Vitex supplement for horses and ponies with Cushing's disease
Cushy-VX® is a powerful tincture of Vitex agnus-castus, also known as chasteberry and vitex for horses. It works on the pituitary gland to support the body’s endocrine system thereby supporting metabolic function. In this way it helps support vitality, normal coat shedding, balanced hormones, good immune function, a healthy circulation, healthy hooves and appropriate energy levels in horses with signs of pituitary gland stress.
Cushy-VX® gives your horse all the benefits of Vitex agnus-castus in a concentrated form that is easily-absorbed into the bloodstream for speedy results.
Cushy-VX® is a natural nutritional supplement which supports the body's endocrine system via the pituitary gland. Ideally, feed along with antioxidant vitamins, e.g. Pegasus Vitamin E 2000 and Pegasus Vitamin C, to help limit oxidative stress (since this is believed to be involved in pituitary gland stress).
For best results, consider the following dietary advice to support horses and ponies with pituitary stress:
- Maintain a healthy bodyweight, neither too fat nor too slim
- Feed a well-balanced diet, including elevated levels of antioxidant vitamins
- Feed appropriate fibre-based feeds
- Limit starch, sugar and fructan intake i.e. limit grass intake, feed hay/haylage with a water soluble carbohydrate content of 10% or less and avoid coarse mixes and other starchy feeds
- A natural product
- Safe for long-term use
Feed Cushy-VX® to:
- Horses and ponies with endocrine challenges or signs of pituitary stress
- To all older horses or ponies showing any signs of pituitary stress
- Support good health in horses and ponies with Cushing's syndrome (PPID) and EMS
- Horses and ponies with excessive hair growth due to a compromised endocrine system
ML PER DAY
5 - 10ml twice a day
5 ml twice a day
1 litre fed at 10ml per day will last 100 days
Cushy-VX® can be used in conjunction with conventional medicines. The suggested feeding rates may be increased if necessary and adjusted to suit the individual, they are not necessarily related to body weight. Please seek veterinary advice if you are unsure
*DO NOT SUPPLEMENT TO PREGNANT MARES OR THOSE DUE TO CONCEIVE*
Aqua, Ethanol, Chastetree berry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Crude ash <0.1%
Crude ﬁbre <0.1%
Crude oils and fats <0.1%
Crude protein <0.1%
A complementary feed material for horses. Store in a cool, dry place. Replace cap securely to avoid deterioration of contents. Keep out of reach of children
Managing cushing's disease in horses
Vitex agnus-castus, also known as agnus castus, chasteberry and monk’s pepper for horses, is a herb with powerful properties. It is a dopamine agonist, which acts on the pituitary gland, helping to support the balance of a variety of hormones in animals with pituitary glands stress. It contains a number of active compounds, including antioxidants, essential oils and diterpenes. The diterpenes are believed to be the component with dopaminergic activity.
Supporting pituitary gland function allows a correct balancing of a number of important endocrine hormones involved in metabolism, thermoregulation and hoof function, amongst other things. Up to 30% of aged horses and ponies are believed to have pituitary insufficiency, due to a neurodegenerative condition called Cushing’s syndrome. Cushing’s syndrome (also called pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction or PPID) is most commonly recognised by a long, hairy coat which is not shed normally in the spring (although this symptom may not be present). The condition is not well understood and it is not reversible. However, supporting pituitary gland function can help quality of life.
Horses and ponies with pituitary gland stress have a number of symptoms, many of which are slow in onset. Affected horses may not show all of these:
- Thick, long and sometimes curly hair growth, which is not shed properly in the spring
- Excessive urination and drinking
- Lowered immune response (susceptibility to infections and parasites)
- Increased risk of laminitis
- Muscle atrophy (withering)
- Abnormal fat distribution and a ‘pot belly’
- Lethargy (lack of energy)
Vitex agnus-castus for horses helps support normal pituitary function, therefore balancing endocrine function.
The neurodegeneration involved in Cushing’s syndrome is thought to be associated with oxidative stress, so ensuring a good supply of antioxidant vitamins is recommended. Affected horses and ponies are usually on limited fresh green grass, due to their increased risk of laminitis, which reduces their intake of vitamin E. Researchers have found low plasma vitamin C levels in horses affected by Cushing’s syndrome, and since it may become an essential nutrient for horses and ponies who are unwell, it is recommended to feed extra to those with Cushing’s syndrome.
