Equine Cushings Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Equine Cushings DiseaseAlthough not the most common disease to affect horses, Equine Cushings Disease can cause devastating consequences for the health of your horse. Understanding the disease and knowing how to recognize the symptoms can lead to earlier treatment if it does occur and, hopefully, a happier outcome.

The Disease and Its Symptoms

Equine Cushings Disease occurs when too much steroid is being produced by the horse’s body. This is usually caused by glandular malfunctioning which is either brought on by aging (the condition is most common in horses over fifteen years of age) or by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland.

The excess steroid in the horse’s body can lead to many health problems which typically generate the symptoms of Equine Cushings. Horses with this problems have changes in their coats texture and color, they lose weight, they sweat more, their thirst and urination increase, they lose muscle, and their immune system weakens so it becomes harder to fight off infections, including ones that might cause horse hoof problems like white line disease. Some horses may also develop diabetes as a result of this condition.

Treating the Problem

Unfortunately, no cure exists or Equine Cushings Disease. Horses will need to continue treatment for the rest of their lives. However, effective treatments can help improve the quality of the horse’s life and can prevent them from developing equine laminits.

The treatment is twofold. First, the steroid levels must be controlled using medications. Someone knowledgeable about equine veterinary needs to determine what levels are needed and to do blood tests to make sure the medications are not affecting the horse’s liver. Second, the problems caused by the excess steroid levels need to be treated, too. For example, if the problem has led to a lame horse then those conditions also need to be rectified at the same time.

For horse lovers, Equine Cushings Disease may seem like a scary possibility for their horse but with proper treatment and early diagnosis your horse can still live a long and happy life.