*Statistically speaking, older horses are more likely to develop metabolic issues like Cushings, Insulin Resistance, Equine Metabolic Syndrome, etc.. The signs and symptoms can develop slowly over the course of time but there are some very visible/apparent signs: abnormally (sometimes curly/wavy) long coat, excessive sweating, increase thirst, delayed wound healing, chronic laminitis and more can signal there is an issue.
The horses in our barn are older and 3 (half of our herd of 6) have been diagnosed with Cushings within the past year. Their diagnosis required a lot of research, consultations with our Veterinarian and it has truly impacted every aspect of their care. The good news: our horses are doing amazingly well and we have become much more educated and proficient in their care. Knowing what we know now, our horses have most likely had these issues for several years.
In addition to an official diagnosis and continued care from our Veterinarian, we sought out the assistance of an Equine Nutrition Expert, Ashley Hansen who has a Masters in Animal Science / Equine Nutrition. Ashley is a Livestock Production Specialist with Purina and her guidance has been invaluable in manner in which we provide nutritional support to our horses. Ashley had so much great information, I asked if we could shoot an educational video for all of you and she graciously agreed.
If you have a horse with metabolic issues, this video will cover everything from grain to tips on hay and we believe you’ll find the information incredibly beneficial. If you believe, your horse may have metabolic issues, the first step is to consult with your Veterinarian for a firm diagnosis and suggested treatment protocol. Look for an article entitled “Caring for the Cushings Horse”, in the weeks to come.
Until Next Time,
*Sources: The Horse – https://thehorse.com/121431/cushings-disease-or-equine-metabolic-syndrome/ , American Association of Equine Practitioners – https://aaep.org/horsehealth/equine-endocrinology-cushings-disease-and-metabolic-syndrome, Colorado State University – http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/Documents/Learnmares41-reprodprob-Cushings-apr09.pdf. Image courtesy of Purina.