Cushings Disease

As our horses enjoy a longer life and many live well into old age so the number of horses with Cushing increases as its more common in older horses especially ponies. It can however affect all breeds and ages. Cushing is caused by an abnormality of the pituitary gland that is situated at the base of the brain. This causes it to produce excessive amount of a hormone called cortisone, which is the body's natural steroid hormone.

Signs of Cushing

· Long thick curly coat, which may not shred.

· They may grow their winter coat very early or shred it early as the swelling at the gland puts pressure on the part of the brain that is responsible for seasonal hair loss

· An increase risk of laminitis

· Excessive drinking and urinating

· Increase appetite

· Raised heart rate

· Muscle wasting

· In mares their cycle may be abnormal · Mare may not be able to conceive

· Lethargy

· Weight loss

Over a period of time an affected horse will show some or all of the above signs which are listed.

Treatment

Within the brain a substance called Dopamine is naturally produce which prevents the over production of hormones. There is another natural substance called Serotorum which has the opposite effect and produces to much cortisone.

Treatment will consist of using a drug which mimics Dopamine the most commonly used one is Pergolide which is given in tablet form or using a drug one of the most promising being Trilostane that will block Serotorum. Your vet will decide on which cause of treatment will be most suitable for your horse or pony. Both types of treatment will bring about the same results, keeping the amount of cortisone produce under control.

Management

The increase in cortisone in the body is similar to the effect of stress so to manage the condition we need to reduce stress levels as much as possible.

· Keep to a strict routine

· Ensure a comfortable quiet haven for the horse

· Avoid turning out with aggressive horses

· Keep feed and water easily located

· Clip out and rug in winter

· Groom well to help minimize skin diseases

· Keep hooves in good condition

· Check for signs of laminitis

· Minimize contact with new horses

· Immunize regularly

· Have regular dentist checks

· Feed only high quality easily digestible food

Treatment and management will be life-long as there is no cure for the condition. I know from my own experience as I had a old pony called Ringo who suffer with Cushing for many years but still live to the grand old age of 35 that horses can live a comfortable life for many years. The most serious complication is laminitis and this must be manage carefully

All the best
Sue

Work at home ideas and opportunities http://www.princehomebiz.com

In The News:

Pets and Real Estate Sales  The New York Times
SoMD Pets in Need Pet of the Week: Ghost  The Southern Maryland Chronicle
Pets of the Week  Chico Enterprise-Record
PHOTOS: Pets of the Week  Times Herald-Record
Expat pet parents in a dilemma  The New Indian Express
Virtual Pet Parade a success  Suburban Chicagoland
Pets For Adoption  The Transylvania Times
Pet of the Week: Oscar  Straight.com
The Comfort of Pets  Richmond magazine

Pet Adoption: The Right Choice

Pet adoption is a fabulous option if you're seeking a... Read More

Correcting Cats Bad Behaviour: How To Discipline Your Cat; Youll Be Happy; Your Cat Will Be Too!

At some time or another even the sweetest cat "misbehaves."... Read More

Choosing Dog Tags for Your Canine

Remember when you first met your dog? He was fresh... Read More

Small Dogs - Different Breeds, Different Personalities

Small dog breeds are great pets, but since their personalities... Read More

How To Stop Your Horse From Rearing And What To Do If He Does It Unexpectedly

There is a dangerous problem that horse owners should be... Read More

Biting & Nipping Behavior Can Kill Your Dog!

Dog bite injuries are alarmingly the most common condition that... Read More

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

What is Separation Anxiety?When you leave the house, it is... Read More

Aromatherapy for Pets

Pets can enjoy the therapeutic effects of aromatherapy as much... Read More

Westie - West Highland White Terrier Puppies - Fragile and Needful Of Protection

Have you ever held any Westie puppies? These tiny creatures... Read More

Flea Control for Pets

Flea control can be a very hard thing to do... Read More

*Understanding* - The First Of The 6 Keys To Building A Life Long Partnership With Your Horse

Yesterday we talked a little about the 6 Keys for... Read More

Winterizing Your Dog

It's beginning to get cooler and as such it is... Read More

The Beauty of Boxer Dogs

Boxer dogs are an all around great breed, especially skilled... Read More

Train Your Buddy To ?Walk? & ?Dance? - Warning: Not All Dogs Can Do It!

Standing and walking on the hind legs are tricks that... Read More

A Moving Experience: Making Your Move Easy on Your Parrots

Moving is about as stressful a time as any in... Read More

A Cat Tale

My son and I have a cat. Her name is... Read More

How I Get More Training Done On My Horses In 1/2 The Time

Here's a simple way... to help your horse learn twice... Read More

Dog Breeds for Allergy Sufferers

Allergies to dogs can strike anyone at any age, yet... Read More

7 Good Reasons for Playing With Your Cat

Playing reinforces the bond between you and your cat.Playing with... Read More

Pampering Your Favorite Puppy

I was doing some research on dog health when I... Read More

A Guide to Bird Cages for Sale

As overwhelming as picking out a pet bird can be,... Read More

Tips For Dog Toys

Toys are fun both for our dogs and us. Lucky... Read More

Dealing with a Dog Food Allergy?

Just as humans allergies can show up as a sneeze... Read More

Dogs Get More Human Every Day

First pet stores began selling clothes for pets. Then kennels... Read More

The Joy Of Having Puppies!

One of the greatest thrills for a little boy or... Read More