EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

Pi­tu­itary pars in­ter­mdia dys­func­tion (PPID) was pre­vi­ously known as “equine Cush­ing’s disease” by horse own­ers and vet­eri­nar­i­ans for years. In PPID, the pi­tu­itary gland works over­time, re­sult­ing in hor­mone im­bal­ances that can dis­rupt nor­mal body func­tions and re­sult in a va­ri­ety of phys­i­cal health is­sues. As more in­for­ma­tion is learned, clin­i­cal signs of PPID are be­com­ing more ap­par­ent; how­ever, there are still sev­eral mis­con­cep­tions about the disease. Steve Grubbs, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, equine tech­ni­cal man­ager for Boehringer In­gel­heim, iden­ti­fied the seven most com­mon mis­con­cep­tions of PPID. 1. Horse own­ers should look only for a cresty neck, long hair coat and lamini­tis as signs of PPID.

FIC­TION – The early signs of PPID do not only in­clude the above, but may also in­clude: 1 • Re­gional fat de­posits • Loss of topline • De­layed hair coat shed­ding or long hair only

in cer­tain ar­eas • Ab­nor­mal sweat­ing • De­creased ath­letic per­for­mance • Change in at­ti­tude or lethargy • In­fer­til­ity • Lamini­tis • Ten­don and sus­pen­sory lig­a­ment is­sues

2. PPID is a con­di­tion that oc­curs in young as well as older horses.

FACT – “We have been track­ing epi­demi­o­log­i­cal in­for­ma­tion on horses di­ag­nosed with PPID, and have found that PPID af­fects horses of all breeds and all ages, even as young as 5 years old 2 ,” Grubbs says. It is im­por­tant to mon­i­tor all horses for clin­i­cal signs of PPID. “Horse own­ers should per­form fre­quent over­all health checks look­ing for early signs of PPID,” he says. “If you have con­cerns, con­sult your vet­eri­nar­ian. The ear­lier the di­ag­no­sis, the bet­ter.”

3. Horses that don’t com­pete as well as they used to could have PPID.

FACT – One of the ear­li­est signs of PPID, de­creased ath­letic per­for­mance and/or lethargy could in­di­cate the horse has an en­docrine is­sue such as PPID. 1 Grubbs says, “Catch­ing PPID early may have a pro­found im­pact on how the horse re­sponds to treat­ment be­fore other signs ap­pear.”

4. Signs of lame­ness are as­so­ci­ated with PPID.

FACT – While lamini­tis is a well-known sign of PPID, un­til re­cently, other signs of lame­ness have not been con­sid­ered to be in­di­ca­tors of the disease. How­ever, new re­search is in­di­cat­ing that other causes of lame­ness, par­tic­u­larly cer­tain ten­don and sus­pen­sory lig­a­ment is­sues, are con­sid­ered early signs of PPID. 1

5. Vet­eri­nar­i­ans can test for PPID only dur­ing cer­tain months of the year.

FIC­TION – The rest­ing ACTH con­cen­tra­tion test can be used at any time of the year when you uti­lize sea­son­ally ad­justed ref­er­ence ranges. 1 “Mea­sur­ing rest­ing ACTH is a sim­ple blood test that your vet­eri­nar­ian can draw at any time,” Grubbs says. “The ben­e­fits to us­ing rest­ing ACTH in­clude not only di­ag­no­sis, but also to mon­i­tor ACTH lev­els to know if treat­ment is work­ing to de­crease the lev­els.”

6. Horses can have both PPID and equine meta­bolic syn­drome (EMS) at the same time.

FACT – In stud­ies con­ducted in a large pop­u­la­tion of horses, “Of those di­ag­nosed with PPID, we found that 47 per­cent also had in­creased plasma in­sulin, which is an in­di­ca­tion of EMS 3 ,” Grubbs says. For more in­for­ma­tion on PPID, in­clud­ing the early and ad­vanced signs, visit www.IDp­pid.com. For in­for­ma­tion on Pras­cend ® (per­golide me­sy­late tablets), the only FDAap­proved treat­ment for PPID, con­tact your vet­eri­nar­ian or visit www.PRAS­CEND.com.

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