Equine Cushings Disease is a life-threatening and debilitating condition that can affect horses of all ages, breeds and sizes. The pituitary tumor produces too much cortisol and causes an imbalance in horse metabolism and other bodily functions. ECD is difficult to diagnose, but it can be managed with good management. We will be discussing the symptoms and causes of ECD as well as how to diagnose it and the best treatment and prevention methods.
What is Equine Cushings Disease (ECD)?
Equine Cushings Disease (ECD), also known by Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction, (PPID) is a hormonal disorder that results from a tumor in the pituitary. A tumor can produce an excessive amount of cortisol which can cause an imbalance in horse metabolism and other bodily functions. ECD is more common in older horses. It can lead to increased thirst, increased urination, abnormal hair growth, and lameness.
Causes of Equine Curshings Disease
Although the exact cause of ECD remains unknown, it is thought to be due to a tumor in the pituitary. A tumor can produce an excessive amount of cortisol which can cause an imbalance in horse metabolism and other bodily functions. ECD can also occur due to other medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, and thyroid disorders.
Equine Cushings Disease Symptoms
ECD can present with a range of symptoms including increased thirst, increased urination and abnormal hair growth. The following are some other common symptoms:
- Excessive sweating
- Weight loss
- Muscle wasting
- Breathing problems
- Appetite increases
- Loss of coordination
Diagnostics for Equine Cushings Disease
ECD can be hard to diagnose because symptoms may be similar to other medical conditions. There are many tests that can confirm the diagnosis. The tests that can be done to confirm the diagnosis include a physical examination, blood tests, as well as an MRI scan. The blood test measures cortisol levels, while the MRI scan detects any pituitary tumors.
Equine Cushings Disease Treatment
Medication is the most commonly used treatment for ECD. Pergolide and cyproheptadine are two of the most common treatments for ECD. They can reduce cortisol levels and restore body’s natural balance. You can also try dietary changes, exercising, or taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
Prevention of Equine Cushings Disease
Regular veterinary care can help prevent ECD. Regular checks can detect the condition early and allow for early treatment. The disease can be prevented by providing your horse with adequate rest, healthy food, exercise, and a balanced diet.
Equine Cushings disease is a life-threatening and debilitating condition that can affect horses of all breeds and ages. The hormone cortisol is too high in the brain, and the tumor can be found on the pituitary. ECD symptoms can look similar to other medical conditions. However, there are tests that can confirm the diagnosis. ECD can be treated with medications, diet changes, exercise, vitamin and mineral supplementation, as well as medication. ECD prevention is possible by providing regular veterinary treatment and a healthy lifestyle.
What causes ECD?
ECD is caused when the pituitary tumor produces too much cortisol.
What are the symptoms and signs of ECD?
ECD symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination and abnormal hair coat.
How does ECD get diagnosed?