Bud's little red Pergolide pill

I’ve mentioned before that one of the reasons we supplement the pasture with grain for our two old sweeties is that both need daily meds.

We’re usually able to slip the medicine into the grain and no one’s the wiser.

We started with Bud, who needs Pergolide to reduce his symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Once a day he gets a little red pill. It’s made a huge difference. Our vet recently increased the dosage, so now the pill is hot pink.

Either way, the bright color makes it easy to see, so that when Bud spits it out (which he sometimes does) I can put it back in the feed pan and ultimately into Bud. It’s a game he plays with me, rather like when your one year old keeps dropping a toy, just so you’ll pick it up.

Pepper isn’t quite as cooperative. She is one suspicious girl when it comes to her food. Last winter we put soybean oil into their grain for the added calories. Bud loved it, but Pepper wasn’t such an easy sell. I had to add the oil one tablespoon at a time until she was used to the taste and feel.

Like I said, she’s cautious.

So lately our vet suggested that we give Pepper a daily dose of bute to offset the pain in her back legs. Her knees are starting to calcify. It’s hard enough for me to even write this, let alone think about what it’s going to mean down the road for her – and me.

I want her to take the pain reliever so that she feels better. And I wish she could connect that powder in her food to feeling better.

But, she doesn’t.

If her food is even the slightest bit different, she won’t eat it. Just walks toward the gate and through telepathy says:  “No way man. I’m not eating that stuff. I’m ready to go back now.”

So I’ve reverted to the old soybean oil system. I add a little more bute each time I feed her. Soon enough I’ll be at the recommended dose.

I hope.

Right now we’re giving Bud a course of antibiotics from the minor surgery he had last week. We have to mix the powder with water and then stir it into his grain. If we do that, he’s fine. The first time we didn’t, and Bud wouldn’t touch his food.


The horses aren’t the only ones needing more medication these days and a way to manage it. Since my husband had a medical “issue” earlier this year, our meds have increased significantly.

Our own supplements and medications line the kitchen counter, making the room look more like a pharmacy than a kitchen.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement.

But I wager if you were to have a secret peek into cabinets of most people in their fifties and sixties, you’d find quite a lineup of potions, pills and magic elixirs.

Multi-vitamins, fish oil, Vitamin D, CoQ-10 are just a few that have taken up residence on our shelves.

What is it about this age? I often wonder if I’m afraid of dying. I don’t think that’s it exactly. It’s more that I am afraid of living when my body isn’t working anymore.

How about you? Are you taking more meds? And if so, why?