Cushings Disease

Equine Cushings Disease is caused by a malfunction of the Pituitary gland, leading to excess production of cortisol, which is a natural steroid. This is a typical problem of the older horse, and also occurs in other species.

SYMPTOMS

– Excessive thirst – drinking up to 3 times more than usual.
– Long coarse hairy coat, sometimes curly, retained in summer.
– Swayback stance and pot belly.
– Deposit of fat above the eyes.
– Dull, listless appearance. 
– Increased appetite (but probably without improved condition).
– Laminitis.
– Loss of topline.

Management will require veterinary advice; drugs such as Pergolide or Prascend are the standard treatments, available only on prescription.
Several websites produced by qualified veterinary practitioners observe that if caught early, Cushings Disease can be controlled with Agnus Castus (Monk’s Pepper, Chaste Tree) see for example The Laminitis Trust.
Visit the  laminitis page for advice on suitable feeds for the cushinoid horse or pony. For advice on maintaining condition, click here.
  wpb3b375e0_06
This horse was thought to be suffering incipient cushings disease. This picture was taken in early June. Note the winter coat still on the belly, neck, and legs.
HarryCushings2
Ten days later, more of the winter coat has been shed but a weight loss problem has become apparent.

Back to menu at top


Copyright Horseheath Nutrition. All rights reserved.
If any images have been inadvertently used without the copyright holders’ permission (e.g. supplied by customers) then that copyright is hereby acknowledged; copyright holders should contact Gravenhorse Feeds at the earliest opportunity so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

%d bloggers like this: