Pergolide remains the only FDA-approved medication for horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, or Cushing’s disease. It can, however, be costly for some owners and time-consuming to administer. In lieu of oral pergolide, a pair of veterinary surgeons recently explored whether surgery could help affected horses.
Equine Cushing’s disease remains a diagnostic challenge for veterinarians and a management puzzle for many horse owners. Although commonly referred to as equine Cushing’s disease, the more correct term, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, better describes the condition.
While widely recognized in certain breeds of horses over the past several centuries, until recently little was known about the cause of this neuromuscular disease or, more importantly, what to do about it.
Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), or equine Cushing’s disease, remains challenging to diagnose and according to the latest recommendations of the PPID Working Group, only two tests are recommended for diagnosis of the disease, depending on its severity.
New research suggests limb-sliding while attempting to stand may contribute to the development of osteochondrosis, an orthopedic disease of young horses characterized by abnormal cartilage formation.
One research group believes an oral glucose test may predict the occurrence of laminitis secondary to hormonal imbalances such as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction.
Equine asthma is remarkably similar to human asthma. In human asthmatics, allergy avoidance has also proven to be an unsuccessful management strategy, forcing doctors to develop alternate treatment strategies. In two-legged sufferers, a technique called immunotherapy has gained favor.
A vaccine against Sarcocystis neurona, a causative agent for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), has been available since 2000, but its efficacy has been unclear. A recent study reveals researchers might be headed back to the lab.
Given the impact of laminitis on the equine industry, owners and veterinarians are often willing to try novel treatments, including regenerative therapies involving the administration of stem cells and platelet-rich plasma.
“Equine asthma syndrome” is the new term for the spectrum of disorders resulting from chronic airway inflammation. This syndrome includes everything from mild asthma, also called inflammatory airway disease in young horses, to severe asthma, widely referred to as heaves and pasture- or summer-associated airway disease.
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