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Equine Cushing's Care Guide: From Early Signs to Holistic Management

Updated: Oct 17, 2023


Equine bushings disease horse with abnormal coat
Photo: Horse & Hound

The endocrine system is a complex and intricate network of glands and hormones that play a pivotal role in maintaining the well-being of both humans and our four-legged companions, such as horses. This remarkable system is responsible for orchestrating the production and regulation of various hormones, which are essential for growth, development, and overall survival in diverse environments. Yet, much like in humans, the equine endocrine system is not immune to malfunctions, and one particularly concerning condition that can afflict our equine friends is Equine Cushing's disease.


When your horse begins to exhibit signs of difficulty shedding excess weight and displays symptoms like bouts of laminitis, it could be indicative of Equine Metabolic Syndrome, a condition that is all too common and often misunderstood by horse owners. Recognizing and diagnosing this condition can be a perplexing challenge, and it can be equally daunting to find the right course of treatment. In the following sections of this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of Equine Cushing's disease, shedding light on its symptoms, its impact on your horse's health, and most importantly, how you can take steps to improve your horse's condition and quality of life. Whether you're a seasoned horse owner or a novice, understanding this condition is crucial for the well-being of your beloved equine companion. So, let's embark on this journey to unravel the mysteries of Cushing's in horses and explore the paths to a healthier and happier equine life.


Unveiling the Core of Equine Cushing's: The Role of the Pituitary Gland

brain diagram showing where the hypothalamus and pituitary gland is located

Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID) is the formal and often less familiar name for the condition most commonly recognized as Equine Cushing's disease. PPID is a disorder that originates within the horse's endocrine system, which is responsible for orchestrating the production and regulation of hormones necessary for various bodily functions. While it's often pony breed owners who express concern about their horses suffering from Equine Cushing's, it's important to dispel the misconception that this ailment is limited to smaller breeds. In fact, larger breed horses are just as susceptible to developing this condition, making it a cause for worry across the equestrian spectrum.


Experts in equine health and veterinary medicine have revealed that horses over the age of 15 are at a significantly higher risk of falling prey to PPID. In contrast, younger horses are typically spared from this condition, although there are rare exceptions. At the heart of PPID lies the pituitary gland, a crucial component of the equine endocrine system. Nestled at the base of the horse's brain, this gland plays a pivotal role in secreting various chemicals and hormones necessary for growth and the smooth operation of fundamental life functions.


However, when the pituitary gland experiences abnormal enlargement, complications ensue. This enlargement primarily affects the intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland, referred to as the "pars intermedia." This expansion triggers an increase in the production of a hormone known as ACTH, or adrenocorticotropic hormone, within the horse's body. ACTH, in turn, prompts the adrenal glands to churn out higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which subsequently leads to a cascade of detrimental effects on the horse's health. Understanding this chain of events is critical in comprehending the impact of PPID on our equine companions and underscores the importance of early detection and management.

diagram of pathophysiology in PPID or cushings disease
Overview of pathophysiology in PPID Photo credit: University of Minnesota

Understanding the Symptoms of Equine Cushing's

Equine Cushing's disease, formally known as Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), presents a range of distressing symptoms that can impact your horse's well-being. Recognizing these signs is crucial for early diagnosis and intervention. Let's delve into the various symptoms associated with this condition:


Potbellied Appearance

pony with a potbelly from cushings disease

One of the most noticeable and common indicators of Equine Cushing's disease is the development of a potbelly. In this condition, affected horses find it exceedingly difficult to shed excess weight, and this rounded, distended belly becomes a distinctive feature.


Frequent Urination and Ravenous Appetite

Horses with Equine Cushing's often exhibit increased urination frequency and a seemingly insatiable appetite. These changes in urinary patterns and eating habits are early warning signs that warrant your attention.


Weakened Immune System and Lethargy

Equine Cushing's can lead to a weakened immune system and persistent lethargy. Horses with this condition may be more susceptible to infections and may lack the usual vigor and vitality.


Abnormal Hair Coat

The condition is characterized by an abnormal hair coat, which is a significant symptom to watch out for. Equine health experts advise owners to pay close attention to the state of their horse's coat. The weakened immune system associated with the disease can make their skin more prone to infections and wounds, emphasizing the need for regular skin checks.


