PPID, another name for Equine Cushings Disease

(Ernie Rodina) I’m here with Dr. Kerby Weaver from Boehringer Ingelheim, it’s great to see you. We’re talking about PPID. Can you tell us what that is? (Dr. Kerby Weaver) Cushing’s Disease was first described in humans over 100 years ago. PPID is just the most current and accurate name for Equine Cushing’s Disease. The pituitary we all have is a small pea-sized part right at the base of your brain. That’s the hormone center for us and horses. In horses, they can get PPID, Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction. The pars intermedia is just a certain part of that pituitary gland. It can have abnormal cells that can cause a domino effect of those hormones. (Ernie) If they have PPID, they have Cushing’s? (Kerby) Correct. (Ernie) What are some clinical signs? (Kerby) Some of the classic signs are long hair coat are not shedding out properly in the spring and summertime. You can have laminitis, recurrent infections, increased urination or increased drinking, and also a subtle sign of decreased performance. They may be sweating abnormally. Those are some of the things people should look for. It’s important to talk to your veterinarian if you notice any of those clinical signs. There are easy blood tests we can do, but your veterinarian can go off a presumptive diagnosis based off of those clinical signs. There’s no cure, but you can manage disease with pergolide. That’s the gold standard treatment. The only FDA-approved pergolide is Prascend. (Ernie) At Silvertooth, we have an owner and her horse Indie and the horse has been diagnosed with PPID. Let’s go out there. (Kerby) Let’s do it. (Ernie) Okay. We’re here with Jane Stein and she’s got this lovely horse. Jane, how are you doing today? (Jane Stein) I’m doing great. Thank you. (Ernie) Tell us about this horse and all about it. Looks like he’s your buddy. (Jane) He is my best friend. This is SMS Independence Bay, also known as Indie. He is a registered Morgan horse. He’s 13 years old. (Ernie) 13 years old. I’ll tell you what; he’s just been recently diagnosed with PPID. (Jane) Yes, about two-and-a-half months ago. (Ernie) You played a major role in helping getting him diagnosed. (Jane) Well, I don’t know about that, but I did notice some things about him that led me to believe that maybe that’s where we were headed. (Ernie) Tell us about some of the things that you saw. (Jane) The first thing that I noticed was he had an abscess in his hoof and it was very slow to resolve, which is unusual for him. That sent a little flag to me to keep an eye on that, and then the second thing that I noticed was he didn’t seem to have as much stamina. He had a slight amount of loss of stamina when I would work him on the ground or ride him. That was another thing, and then the final thing was the length of the hair and the amount of hair that he got when he got his coat in the fall in November. (Ernie) Jane, you’ve done a great job as far as in helping the diagnosis of this, but you’ll be the first to say it’s a team effort. (Jane) It is, Ernie. One of the issues that I think is so important for people to understand is when you call the veterinarian and they come out and there is this diagnosis, you have a lot of concern, but you need to have faith in your veterinarian. You need to follow exactly what they’re telling you to do. It is a team effort with the veterinarian, and then the farrier care, you have to be on top of that, good dental care. Also, you have to monitor, exercise very carefully, and diet. They have to have a lot of exercise. (Ernie) Doc, it seems like she got everything lined out. It has to make the job of a veterinarian easier when you got a horse owner that observant on symptoms like that. (Kerby) Yes, it’s very important, because as a veterinarian, I might always see their horse once or twice a year. It’s important for the horse owner to share those observations with their veterinarian and we can help come to a diagnosis if need be, or at least rule it out or find out what’s going on. (Ernie) The key word is, “He’s just been recently diagnosed.” We’re treating him right now and he’s getting some really positive results. (Kerby) It sounds like he’s doing well. He started on pergolide treatment and I think Jane is using Prascend. (Jane) Yes, I am, and he gets that once a day and he eats it right up. It’s not a problem to give. It’s very small. (Ernie) Well, Indie looks like he’s doing good now. What’s really good for our viewers out there is you got a great website that you can send folks to find out more about this. (Kerby) Absolutely IDPPID.com. You can find a lot of information there. (Ernie) Well, there’s nothing greater. I tell you what, just great to see this horse doing well. You got big plans for him. (Jane) I do. (Ernie) Get along great and that’s what it’s all about. It’s about the journey, and just doing a great job. Thank you, guys.

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