Featured News 2019 Does Your Horse Have PPID?

Does Your Horse Have PPID?

As warm weather envelops the country, it’s important for horse owners to look for the signs of PPID. Also known as Cushing’s disease, PPID stands for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. To find out if a horse has PPID, it’s important to understand how a horse should behave as the weather warms. Healthy horses typically begin to shed their winter coat when it isn’t needed any longer. However, a horse with PPID may take longer to shed. Unfortunately, PPID is not easy to identify during cold months and, by the time an owner notices their horse isn’t shedding, the creature has likely been experiencing symptoms for months.

PPID symptoms include the following:

· Extreme thirst

· Frequent urination

· High blood sugar

· Long, curly hair

· Lethargy

· Infections

· Infertility

· Blindness

· Muscle wasting

· Rounded abdomen

· Fat deposits near neck and tail

· Laminitis

PPID & Laminitis

Laminitis is the most severe result of PPID as it can be a fatal condition that causes the horse’s foot to be inflamed as its tissues disintegrate.

Laminitis causes the following:

· Lameness while turning or standing

· Increased temperature in the feet

· High pulse in the feet

· Reacting to pressure from hoof testers

· Hesitant walking

· Dropped soles

· Dished hooves from unequal rates of growth

· Bruised soles

What Causes PPID?

PPID begins when a benign tumor forms in the pituitary gland, located near the base of the horse brain. This tumor inhibits the pituitary gland’s ability to regulate hormones and causes the side effects listed above. Horses most frequently affected by the disease are in their teens or twenties, and the condition is less common in young horses.

Unfortunately, no one specific test will determine whether a horse is suffering from Cushing's disease or not, so your veterinarian will need to conduct multiple tests to diagnose the disease. A vet will typically test cortisol, insulin, ACTH, and MSH levels for signs of PPID. Once you learn that your horse has PPID, there is a simple way of helping the horse is by following a treatment plan.

As a horse owner, or any animal for that matter, being consistent with routine veterinarian care is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your animals. If you own any type of animal, contact a local vet in your area for the care and treatments that they need. Use our directory to find a local vet near you!

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