Cushing’s disease (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction) causes a hormonal imbalance and is most frequently seen in older horses. Several of our ponies at the sanctuary have Cushing’s, including Gypsy, Pearl, Tina, Kizzie, Freddie, Muffin, Bella and Polly. The disease can show a variety of symptoms including:
Not all ponies with Cushing’s will show all symptoms. The most severe and potentially life- threating symptom is laminitis.
There’s no cure for Cushing’s disease but it can be managed with a medication called Prascend. We work with our vets to ensure we get the correct levels of the drug to ensure good control of the Cushing’s without increasing the risk of side effects and we test each pony’s blood at frequent intervals to ensure they’re on the correct dose. Although Prascend works well for most of our ponies, Gypsy no longer takes it as it didn’t help her.
We also use Global Herbs C-Aid and Monks Pepper as herbal support for our animals with Cushings.
These treatments mean that our ponies are much healthier. They maintain their weight better, show improved resistance to infections and fewer incidences of laminitis, making treatment an essential part of their routine.
As you can imagine, keeping our ponies on this essential medication and checking their blood frequently is not cheap. The cost to Hope Pastures of the Prascend alone is £38 a week – that’s almost £2,000 a year, but it’s absolutely worth it for our ponies to have a good quality of life.
It would help to know that we have this cost covered for Pearl, Tina, Kizzie, Freddie, Muffin, Bella and Polly for 2017.
If you can help by donating you can be sure they’ll be very grateful. Every £1 will help – £5.50 will cover the cost of their Prascend for a day.