How Real-World Conditions Affect PPID Diagnosis Reliability

A veterinarian shares research evaluating handling, storage, and testing conditions and the reliability of PPID testing.
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How Real-World Conditions Affect PPID Diagnosis Reliability
Dr. John Haffner said it’s always important to take clinical signs and the owner’s history of the horse into consideration along with the laboratory data to make a “proper diagnosis” of PPID. | Photo by Sarah Church Graham
Owners and veterinarians can rest assured that testing for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, formerly known as equine Cushing’s disease) is likely to be reliable if they follow a few practical research-based tips for the management of horses, testing materials, and samples.

New details about test hormone storage, whole blood storage, plasma storage, and the effects of season and stress on testing can help practitioners organize their PPID testing procedures without compromising results, said John Haffner, DVM, a professor at the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Horse Science Center, in Murfreesboro.

Haffner and his fellow researchers performed five studies on horses they’d identified as having or not having PPID to answer questions they’d encountered themselves as practitioners in the field. He presented their results at the 2020 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held virtually.

The questions they aimed to answer pertain to the practicalities of PPID testing in a real-world setting of equine veterinarians in the field, he said

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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