Fat Deposition Above the Eyes

horse with cushings fat deposits above eyes
Photo credit: B&W Equine Vets

An unusual fat disposition above the horse's eyes is another sign to be aware of. As fat accumulates, it contributes to weight gain and the loss of skeletal muscle, rendering the horse weaker. This fat accumulation can sometimes be challenging to detect but is often evident when observing the horse while eating – a normal horse will exhibit a depression, while a suffering horse will not.


Hirsutism

miniture pony with long coat from cushings disease

Hirsutism, or abnormal hair growth, can manifest in various degrees. According to veterinarians and equine experts, this occurs when the pituitary gland compresses the hypothalamus, disrupting normal hair growth. The effects on the coat can range from moderate to drastic changes. The hypothalamus also regulates appetite, body temperature, and seasonal shedding. The increased pressure on this region leads to accelerated hair growth, which can be particularly challenging for horses in the summer as it increases the risk of overheating.


Laminitis and Equine Cushing's disease

Laminitis, a painful and potentially debilitating condition involving inflammation and damage to the tissues above the hoof, is frequently associated with Equine Cushing's disease. While ongoing scientific research continues to explore this connection, it's widely believed, based on experience, that the elevated cortisol levels in the horse's body play a significant role in the development of laminitis. This condition can further disrupt the horse's metabolism, leading to additional challenges in their overall well-being.

diagram showing both healthy hoof and a laminitis hoof

Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for horse owners, as early detection and timely intervention can significantly improve the quality of life for horses afflicted by Equine Cushing's disease.


Understanding the Risk Factors and Causes of Equine Cushing's Disease

Equine Cushing's disease, also known as Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), is a complex condition with various risk factors and underlying causes. By unraveling the elements that contribute to its development, we can take proactive steps to prevent or manage the disease effectively. Let's explore the risk factors and causes of Equine Cushing's:

Pony with long coat developed from cushings disease
Photo: The Red Pony Pet Service
  • Age: One of the primary risk factors for Equine Cushing's disease is advancing age. Horses over the age of 15 are notably more susceptible. While it can affect horses at a younger age, it is less common.

  • Genetics: Genetic predisposition may play a role in the development of Cushing's disease in some horses. Certain breeds, such as ponies and Morgans, are more frequently affected, pointing to a genetic link.

  • Pituitary Gland Changes: At the heart of Cushing's disease lies a malfunction in the pituitary gland, a critical component of the horse's endocrine system. With age and other factors, the pituitary gland can experience structural changes and enlargement, disrupting its normal function.

  • Abnormal Hormone Production: The pituitary gland is responsible for secreting adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which triggers the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, a stress hormone. In horses with Cushing's disease, there is an overproduction of ACTH, leading to elevated cortisol levels. This hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc on the horse's body.

pony in a field may develop cushings due to environmental factors
  • Environmental Factors: Certain environmental factors can contribute to the development or exacerbation of Equine Cushing's. These include exposure to high levels of stress, poor nutrition, and conditions that promote obesity.

  • Previous Medical Conditions: Some horses may be at greater risk due to a history of medical conditions, such as insulin resistance or laminitis, which can predispose them to Cushing's.

  • Dietary Choices: Diet plays a crucial role in equine health, and excessive consumption of sugars and starches in the horse's diet can potentially contribute to the development of insulin resistance and, in turn, Cushing's disease.

  • Immune System Health: A weakened immune system may also be linked to Cushing's disease. Horses with a compromised immune response may be more susceptible to the disease and its associated complications.

  • Seasonal Variations: Some studies suggest that Equine Cushing's disease may exhibit seasonal variations, with an increased likelihood of clinical signs emerging in the fall and winter months. The exact reasons for this seasonal pattern are still being investigated.


Understanding these risk factors and causes of Equine Cushing's disease is crucial for horse owners and veterinarians alike. By identifying potential contributing factors, horse owners can take steps to reduce risks through proper management, such as regular veterinary check-ups, dietary adjustments, and stress reduction strategies. Additionally, a deeper understanding of the disease can guide more effective treatment and care plans for horses already diagnosed with Cushing's.