I've now switched from James Hart Cushy Life to Cushy-VX - exact same quality supplement, better value and made in UK!
I have two horses who both have Cushings, Ali is a 20 yr old TB X Cob mare and Cloud is a 26 Yr old part Arab Palomino. Both were diagnosed in October 2012. I have had Ali on Cushy-VX ever since diagnosis, except for about 2 months when I thought I would be clever and move her to a cheaper product and within 4 weeks of that she went down with laminitis!! Cloud has been on pergolide (half tab a day) since diagnosis. I had both Ali and Cloud blood tested last week (Jan 2014) to check their Cushings levels to see if medication working. A normal horse should have a score below 29. When they were first tested Ali was around 86 and Cloud was very high at 176. I had their results today, Cloud's score was now down to 73.7 (so upping his dose for a bit to see if we can bring it down more) but more interestingly Ali's score is now 38.9 (and that is after a bout of laminitis in early December). She has been on 10 ml of Cushy-VX, so I am going to increase her dose to 15 ml for a bit to see if we can get her back down to normal levels!! Power of the plants are working just as well as the prescription drugs but without the nasty side effects!! Once I get Cloud down to a good level I will see if I can move him to this supplement too as its brilliant!!
A few years ago Murphy, our 27 year old TB, was diagnosed with Cushing's syndrome. He didn't look like a Cushinoid horse and my vets really didn't think that this was the problem, but I stuck to my guns and asked for him to be tested. The results confirmed Cushing's and he was immediately put on Prascend, starting on half a tablet daily and progressing to one. Luckily, Murphy didn't suffer any of the side effects that many do when put on this drug. His adrenicorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) level was in the 40s, so not particularly high, though he did have laminitis and ataxia (loss of control of bodily movements) issues.
After six weeks he was tested again. His ACTH levels had come down to 32 and he looked and obviously felt better, but we had to keep him on a strict management regime - no grass, as it seemed to trigger laminitis.
Due to the Cushing's, Murphy suffered ataxia (loss of control of bodily movements.) This is something we will never get rid, of but it varies in its severity. During the worst stage, he could hardly get through a stable door and at his best, you would never know he suffered from it. Fortunately, he's never gone back to his worse stage and can happily canter round, roll, buck and leap. In fact, he's harder to handle than my two-year-old. He believes he has a right to be naughty and at his age I'm not arguing!
Unfortunately, by January of the next year he started to go downhill again. His ACTH level was 31 and he was suffering from low grade laminitis, so my vets decided to up the Prascend dosage to one and a half tablets a day.
After talking to Mark @ Pegasus, we decided to try Cushy-VX which is Vitex agnus-castus (chasteberry). This is renowned for helping Cushinoid horses and those with other hormone-related problems.
Four weeks later
Just four weeks after we started Murphy on 20 ml daily of Cushy-VX his ACTH level had gone down to a fantastic 26.5! For the first time in two and a half years, it was in the normal level as per Liphooks testing. This came as a huge but welcome shock, as I wasn't expecting such a fabulous result. In this period we changed absolutely nothing. There were no changes in turnout time in his surfaced pen and no changes in his forage or hard feeds.
We can only attribute this result to Cushy-VX as no other changes have been made during the time of trailing this product. We did feed more than the recommended daily amount, continuing on the 20 ml level as we felt 10 ml didn't suit Murphy. We are currently experimenting with the daily amount - Murphy is quite good at letting us know how he feels, so I'm sure we will see any changes quickly if the lower dose doesn't suit.
I am over the moon with what Cushy-VX has helped us to achieve; after all, Crushing's horses can be difficult to look after even on medication. Murphy is still to continue with his Prascend at one and a half tablets a day, but the recent ACTH result means that we don't have to increase the dose. Staying on a lower dose for longer can only be better for him. It also helps my bank balance, as Prascend is not a cheap medication. I wholeheartedly recommend this product. We have the ACTH result we've always wanted and I'm sure it's because of Cushy-VX.
I am feeding Cushy-VX for ponies that have cushings disease and I do believe that it is working. I was originally medicating the ponies with pergolide but I decided to take a risk and feed this supplement instead. I felt that feeding natural products appealed more than medicating with tablets. The ponies have not deteriorated in any way and I think that they have all had a change in mood/behaviour for the better. One pony is more prone to laminitis than the others and he has had a mixed summer - although I believe that this is due to his laminitis being very difficult to control. I do feel that Cushy-VX has had a positive effect and is definitely worth trying.