So, Tristan has Cushing's. I'm reading, and reading, and reading as much as humanly possible.
Today, I came across a new piece of information that I hadn't had before.
Pergolide is listed as a banned substance on the USEF medications list. It can be considered a "therapeutic" drug, which means that it can be used under certain conditions:
- it must be used for a legitimate therapeutic use only, ie directly for treatment of a diagnosed illness;
- it must be withdrawn within 24 hours of competition;
- it must be stated with a report documenting therapeutic usage.
As best I can understand, this is because pergolide mimics dopamine in the equine system, which is what horses with Cushing's are missing. Here's an excellent COTH article outlining the biology at work.
I know that my chances of making it to a USEF/recognized show with Tristan were slim, but this dashes them entirely. I'm not willing to withdraw him from the medication in order to compete. There is an outside chance that I can rig the medication so that he gets it say 25 hours before a class and then immediately afterwards, or I can just show on it and keep my fingers crossed that he's tested, but neither of those options is a good one.
I'm sort of unexpectedly heartbroken, all over again. I'd been slowly accepting that my hopes to show him were fading with age, opportunity, and my own funds, but it was nice to have that out there, to think that someday I might take him to a USDF show for the heck of it.