Diagnosing Cushing's Disease in Horses: A Closer Look

Cushing's disease, or Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), can manifest with classic signs that are readily recognizable in some cases, such as hirsutism, laminitis, lethargy, and metabolic changes. However, the condition can also present with more subtle symptoms, making an accurate diagnosis crucial for timely intervention. Here are some diagnostic methods:


Clinical Observation

Classic Signs: As mentioned, classic signs like hirsutism (abnormal hair growth), laminitis (hoof inflammation), lethargy, and metabolic changes can be indicative of Cushing's disease. When these signs are present, it's often clear to the owner that something may be amiss with the horse's pituitary gland.


Subtle Signs: In cases where the classic signs are less pronounced or absent, diagnosis becomes more challenging. Subtle symptoms may include weight loss, changes in behavior, and a tendency to drink and urinate excessively. Careful observation and record-keeping can help identify these subtler cues.


ACTH Test

The most reliable diagnostic method for Cushing's disease is the ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) test, typically performed by a veterinarian. This test involves taking a blood sample to measure the level of ACTH in the horse's body. An elevated ACTH level is a strong indicator of the disease. The ACTH test is also useful for monitoring the horse's response to treatment, as ACTH levels should decrease with successful management.


Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test

The Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test is a two-step process designed to assess the horse's cortisol levels, another hormone related to Cushing's disease. In the first step, a blood sample is taken to determine the baseline cortisol level. Then, the horse is administered a low dose of dexamethasone, a synthetic corticosteroid.


After a specified time, typically a few hours, a second blood sample is taken to measure the circulating cortisol level. A normal horse will exhibit a lowered cortisol level due to the suppressant effects of dexamethasone. However, a horse with Cushing's disease may not respond as expected and will show a higher cortisol level after the second blood tes


These diagnostic methods, when used in conjunction with clinical observation, help veterinarians accurately identify Cushing's disease in horses. Once diagnosed, appropriate treatment and management strategies can be implemented to improve the horse's quality of life and overall health. Timely diagnosis is vital for the well-being of your equine companion, as early intervention can help mitigate the progression of the disease and its associated complications.


Treating Equine Cushing's Disease: Restoring Health and Vitality

If your horse has been diagnosed with Equine Cushing's disease, it's important to know that there are treatment options available to help manage the condition and improve your equine friend's quality of life. Treatment for Cushing's disease primarily focuses on controlling the hormonal imbalances and addressing associated symptoms. Here's a comprehensive look at the treatment strategies:

horse in a barn is being treated for cushings
  • Medications: Pergolide (Prascend): Pergolide is one of the most common medications prescribed to manage Cushing's disease in horses. It works by suppressing the overproduction of hormones from the pituitary gland. Your veterinarian will determine the appropriate dosage based on your horse's condition and response to treatment.

  • Diet and Nutrition: A well-balanced diet is crucial in managing Cushing's disease. Horses with this condition may be prone to insulin resistance, making it essential to provide a low-sugar and low-starch diet. High-fiber forage, such as hay, and controlled carbohydrate intake can help regulate blood sugar levels.

  • Weight Management: Since weight gain is a common symptom of Cushing's, it's vital to manage your horse's weight to reduce the risk of complications like laminitis. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are essential components of treatment.

  • Routine Veterinary Care: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are essential to monitor your horse's condition and adjust treatment as needed. Monitoring includes periodic blood tests to assess hormone levels and other vital parameters.

  • Hoof Care: Horses with Cushing's disease are at increased risk of laminitis, a painful condition that affects the hooves. Proper hoof care, including regular trimming and support to relieve pressure on the hooves, is crucial in managing this risk.

  • Environmental Management: Ensure your horse has access to a clean and dry living environment, as Cushing's can make them more susceptible to skin infections. Proper shelter and routine grooming can help minimize skin issues.

  • Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Regular, low-impact exercise and mental stimulation are essential to keep your horse physically and mentally engaged. Exercise can help maintain muscle tone and support overall well-being.

  • Stress Reduction: Minimizing stress in your horse's life is vital, as stress can exacerbate Cushing's symptoms. Provide a calm and consistent routine, and consider social interaction with other horses for mental stimulation.

  • Supportive Care: Depending on the specific symptoms your horse experiences, additional supportive care may be necessary. This may include the use of pain relief medication for laminitis or skin care products to manage skin issues.

