you.