There is a horse at our barn who is a 5 yr old quater horse. She has always acted really strange ever since she got there which has been about 7-8 months ago. Now its beginning to get worse. Her coat is really thick and isnt shedding, her back feet are sort of lame, she's getting more food and supplement but not gaining any weight, she's becoming pot-bellied, and is almost always laying down. The vet and I suspected that she has cushings disease but I did some research and all of it said that it only affects horses as old as 10 and up. Any suggestions as what it could be? Ill try to get a picture of her as soon as possible.
While Cushings is more common in horses over 15 yrs of age, it is possible to have pituitary dysfunction in younger horses.
However, the symptoms could also be related to something else. A good exam including lameness and neurological tests would be the first step. And a bit of bloodwork including a resting serum insulin test run on this horse screen for Insulin Resistance and the likelihood of Cushing's. This test is run on a single serum sample run after the horse has been fasted or on nothing but grass hay for 12 hours. If the test is positive for insulin resistance then further testing for Cushing's would be recommended with the symptoms that this horse shows.
Thanks, i'll tell the barn owner she should get a vet check, the owner of the horse doesnt even know anything about it yet except for that her back legs are a bit lame and she continues to ride her...stupid girl.
It really sounds like Cushings. It's one of those things that is difficult to give an opinion on when you havent seen the horse. I have seen a horse who had it at quite a young age so I know it would be possible. You should tell her to get the vet out.