Horse disease cashing syndromeDiagnosis Cushing – What now??!
The allergy friendly Curly Horses fascinate by their thick, curly coat. The special external appearance is expressly desired in this breed. But what if your own horse – which does not belong to this breed – suddenly develops long, dull and also curly coat?? When it also has a sluggish effect. Sweating even the lightest work? Then these can be signs of Equine Cushing Syndrome (ECS).
What is Equine Cushing Syndrome?
Equine Cushing Syndrome (ECS) is the most common hormonal disorder in horses. Overproduction of the stress precursor hormone ACTH in the pituitary gland results in increased secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. This leads to an imbalance of insulin and blood sugar levels – similar to a diabetic. Affected horses show a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is normally responsible for the reduction of ACTH production. In the course of the disturbed regulatory mechanisms, there is a derailment of the metabolism, which z. B. by problems with the change of coat or an altered appearance manifests itself. Typical is especially the shaggy, curly coat.
Cushing's disease mainly affects older horses and ponies. Studies have shown that about every fifth horse over 15 years of age suffers from this condition. But younger animals can also show ECS. Even if Cushing's is not curable and takes a chronic course, the horse can still be given a long life. It is important that the disease is detected early, otherwise there is a risk of more serious secondary symptoms such as laminitis or infections.
What are the causes?
Cushing's disease often affects light-fed robust horse breeds and ponies (e.g., dachshunds). B. Norwegian, Icelandic, Shetland pony) as well as horses that are not worked very often are affected. This is why ECS, just like Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or diabetes mellitus, is considered one of the so-called "diseases of the dog". Diseases of affluence. It develops gradually. Often remains undetected for a long time. It develops gradually. Often remains undetected for a long time. With older horses, the changing appearance (such as z. B. long hair due to coat change problems or a lowered back) is therefore often initially attributed to "normal" aging processes. A diet too rich in energy and sugar can be partly responsible for the development of Cushing's, as well as (posture-related) lack of exercise, stress and excessive demands. The exact cause of Cushing's disease is not yet known.
What are the symptoms?
Horses diagnosed with Cushing's disease may exhibit a wide range of symptoms. These include
– Disturbed coat change: very long and shaggy, curly coat – even in summer – sluggishness and exhaustion – loss of performance – muscle loss, esp. on the back (low back) – Laminitis and hoof ulcers – Sweating without effort – Great thirst and increased urination – Diabetes – Disturbed fat distribution, e. B. over the eyes – Weakened immune system – Poor wound healing – Reduced fertility
Some of these symptoms suggest that the animal is suffering from another disease, z. B. EMS. A blood test can provide clarity here. The sample is examined for the ACTH hormone of the pituitary gland. If this value – especially in the fall – is significantly elevated, this can speak for a Cushing's patient.
What can I do for my horse?
Cushing's is favored by overweight. It is therefore important, especially in light-fed breeds, to provide sufficient exercise with regular training sessions, as well as adapted feeding and husbandry. Excessive grazing with rich, fructan-containing grass is out of place here. Rather, a "deer diet" is recommended, i.e. low-energy feeding with a high proportion of crude fiber. Nutrient deficiencies can be compensated for by supplementing with vitamins and minerals as needed.
Here we recommend our veterinarian24 EquiVitex : It contains, in addition to many herbs, vitamins and trace elements, monk's pepper (Vitex agnus-castus), which is traditionally used to regulate hormonal balance – z. B. also in Equine Cushing Syndrome (ECS). This is how these pellets support your horse in the regulation of metabolism and hormone balance.