Owners have until 31 December to obtain a voucher for a complimentary test if they suspect their horse or pony might have pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), formerly known as Cushing’s disease.
Care About Cushings is currently offering the test voucher (basal ACTH test, laboratory fees only) to owners, to help support their vet with the diagnosis. The voucher is available to claim via their website www.careaboutcushings.co.uk/voucher/request.
Approximately 20% of horses and ponies over the age of 15 are affected by PPID, which can affect any horse or pony, but it is thought to be more common in native breeds.
Gemma Stanford, director of welfare at the British Horse Society (BHS) told H&H: “PPID disease is a chronic, progressive condition caused by a hormone imbalance. The disease commonly affects horses and ponies over the age of 15 and due to rising life expectancy rates, it is becoming increasingly prevalent.”
While PPID cannot be cured, a combination of changes in the horse’s management and medication can be used to help reduce the signs associated with the condition.
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“Early subtle signs are often difficult to detect which may result in delayed diagnosis and therefore increased awareness of the disease and its signs is vital,” said Ms Stanford.
“Signs can vary from horse to horse and some may be more obvious than others. They often include: muscle wastage, abnormal fat deposits and sweating, infections that are hard to treat, lethargy, laminitis, increased thirst and urination and an abnormal coat.”
Ms Stanford added it is important to contact your vet if you believe that your horse is suffering from PPID and further advice can be obtained from the BHS website.
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