Cushings Disease

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http://www.cs.uwyo.edu/~aanand/facebook.php?share=difference-between-thesis-and-outline difference between thesis and outline Cushing’s disease, also known as PPID (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction) is caused by a hormone-secreting tumor of the pituitary gland at the base of the horse’s brain. In affected horses, the pituitary gland produces excessive amounts of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). This hormone is usually released at low levels, helps the body respond to short periods of physical, emotional or environmental stress. Sustained secretion of excessive POMC seemingly leads to the development of disease. The most common symptom is a long, curly hair coat that fails to shed during the change from winter to summer. Other symptoms include: excessive sweating, lethargy, poor athletic performance, infertility, muscle wasting (especially along the top line), abnormal fat distribution (accumulations in the crest of the neck, along the tail head, sheath, and above the eyes), delayed wound healing, increased susceptibility to infections, and increased water consumption with passage of large amounts of urine. Cushing’s tends to occur in middle-aged and older horses, around age twenty. Without treatment, symptoms tend to worsen over time and can be fatal. Symptoms are easily observed in advanced cases. Diagnosis of early cases or those characterized by few obvious clinical signs can be more difficult. There are two clinical tests available: 1) dexamethasone suppression test, and 2) plasma ACTH measurement test. Consult your veterinarian for the appropriate tests if you suspect your horse has Cushing’s disease. These horses are often insulin resistant and have high blood sugar levels so non-structural carbohydrates (NSC, sugar and starch) need to be avoided. Feeds low in soluble carbohydrates (sugar and starch) are recommended. Feeding recommendations are to provide a total diet with less than 20% sugar and starch for most horses with Cushing’s disease. Pasture grasses can have high carbohydrate content, especially during the spring and fall seasons, and the risk of colic and laminitis is greater when horses are on pasture. Since laminitis and founder are more common in horses with Cushing’s disease, pasture grazing should be severely limited or totally avoided. Regular exercise reduces blood glucose levels in insulin-resistant people, so it should also help horses.

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