Is Cushing's contagious?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-14-2010, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Is Cushing's contagious??

we were looking into getting another horse. and we found a good mare and they are looking to trade for a smaller pony. this is all well and good and we got and look at her and she is a little rough around the edges. but with work she'll be great. we were there and she has the mare, and little 2 year old stud colt and a pony (the mare looks pregnant. and i'm assuming the stud colt probably impregnated her!) the ponies hair was long and thick and look nasty. and i immediately thought cushings. i'm gonna suggest it to the owner to get her checked for cushing but now i am wondering if it is contagious to other horses?? if it is i'd hate to bring this little mare home with it and expose all my horses and i'd definitely hate to send our precious pony over there to develope it. this is probably a dumb question. but i figured i'd might as well ask!

Baby, Sparta, Carmen, Henry, Hooch, Mercedes, Butterscotch
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-14-2010, 09:34 PM
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no, cushings is not contagious. It is caused by a tumor in the pituatary gland.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-14-2010, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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yeah i knew it was a disease. but not sure how they get it or what. so i thought better safe then sorry! thanks a bunch = )

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-14-2010, 10:02 PM
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No it is not viral or bacterial... it is cancerous. Hope this helps.

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post #5 of 6 Old 09-14-2010, 10:37 PM
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Agree 100% with the others.

Cushings horses do need to be managed very carefully though so think very carefully about taking on that responsibility. You need to be ultra careful about pasture grasses to prevent foundering. They can be alternately very difficult to keep weight off of and then very hard to keep weight on (usually late stage). A lot of them need to be body clipped in the summer to stay comfortable too. Talk to your vet about the drug options and if she needs them.

Also, insulin resisttance can look a lot like Cushings (right down to the long curly coat), so if the pony is obese it's possible that the problems will go away with regular exercise and weight loss. But it's a gamble especially if the pony is younger and already showing classic Cushings symptoms.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-14-2010, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Citrus View Post
No it is not viral or bacterial... it is cancerous. Hope this helps.

It is actually almost never cancerous, simply a benign tumor. Technically Cushings is a human disease, the disease in horses is called Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction or PPID. Though the two are extremely similar there are some differences (just putting that out there for those who may have Cushings themselves and have some background on the disease). It is also slowly becoming recognized as a group of symptoms known as Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Here is an excellent article on it.
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