Tag Archives: equine metabolic syndrome.

Test That Crest

Until October of this year Boehringer in conjunction with Liphook are offering free blood tests for equine Cushing’s desease. Because of this we thought it would be a good idea to provide some information on this condition!

Equine Cushing’s typically affects older horses and ponies, usually over the age of 15 or so but there are examples of individuals as young as 8 suffering from the disease. Animals present with a curly, shaggy coat and commonly have excessive fat pads on their rumps, crests and above their eyes.

Overweight and Cresty neck

Overweight and Cresty neck

Despite these, animals can look thin as they also lose muscle and so may have a poor topline or poor muscle mass in general. Other signs include increased thirst and urination, having poor wound healing and suffering from recurrent foot abscesses.

Slow shedding coat and quite thin

Slow shedding coat and quite thin

One of the most concerning things about Equine Cushing’s (and other endocrine diseases such as EMS) is that it predisposes horses and ponies to developing laminitis, which can have devastating consequences if not treated promptly.

The blood test looks for a hormone called ACTH, which is usually elevated in cases of Cushing’s. This hormone encourages the production of steroids within the body, which account for the clinical signs seen. The treatment of Cushing’s aims to decrease the production of ACTH.

If your horse or pony shows any of the signs above then we recommend they have a health check and blood sample to determine the underlying cause.

Please note that charges for taking of the blood sample, postage and any necessary health checks and visit fees will still apply. please ring the Simply Horses Vet Clinic to make an appointment or with any queries

Laminitis and Equine Metabolic Syndrome

Some recent posts I have been reading are I feel directly relevant to many of you and this helps keep us all at the cutting edge of vet knowledge 😉

Preventing endocrine-related laminitis in the horse Thomas Divers, Cornell University, New York
Equine metabolic syndrome is an endocrine disorder similar to Cushing’s disease and is a major cause of laminitis in the horse. Early recognition of this condition is important to prevent structural damage to the hoof and block the pathological cascade that may follow a laminitis incident.
The author reviews strategies for managing horses with EMS and Cushing’s disease. There is no proven medical treatment for EMS although trilostane has shown benefits in some cases, while pergolide is recommended for treating Cushing’s. Management factors are important in controlling both conditions, notably a low carbohydrate diet and exercise of obese horses to encourage weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity. Attention to preventive healthcare, including worming, vaccination and dental care, is important as systemic illness may trigger the development of laminitis.
Journal of Equine Veterinarji Science 28
(5): 317-319.

Very interesting post note the recommendation to exercise, low carb diet and regulare vet checks ref concurrent problems