Equine Cushing's Disease

ArticleHow To - HealthThursday 13 May 2010
Cushing's Disease in Equines

Equine Cushing’s disease is a horse disease where the pituitary gland (the gland that produces hormones) malfunctions with age. The actual cause of this horse disease is unknown, but it affects horse health considerably. An equine suffering from this condition will display a number of different symptoms. See the following guide to equine Cushing’s disease for more information.


The pituitary gland is in the brain of an equine and is there to produce hormones, as well as other substances that are sent into the main horse body. Equine Cushing’s disease causes the gland to produce too many hormones and can grow in size. This can cause nerve problems in severe cases. The adrenal gland, which can be found by the kidneys, can also be affected, and this can result in more horse health problems.


Mostly, this horse disease strikes horses that are in their teens or 20s, and their coat will become thick and wavy. The horse will sweat much more and become sluggish. They will also drink and urinate a lot more. Laminitis is another common symptom that stems from Cushing’s that can affect horse health. Other signs can include:
•    Sinus issues
•    Hoof and tooth abscesses
•    Slow-healing sores and wounds

As time goes on, the horse disease can develop and display other horse health problems. The horse can develop a pot belly, and his legs can stiffen up. Neurological issues can also arise, with some being potentially fatal.


Different drugs are used to treat equine Cushing’s disease, and each one will target specific conditions that have arisen as a result. The diet of the horse will have to change so that sugar is limited and there will be a particular focus on gaining weight. This horse disease is not difficult to diagnose and can be treated easily too. Although there is no cure, it can be controlled so that horse health can be maintained, and the equine can live somewhat normally.

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