Cushing’s and EMS: What’s the Difference?

Practitioners must use clinical signs and laboratory testing to distinguish between these sometimes similar ailments.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Cushing
Horses with EMS are often “easy keepers” and have regional adiposity, or fat deposits in the crest of the neck, tailhead, prepuce, and flanks. | Photo: iStock

Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing’s disease) and equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) are by far the most common endocrine disorders in horses. In fact, recent study results suggest that up to 30% of horses of some breeds suffer from one of these conditions during their lifetimes.

While these potentially career- and life-ending diseases are distinctly different in the damage that they cause, they do share some similarities; laminitis, for instance, is associated with both. This can make distinguishing them from one another and selecting appropriate treatment challenging.

Kelsey Hart, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, assistant professor of large animal internal medicine in the University of Georgia’s Department of Large Animal Medicine, reviewed current recommendations for PPID and EMS testing at the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you vaccinate your horse?
378 votes · 378 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!