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August 9, 2012

What Is Equine Cushing’s Syndrome?

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

Cushing’s is a hormone disorder caused by a hyper-stimulated pituitary gland which leads to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  Historically, veterinarians believed that this syndrome was caused by a benign tumor placing physical pressure on the pituitary gland.  Instead, current research and experience suggests that it develops as a response to chronic, low-grade stress.

The pituitary, adrenal glands and cortisol are designed to combat acute health threats – providing an immediate response to stress and injury. Cortisol raises blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which help a horse endure short periods of stress.  Though often mislabeled as a disease, it is more accurate to view Cushing’s as an illness progressing along a spectrum from the first symptom to the final stages.

Typical Symptoms/Markers of Cushing’s syndrome:

  • Cresty neck

  • Abnormal fat distribution (typically on neck, shoulders, rump and sheath)

  • Fluid collection above the eye (supraorbital fossas)

  • Founder/Chronic Laminitis
  • Excessive thirst & urination
  • Lethargy
  • Poor hair coat

If you suspect your horse has Cushing’s Syndrome or is Pre-Cushings, a natural treatment is Chaste Tree Berry Powder.

Chaste Tree Berry Powder nutritionally supports the normal functioning of the pituitary gland.* With this herbal supplement, the pituitary is allowed to thrive and perform properly by naturally helping to maintain normal dopamine levels in the blood and supporting regulation of both the pituitary and adrenal glands.* Accurate dopamine levels also normalize prolactin to balance hormones in the body.  Chaste Tree Berry Powder has no known negative side effects and is safe for long term use, as these diseases and syndromes are managed and not cured.*

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