Understanding How Cushing’s Disease Affects Your Horse

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It is always a terrible time when your pet or animal is ill. It can feel like a family member is in the hospital. You may feel helpless and depressed. The situation can be even worse if you do not understand what is wrong with your friend.

Cushing’s disease is an illness that affects horses. There is no cure, but it can be managed.

There are many signs that your horse has Cushing’s disease. But the most prevalent symptom is a long fur coat that does not shed. Other signs can include weight loss and fatigue. This can occur even when your horse still has a tremendous appetite for its meals.  Your horse may develop a pot belly or fatty deposits across its body. You may feel its muscle tissue have weakened or notice it has started to sweat a lot.  Many of these symptoms are missed if they occur in the later years of a horse’s life. However, if you do see the signs, it is a good idea to speak to a veterinary professional.

Equine Cushing’s disease is common in smaller breeds. However, it can be found in all horses. Simplified, Cushing’s disease is caused by irregularity in your horse’s hormones. This causes more of a steroid to be released from the pituitary gland in the brain. The impact of the steroid results in the majority of the recognised symptoms.

As we have said, there is no cure for this disease but it can be managed. There is medication available like prascend tablets. These drugs will help reduce the chances of secondary effects like Laminitis. Laminitis can be fatal for horses, and it can cripple their hooves.

Your horse may have Cushing’s disease, but it is not receiving medication. If this is the case, then proper management is essential. You should be checking your horse regularly for cuts, wounds and any sign of infection. Infections may recur due to your horse having a weaker immune system than usual. You should also be keeping special care of your horse’s teeth, cleaning them as often as possible. This will help it’s chances against a nasty infection.

You should also be checking it’s hooves.  Keeping on top of things will help your horse maintain a good lifestyle. Weigh your horse as often as you can and change its diet based on the results. A good, well-balanced diet is essential for a horse with Cushing’s to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Keep up all the usual routines, such as worming and vet visits. Please remember Cushing’s can make your horse more tolerant of pain but more likely to feel tired. Take good care of your animal and always treat it with love and respect.

Cushing’s is a horrible disease, but it will not always lead to you having to say goodbye. Proper care and attention along with medication can help your horse live a long, happy life even after a diagnosis. If you think your Pony or Horse might be displaying symptoms of this disease, please arrange for a visit from a vet.

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