While Cushing's disease is a chronic condition, with proper management, many horses can lead comfortable and fulfilling lives. Remember that treatment plans should be tailored to your horse's individual needs and that regular communication with your veterinarian is essential to adjust the treatment as your horse's condition changes. By implementing these strategies, you can help your equine companion enjoy a healthier and happier life despite Cushing's disease.


Acupressure as Preventative and Complementary Care for Equine Cushing's

In addition to conventional medical treatments and management strategies, many horse owners are exploring complementary therapies to enhance their equine companion's well-being and provide holistic support. Acupressure, a non-invasive and ancient healing technique rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is gaining recognition as a valuable approach for both the prevention and complementary care of Equine Cushing's disease.


Preventative Care with Acupressure

Acupressure can play a preventive role in equine health by promoting balance and harmony within the horse's body. By stimulating specific acupressure points, this practice can help improve overall health and reduce the risk of endocrine imbalances associated with Cushing's disease. Here's how acupressure can be utilized as a preventative measure:

  • Balancing Energy Flow: Acupressure aims to balance the flow of vital energy, or "Qi," throughout the horse's body. When the body's energy is in harmony, it is better equipped to withstand stressors and maintain endocrine balance.

  • Strengthening Immunity: Regular acupressure sessions may help enhance the horse's immune system, reducing vulnerability to infections and complications often seen in horses with Cushing's.

  • Stress Reduction: Acupressure can aid in relieving stress and anxiety, which can contribute to the development of Cushing's disease. A relaxed and content horse is less prone to hormonal imbalances.

  • Improving Digestion: Acupressure may support better digestion and nutrient absorption, helping to prevent metabolic issues that can exacerbate Cushing's disease.

Complementary Care with Acupressure

For horses already diagnosed with Equine Cushing's, acupressure can be used as a complementary therapy alongside medical treatments. It can help alleviate symptoms and improve the horse's overall quality of life. Here's how acupressure serves as complementary care:

acupressure being done a horse with cushings
  • Hormone Regulation: Acupressure can stimulate specific points associated with endocrine function, aiding in the regulation of hormone production. This can help mitigate some of the symptoms of Cushing's.

  • Pain Management: Horses with Cushing's may experience discomfort, especially due to laminitis. Acupressure can be used to alleviate pain and improve their mobility and comfort.

  • Blood Circulation: Acupressure enhances blood circulation, promoting the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to cells while aiding in the removal of waste products. This can support overall health and recovery.

  • Stress Relief: Chronic conditions like Cushing's can lead to stress and anxiety. Acupressure's calming effects can reduce stress and improve the horse's mental well-being.

  • Supporting Skin Health: For horses prone to skin issues due to Cushing's, acupressure can help address these concerns by improving circulation and aiding the body's natural healing processes.

When considering acupressure as part of a preventative or complementary care plan for your horse with or at risk of Cushing's disease, it's essential to consult with a qualified equine acupressure practitioner. They can assess your horse's specific needs and design a tailored treatment regimen. By integrating acupressure into your horse's care routine, you can provide holistic support, helping them lead a healthier and more balanced life while managing the challenges of Equine Cushing's.


Red Light Therapy: A Ray of Hope for Laminitis in Equine Cushing's

Laminitis, a painful and debilitating condition, is one of the most challenging complications that horses with Equine Cushing's disease can face. Managing this condition requires a multi-faceted approach, and one emerging complementary therapy that shows promise is red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation. Here's how red light therapy can provide relief and support for horses dealing with laminitis in the context of Cushing's disease:


Understanding Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy involves the use of low-level red or near-infrared light to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation in damaged tissues. This non-invasive treatment has gained recognition for its potential benefits in various medical fields, including equine care.


How Red Light Therapy Can Help with Laminitis

red light therapy for horse with laminitis from cushings
  • Reducing Inflammation: Laminitis is characterized by inflammation within the hoof laminae, leading to pain and lameness. Red light therapy can penetrate the affected tissues, helping to reduce inflammation and promote the healing of damaged cells. It may alleviate the discomfort associated with laminitis.

