SUCCESS IN PPID MANAGEMENT
A retrospective study from Australia confirms that horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, Cushing’s) are likely to live longer if treated with the drug pergolide and managed to maintain good body condition.
In a joint project conducted by eight institutions including the universities of Queensland, Adelaide and Melbourne and Murdoch University, researchers analyzed the medical records of 274 horses and ponies from across the continent. The goal of the research was to determine how clinical features of PPID differed by geographic locations and to identify factors associated with survival.
Where the information was available, researchers examined radiographs to determine if the horses had laminitis and reviewed laboratory reports from tests for insulin resistance. Nearly 90 percent of the horses tested across all locations had some degree of laminitis, and 76.5 percent had evidence of insulin dysregulation. In addition, the researchers found that, not surprisingly, horses with PPID in lower latitudes with hotter climates were more likely to have anhidrosis and polydipsia (increased thirst).
In reviewing the case histories of animals that survived for multiple years, the researchers identified certain common traits. Ponies were more likely to survive, as were animals with a healthy body condition and those who were maintained on the drug pergolide.
The researchers conclude that “adequate body condition and administration of pergolide are fundamental in PPID management.” They also call for further study of horses with PPID and insulin dysregulation.— François-René Bertin, DVM, MS, PhD
Reference: “Factors associated with survival, laminitis and insulin dysregulation in horses diagnosed with equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction,” Equine Veterinary Journal, November 2018
In a study of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction prognoses, ponies were more likely to survive longer as were horses with healthy body condition scores who received pergolide.