PPID (Equine “Cushings” syndrome)
What is PPID/Equine Cushings?
Equine cushings, more correctly known as PPID (Pars Pituitary Intermediate Disorder), is a common condition seen in horses and ponies.
At a basic physiological level, it is a dysfunction within the pituitary gland at the base of the brain
and involves the associated dopaminergic feedback system. As a result of this, abnormal amounts of particular hormones are produced or released. These can manifest in a multitude of ways, affect a variety of organs and systems within the body, and result in a variety of clinical signs.
From a standalone viewpoint, it is not an acutely dangerous condition. However, your animal will
likely have a poorer quality of life, or potentially a shortened lifespan, if the condition is not managed correctly.
The clinical signs of PPID can include some or all of the following, but are not limited to:
• Excessive weight gain or unusual fat distribution
• Retained curly or excessive coat
• Predisposition to laminitis (founder)
• Increased drinking or urinating
• Weight loss/inability to put on weight (especially in older horses)
Equine PPID can be well diagnosed via a single blood test.
PPID can be treated and managed very successfully. The condition is never “cured”, however it can be well controlled. Typically, this is achieved via a daily treatment of an oral tablet or liquid. This treatment can be adjusted as required, and is relatively inexpensive.
If at any time you are worried about your horse/pony’s condition, or if you have any further
questions, please contact the Main Ridge Veterinary Clinic on (03) 5989 6232.