  • Improving Blood Circulation: Red light therapy is known to enhance blood circulation. By increasing blood flow to the hooves, this therapy aids in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged areas, facilitating the healing process. Improved circulation can also help prevent further damage.

  • Pain Management: Laminitis can cause severe pain, making it challenging for affected horses to move comfortably. Red light therapy has analgesic effects, potentially providing pain relief and improving the horse's mobility and comfort.

  • Promoting Tissue Repair: Red light therapy can stimulate the production of collagen, a crucial protein for tissue repair and regeneration. This can help in the recovery of the damaged hoof laminae, supporting the horse's ability to walk and stand more comfortably.

  • Minimizing Stress: Horses with laminitis often endure significant stress. Red light therapy's soothing effects can help reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a more relaxed and stable mental state.

Red light therapy, when used as part of a comprehensive care plan for horses with laminitis, can offer a valuable complementary approach to conventional treatments. By harnessing the power of light to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and support the healing process, it provides a ray of hope for horses struggling with laminitis as a complication of Equine Cushing's disease.


Exploring Holistic Approaches for Equine Cushing's: A Comprehensive Care Approach

In addition to conventional treatments and therapies, holistic approaches can offer valuable complementary support for horses with Equine Cushing's disease. These holistic practices are geared toward addressing the overall well-being of the horse and improving their quality of life. Here's a brief overview of some holistic approaches, including the potential use of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy if warranted:

  • Herbal Medicine: Herbal remedies and supplements are often utilized to support horses with Cushing's disease. Specific herbs, like chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus), may help regulate hormonal imbalances. However, it's crucial to consult with a knowledgeable equine herbalist or veterinarian to ensure safe and effective use.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the horse's body to stimulate energy flow and promote balance. It can help manage pain, reduce stress, and support overall well-being.

horse getting a chiropractic adjustment
  • Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic adjustments can address musculoskeletal imbalances and promote a healthier posture and gait, which can be particularly beneficial for horses with Cushing's dealing with laminitis or mobility issues.

  • Homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies are sometimes used to address specific symptoms associated with Cushing's disease, such as skin issues or behavioral changes. A qualified homeopath can determine the appropriate remedies.

  • PEMF Therapy (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field): PEMF therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves the use of electromagnetic fields to stimulate cellular activity and promote healing. While it's not a mainstream treatment for Equine Cushing's, it may offer benefits such as pain management and enhanced circulation, which can be particularly helpful in managing laminitis. Consultation with a veterinary professional experienced in PEMF therapy is recommended to determine if it's warranted and safe for your horse.

  • Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy, using essential oils, can have a calming and soothing effect on horses with Cushing's, reducing stress and improving their mental well-being.

  • Equine Bodywork: Various bodywork modalities, such as massage, myofascial release, and craniosacral therapy, can enhance circulation, relieve muscle tension, and promote relaxation.

It's important to note that while these holistic approaches can be beneficial, they should be integrated into a comprehensive care plan in consultation with a qualified equine veterinarian or therapist. Each horse is unique, and their individual needs should guide the choice and implementation of holistic therapies. With the right combination of treatments, holistic and conventional, you can help your horse live a healthier and more comfortable life while managing Equine Cushing's disease.


Body Clipping Horses with Cushing's in Hotter Months: A Practical Guide

As the warmer months approach, horse owners of equine companions with Cushing's disease face unique challenges. Horses with Cushing's can have difficulty shedding their winter coats due to hormonal imbalances. This can lead to overheating and discomfort in the heat. One practical solution is body clipping. Here's a guide on how to approach body clipping for horses with Cushing's during the hotter months:


Assess the Need

Before deciding to body clip, assess your horse's condition. If your horse is having trouble shedding its winter coat or is prone to overheating, body clipping may be a suitable option. Consult with your veterinarian for guidance.


Timing is Key

Choose the right time to perform the body clip. Early spring or early summer is often ideal, as it provides relief from the heat while allowing some natural protection during the cooler nights.


Choose the Right Clip

Different clip styles offer varying levels of hair removal. For horses with Cushing's, a partial clip or trace clip is often recommended. This leaves some hair to provide sun protection while keeping the horse cooler.


Equipment and Preparation

Gather the necessary tools, including clippers, blades, and grooming supplies. Ensure the horse is clean and dry before you begin the clipping process.


