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August 21, 2012


Why Do Horses Develop Cushing’s Syndrome?

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

In simplistic terms, the body responds to stress like a 9-1-1 operator.  The pituitary gland receives the 9-1-1 call by recognizing a new stress.  It then dispatches an ambulance (hormones) to race to the adrenal glands.  The adrenal glands respond by releasing cortisol to diffuse the inflammation, much as an EMT attempts to neutralize a patient’s pain en route to the hospital.

In some cases, chronic stress causes the body to feel as though it cannot keep inflammation under control and it responds by producing more and more cortisol.  As the pituitary gland works overtime to fight chronic stress it becomes enlarged, the adrenal glands increase cortisol production and the endocrine system begins to spiral out of control.  This chronic adrenal over-stimulation ultimately results in the symptoms diagnosed as Cushing’s syndrome.

Equine stress is commonly associated with:

  • High sugar/carbohydrate diets
  • Stall confinement
  • Lack of socialization
  • Vaccinations
  • Daily dewormers
  • Training/showing
  • Hauling/transportation
  • Injury
  • Sedation
  • Environmental & dietary changes
  • Show medications such as ACTH, Regu-Mate, etc.
  • Surgery

When Chaste Tree Berry Powder alone is not enough to treat the advanced symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome, Dr. Mark recommends Harmony.

Harmony™ is formulated to promote healthy body function in horses dealing with the negative side effects associated with Endocrine, Metabolic, and Cushing Syndromes, as well as Insulin Resistance and Hypothyroidism. To support these horses, Harmony™ is designed to aid in the maintenance of the thyroid and adrenal glands.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Jul 8 2013

    Well put together article! I will totally
    book mark this for future reference. Keep it up!


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