Provide Comfort To Horses With PPID Or Cushing’s Syndrome & Laminitis

Aletia recently worked with the Equine Clinic of Dr. Ulrich Mengeler on several cases, one of which involved a 20 year old retired Welsh Section A Pony, called Mounty, who is suffering from chronic laminitis in combination with PPID.

When Mounty was first presented at the clinic, x-rays were taken and the pony’s owner, veterinarian, and FCA Aletia Reilingh discussed FormaHoof as a supportive treatment to comfort horses with PPID.

All three agreed that FormaHoof was a beneficial treatment option, which would provide Mounty with enhanced comfort and a better quality of life to enjoy his retirement.

Aletia shares the details of this case, outlines Mounty’s treatment for laminitis, his progress and answers some essential questions on laminitis in horses, equine Cushing’s disease and PPID.

Pre-FormaHoof diagnosis

Firstly, the care team reviewed the Mounty’s x-rays before progressing with his treatment:

“The x-rays showed a change in the coffin bone often associated with laminitis. We were able to clearly see that the sole at the point of the coffin bone was very thin, which was causing significant discomfort to the pony.”

The First FormaHoof Application

Just 6 Weeks after the First Application

After 6 weeks a new set of FormaHoof was applied and it was clear that the Mounty had experienced significant changes in his hooves, behavior and the degree of lameness between the application cycles.

Mounty was significantly sounder and was able to move quite comfortably on a variety of surfaces. This enabled him to participate in horsemanship learning with the family’s children, going for walks and enjoying daily grooming, which he loves!

Two questions commonly asked about this case are:

How many FormaHoof cycles are expected to be required before the pony can return to barefoot?

“It looks like we will need two more cycles before he can return to barefoot, as his feet grow very slowly.”

What additional treatments did the pony receive?

“Meds, clipping etc. He is on medication specifically for the management of his Cushing’s.”

Update: October 21st 2021

We’ve received an update from Monty who’s happily enjoying the turnout!

Facts about Cushing’s a.k.a. PPID

What is Cushing’s Syndrome / PPID?

Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) or equine Cushing’s syndrome or disease is an endocrine or ‘hormonal’ disorder that occurs in over 20% of aged horses, ponies, and donkeys.

It’s a complex condition associated with abnormal function of the pituitary gland which becomes over active and often enlarged, producing produces large amounts of several hormones including adrenocorticotropin hormone or ‘ACTH’.

Is Cushing’s disease in horses related to laminitis or founder?

Not directly, but various studies have shown that up to 50% of horses with Cushing’s are affected by laminitis.

Laminitis has been associated with abnormal insulin levels and causes extreme painful inflammation in horses’ hooves.

Laminitis is considered to be both an early sign and an advanced sign of PPID.

Does FormaHoof comfort horses with PPID or Cushings?

As we saw in Monty’s case above, horses and ponies can be affected by a combination of PPID and laminitis – both can be a sign for each other.

FormaHoof is uniquely suited to treating laminitis as it encapsulates the damaged hoof, providing instant protection and support for the sensitive internal structures.

FormaHoof supports relief and recovery from laminitis associated with PPID in the following ways

Due to decreased immunity, horses and ponies with PPID can sometimes be more susceptible to hoof infections and abscesses, which can be extremely painful.

FormaHoof helps to promote a clean, dry environment, helping to keep out harmful bacteria that can lead to abscesses and working as a preventive measure for several hoof pathologies.

Which horses are likely to get PPID?

Whilst senior horses are more likely to develop PPID and it is rare in horses less than 10 years old, horses and ponies of any breed or age group may be affected.

However, breeds that struggle with obesity and high insulin concentrations are more likely to develop equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), which can predispose them to PPID.

Which horses are likely to get PPID?

  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Change in behaviour
  • Abnormal fat depots (patch development)
  • Loss of topline
  • Infertility
  • Laminitis

What are the advanced symptoms of Cushing's disease in horses?

  • Blindness and other neurological deficits
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Recurrent infections
  • Abnormal hair coat (long and curly), including a lack of seasonal shedding
  • Skeletal muscle atrophy
  • Rounded abdomen
  • Excessive urination and thirst

Is Cushing's disease in horses curable?

Whilst there is no cure, FormaHoof as a supportive treatment to comfort horses with PPID, the right nutrition, care and support, alongside appropriate veterinary treatment, you can help mitigate its effects and keep your horse or pony sound, happy and healthy for years to come.

What are the treatments for Cushing’s disease in horses?

While we can proved comfort to horses with PPID or Cushing’s, it is a life-long, degenerative condition. It can be managed with a daily dose of medication (tablet or paste form). Medication should be dosed and frequently controlled by a veterinarian.

Treatment should also include frequent blood checks to keep an eye on ACTH levels and keeping effective routines for hoof trimming, dental checks and worming is another important part of the overall treatment.

Horses and ponies with abnormal coat growth will also benefit from a regular clip to increase comfort levels.

FormaHoof have a special discount code thanks to Malva, where customers using the coupon code WNNBZ5IJQW at checkout in the FormaHoof shop will receive 25 Euro (or own currency equivalent) off their first order!

FormaHoof Expert Aletia Reilingh

FormaHoof Expert Aletia Reilingh

Canadian Farrier based in Borken, Germany, and works together with several local vets and clinics to support the treatment of a wide range of hoof-related diseases, injuries, and other common problems with FormaHoof.

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