Understanding Equine Cushing's Disease

Care About Cushing's is here to help further understanding of Equine Cushing's Disease - the 5th most commonly diagnosed disease affecting horses in the UK

Care About Cushing's

Equine Cushing’s disease (more correctly known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction or PPID) is a common hormonal disease of horses and ponies. Care About Cushing's is a community resource specifically developed to support horse owners in recognising the signs of Equine Cushing's disease, diagnosing it promptly, and creating the best management plan for their horse in order to maintain quality of life and reduce the risk of suffering associated with this disease.

What is Equine Cushing’s disease?

Membership

For expert advice and tools that will help you manage Equine Cushing's disease.

Finding out that your horse has Equine Cushing’s disease can be worrying - that's why 'Care About Cushing's' is here. We are here to support and guide you in sorting out the facts from the fiction, and provide a safe place for your horse's records and support you in making the best decisions for your horse. 

Join the community

Care About Cushing’s offers you the opportunity to become part of a community of fellow owners of horses faced with Equine Cushing’s disease. Becoming a member of this community offers numerous benefits, such as:

  • Instant access to expert tips on diagnosing and managing Equine Cushing’s disease (PPID) in your horse.
  • Simple accessible recording system to monitor your horse’s progress.
  • Video and document library to teach you useful techniques such as body condition scoring.
  • A direct line to veterinary experts ready to answer your questions.
  • Option to receive summaries of scientific advances in Equine Cushing’s disease and laminitis direct to your inbox.
  • Option to receive personalised alerts when action may be appropriate for your horse.
  • Option to participate in a survey to advance the understanding of Equine Cushing’s disease.
  • Learn from other horse owners experiences of Equine Cushing’s disease.

 

Features of membership

How to spot it?

The signs of Equine Cushing’s disease will vary from one horse or pony to another. It’s therefore important to monitor your horse for all the clinical signs that are associated with this disease.

Muscle wastage

Muscle wastage

Abnormal fat deposits

Abnormal fat deposits

Abnormal sweating

Abnormal sweating

Recurrent infections

Recurrent infections

Lethargy

Lethargy

Laminitis Rings

Laminitis

Increased thirst/urination

Increased thirst/urination

Abnormal coat

Abnormal coat

Reduced fertility

Reduced fertility

If you recognise one or more of the signs of Equine Cushing’s disease in your horse, there are three simple steps you need to take to find out if they have the condition, and how to best manage the disease so that they continue to live a happy and healthy life.

Horse of the Month

Jack

A few years ago Jack had respiratory problems, dermatitis, and allergic reactions. Our vet was concerned that these recurrent infections could be a sign of Equine Cushing’s disease (PPID) so he was tested when he was 16 years old, but the test was negative. As time went on his symptoms worsened: he had further respiratory infections, was very lethargic to the point of being unable to do anything, and was more footy than normal (which we had put down to the hard ground). He had previously been a very energetic horse, always running around and active. Our vet advised us to repeat the Cushing’s test again, and this time it was positive (even though Jack had a sleek coat and did not seem to us to be the usual type for Cushing’s!).  Jack was started on treatment for the Equine Cushing’s disease and his diet was changed to avoid sugars. He went unrugged all winter to lose any excess weight and to be as natural as possible. He regained his interest and energy and was able to move again. He was retired from riding in December 2017 due to arthritis, however he has managed to get back into work on the ground and maintain a good level of fitness. Most of all he is happy and has his spark back!

Share your story about managing PPID/Equine Cushing's disease