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Manage PPID Using Prascend

Veterinarian details Cushing's in horses and how to manage the condition


What equine disease presents signs that commonly go unnoticed but impacts some 21% of horses over 15 years of age?

You guessed it -- we’re talking about Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), also known as Cushing’s disease in horses.

Understanding the Condition

Cushing’s disease is the most common hormonal disorder affecting horses and ponies. This progressive neurodegenerative disorder in horses causes their pituitary gland, which utilizes hormones to control body functions, to work overtime, leading to a range of symptoms that can affect a horse’s quality of life.

PPID is an issue of the hormonal system in that there are abnormal levels of the hormone produced, and it could cause the host of clinical signs that we see,” said Tony Hawkins, Technical Service Veterinarian at Valley Vet Supply. “PPID is a different illness and disease than equine metabolic syndrome, which usually has those cresty necks and weight gain; Cushing’s itself typically causes weight loss. Historically, Cushing’s disease and metabolic syndrome have been lumped together, but that is changing. They have different etiologies, and they really are two different diseases.”

While the condition is most well-known for its incidence in seniors, horses as young as 5 years old have been diagnosed. Experts recommend that horse owners perform frequent health checks to identify early signs of PPID. Catching PPID early on can have a profound impact on how the horse responds to treatment before other signs appear.

Common Signs

Dr. Hawkins says, “One of the more prominent symptoms would be the shaggy hair coat -- as they’re unable to shed their coat out appropriately -- immune suppression, muscle wasting, weight loss, frequent urination and increased water intake. It also predisposes them to laminitis and typically, there are some secondary issues with insulin and glucose regulation.”

When considering Cushing’s in horses, symptoms can range from mild to severe, thus signs often go unnoticed. Be watchful for common symptoms such as:

  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Change in attitude or energy
  • Delayed shedding or no shedding at all
  • Excess fat on tail head or neck
  • Infertility
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Laminitis
  • Blindness
  • Managing Cushing’s in Horses With Prascend

    Prascend is the most proven treatment available to control the clinical signs associated with PPID in horses

    “Prascend goes after the cause of Cushing’s disease, which is caused by an overproduction of ACTH hormone,” described Dr. Hawkins. “Prascend tries to regulate and decrease the production of ACTH. It really helps to manage the clinical signs of PPID, keeping clinical signs in check to help promote that quality of life.”

    Prascend is the horse owners’ choice in managing PPID, providing:

  • Controlled signs -- Improved clinical signs within three months and continued through six months.
  • Proven success -- Three out of four horses evaluated were considered treatment successes.
  • Clear improvement -- Hypertrichosis (delayed shedding) improved in 89% of treated horses within six months.
  • Safe, effective treatment -- A field study showed treatment successes in 76% (86 of 113 horses). The horses showed these results within 180 days:
  • ACTH test results returned to normal or decreased by at least 50%
  • Dexamethasone suppression test (DST) returned to normal (<1 mcg cortisol per dL) on Day 180
  • Improvement in at least one clinical sign
  • No worsening in any clinical signs or development of new signs
  • When administering Prascend for horses, dosage starts at 2 mcg/kg once daily. It may be adjusted by your veterinarian, not to exceed 4 mcg daily. In addition to treatment for Cushing’s in horses, using Prascend, be sure to provide your horse with a balanced diet and a strategic deworming and vaccination program. A horse with Cushing’s will also benefit from their coat being clipped, as needed, and regular dental/ hoof care.

    Should your horse be diagnosed with equine Cushing’s, ask your veterinarian about Prascend for horses, to help manage the condition and ensure their quality of life.

    This advertorial is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

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