Feeding Horses with Cushing’s Disease

In this article learn all about what Cushing’s Disease is and also learn about how to manage the diet of a horse with Cushing’s Disease.

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By: Shannon Pratt-Phillips, PhD. |

Feeding horses with Cushing’s Disease (PPID) – a common condition that affects older horses caused by a tumour in the pituitary gland – can be a challenge. The increased insulin from the pancreas as a result of the excess blood glucose concentrations typical of this disease ends up in the urine, resulting in frequent urination and lost calories that can make it hard to keep weight on the horse.

In this Horse Sport article, equine nutritionist Shannon Pratt-Phillips outlines nutritional management protocols for horses with Cushing’s disease. This includes low sugar and starch feeds that are higher in fat and fibre to keep weight up while avoiding laminitis or founder to which Cushing’s horses are also prone. The importance of good quality low sugar/starch hay or pasture is discussed, as well as protein, vitamins and minerals supplements and further management through body clipping and regular veterinary care.

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