FALL CHECK

EQUUS - - Handson -

Lamini­tis is typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with lush spring pas­ture, but the risk of this dev­as­tat­ing hoof con­di­tion rises again in the fall when pas­tures re­bound from heat and drought. This means that any horses you may have been con­cerned about in the spring­time—those who are over­weight, have a his­tory of lamini­tis or have pi­tu­itary0 pars in­ter­me­dia dys­func­tion ( PPID, also called Cush­ing’s)— war­rant the same at­ten­tion in the fall. You may need to out­fit those horses with graz­ing muz­zles again or re­turn them to dry lots un­til grass goes dor­mant for the win­ter months.

If you think your horse might have PPID, this is a good time to test for it. Equine hor­mone lev­els fluc­tu­ate sea­son­ally, which can con­found some tests of pi­tu­itary func­tion. How­ever, ad­vances in the un­der­stand­ing of nor­mal hor­monal in­creases in the fall have made the rest­ing adreno­cor­ti­cotropic hor­mone ( ACTH) test a good op­tion. If you’re un­cer­tain about your older horse’s meta­bolic sta­tus or would like to con­firm that treat­ment is work­ing, talk to your vet­eri­nar­ian about ar­rang­ing an ACTH test in the next few weeks.

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