Clipping can be stressful for some horses. Use a calm and patient approach, and consider sedation if necessary, under the guidance of a veterinarian.


Body Clipping Process

When body clipping, start from the neck and work your way down to the barrel, sides, and hindquarters. Pay close attention to the areas where your horse sweats the most to avoid overheating.


Sun Protection

After body clipping, your horse's skin will be exposed to the sun. Apply equine-approved sunscreen or utilize a lightweight fly sheet to provide UV protection to prevent sunburn. Monitor for any skin issues, such as irritation or sunburn.


Pay attention to your horse's body temperature during hot days. Offer opportunities to cool down by hosing them off or providing access to a shaded area. Ensure your horse has access to fresh water at all times, especially in the heat. Provide shade in the paddock or stable to allow your horse to escape the direct sun when needed.


Consult Your Veterinarian

If you have concerns about body clipping and its impact on your horse's Cushing's disease, consult your veterinarian. They can offer guidance specific to your horse's condition and needs.


Body clipping can be a practical solution for horses with Cushing's disease in the hotter months. It helps them stay comfortable and reduces the risk of overheating. By following the above guidelines and consulting your veterinarian, you can ensure a safe and effective body clipping process that contributes to your horse's well-being during the warmer seasons.


Reach out to your local equine clipping service provider The Red Pony (servicing North and South Carolina).

Grey horse with long coat
Before
grey horse after coat has been clipped
After

Final Thoughts: Caring for Horses with Cushing's and Preventing It

Caring for horses with Equine Cushing's disease requires a unique dedication and a proactive approach. Whether your horse has been diagnosed with Cushing's or you are working to prevent it, the well-being of your equine friend should always be a top priority. Here, we'll delve into the key aspects that demand special care and attention, both for horses already dealing with Cushing's and those at risk, emphasizing the importance of regular vet visits and prevention measures.


For Horses with Cushing's

  • Regular Veterinary Visits: As the cornerstone of Cushing's management, regular veterinary check-ups are essential. They enable your veterinarian to monitor your horse's condition, adjust medications as necessary, and detect any complications or changes in a timely manner.

  • Medication Management: Compliance with prescribed medications, such as Pergolide, is vital. Consistent administration, correct dosages, and adherence to your veterinarian's guidance are crucial to keep the disease under control.

  • Hair Clipping: Body clipping is often recommended to help horses manage the challenges of an unshed winter coat. It reduces the risk of overheating and minimizes skin irritations during hot weather.

  • Balanced Diet: Work closely with your equine nutritionist to design a diet tailored to your horse's needs. Controlling sugar and starch intake is key in managing insulin resistance, which often accompanies Cushing's.

  • Stress Reduction: Creating a calm and stable living environment can help alleviate stress. Social interaction with other horses, if suitable, can also provide mental stimulation.

  • Skin and Hoof Care: Regular grooming and hoof maintenance are essential. Keep an eye out for any skin issues, as horses with Cushing's can be more susceptible to infections.

For Horses at Risk of Cushing's

  • Regular Vet Visits: Even if your horse is currently unaffected, regular veterinary visits are equally important. Routine check-ups can help monitor for early signs of Cushing's and allow for prompt intervention if necessary.

  • Preventative Care: Implement preventative care measures that reduce the risk of Cushing's. These include a balanced diet, exercise, and stress management practices.

  • Observing Hair Growth: Keep a keen eye on your horse's coat. An abnormal, persistent winter coat could be an early indicator of the disease. Clipping or body shaving might be beneficial to help prevent complications.

  • Monitoring Symptoms: Be aware of the symptoms mentioned in the earlier sections, such as increased thirst, appetite changes, and laminitis. If you notice any of these signs, consult your veterinarian promptly.

In conclusion, the care and attention you provide to your horse, whether already dealing with Cushing's or at risk, are a testament to the deep bond and commitment that exists between horse and owner. By following these guidelines, ensuring regular veterinary care, and proactively addressing the unique needs of horses with Cushing's, you can help your equine companion enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling life, regardless of the challenges posed by this condition. Your dedication and love are what truly make a difference in your horse's journey.

horse grazing could get laminitis from fresh green grass
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