IR, EMS and Cushings – Staying on top of all the information out there is no piece of cake

Jaworzno came with a bit of a crest.

And some small fat pads above the shoulders and back above the tail, and a pretty thick coat for mid April.  Suspecting Cushings, I thought it best to plan on testing him well before the fall.  Turned out on rich pasture his crest immediately hardened, definite Insulin Resistance sign.  After some intense reading up on it all, I think we’ve got most of it figured out by now, and with some easy changes he’s been able to go back to turn out the entire day, morning until evening, although on a less rich pasture.  It’s all a puzzle, everything has to fit together just right.  He has shedded out well, but energy levels are still fairly low, maybe this is just the way he is.  Really don’t think he has Cushings at all!

Steps so far.

Exercise 5 days per week.  Turnout on pasture, no muzzle, on short grass that was mowed a couple of weeks ago before letting him out on it all day.  During start-up period, limited grazing to less than 5 hours.  No grain, no sweets, no added carbohydrates in any way on top of the grass hay.  We have not had to start dunking the hay in water, his crest seems to have gone down anyway.  On top of this, he has been getting a founder/IR supplement – I think it’s working!

Here is the crest in Mid April


Here is the crest less than 1 month later

Less Crest

The neck angle makes him look all shriveled up, but he isn’t, – different light and head position. There is a definite difference in the crest thickness though. We’ll see, it might just be the way he is, but if there is continued improvement I will post some fun before and after pictures later this summer.