pituitary gland - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-07-2010, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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pituitary gland

Has any one got any experiance or knowledge on tumors in the pituitary gland? My daughters POA is being tested next week. Have done some reading but was just wondering about personal experiences. Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-07-2010, 02:29 AM
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Unhappy Equine Cushing's Disease

Hi! I'm sorry to hear that. A tumor on the pituitary gland is Equine Cushing's Disease. Our first horse Penny, a small appy mare, got it when she was 23 years old we treated her daily with, medication called pergolide. She live fairly healthy and happily for another 3 years before her liver failed her and we needed to let her go. The first symptom she had was a very curly coat. We had know idea it was a symptom of a tumor! We thought it was adorable, she looked like a little lamb, or stuffed animal, it was so soft and cute.
Keep us updated on the results, I'll ask my mom more about it. I remember her giving some special supplements and maybe some dietary changes. I know they are more suseptible to founder. Good luck!

"No one can teach riding so well as a horse" -- The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-07-2010, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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I wasnt sure if it was connected to cushings or not. Thanks. Sky is just 10. The most amazing trained horse we have had. My daughter now 11 got him from the childrens wish foundation 2 yrs ago. Sky has been sick all spring, copd and rain rot , depressed and other symptoms that match the tumor thing. Will keep you updated. Thanks for your info.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-07-2010, 02:40 PM
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While it's not unheard of at 10, it's definitely not common for it to appear that early. Generally you see it in horses that are 15+ years old.

You should ask the vet to be sure that he is also checking for insulin resistance rather than just cushing's disease. It would be more likely and leads to weight issues, chronic infections, etc.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-07-2010, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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What exactly is insulin resistence? How does it tie in with what Sky might have? Thanks for pointing this out to me as I need to learn know what to ask the vet too.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-08-2010, 10:26 AM
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For years horses were thougth to have Cushing's but now there has been a definition made between it and Insulin Resistance. IR is sorta-kinda like type 2 diabetes in humans. The body doesn't react to insulin correctly to allow for glucose to be transported into cells so they don't get all of the energy they need to survive. It's actually what is thought to be the trigger for laminitis now rather than the Cushing's itself. It causes abnormal fatty deposits on the body, poor immune function and generally affects every body system because it affects every cell in the body.

Your vet can run a resting serum insulin to help diagnose IR.

www.thehorse.com is a great resource and they have fact sheets and lots of articles on insulin resistance and Cushing's disease.
http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/factshee...resistance.pdf

http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/factshee...c-syndrome.pdf

http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/factshee...c-syndrome.pdf

Cindy D.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-08-2010, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou very much, I will make changes today with Sky until he can be tested for this too. I did not know about this. With this will he still have a tumor? Probably not eh.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-08-2010, 12:58 PM
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IR is seperate from Cushing's Disease and is not caused by a tumor.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-08-2010, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well that is good news to me, my daughter has a brain tumor so one in her horse is not going to be good in our family. I hope it is something like IR. Sky is off the pasture already, and only on hay and minerals. On all the exercise he can handle which is light riding, hand walking and lunging every day. He is not over weight but could easily put weight on in all those places he shouldnt. How do I tell if he is foundered? Or has laminitis? Im not sure of the difference between the two.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-08-2010, 03:36 PM
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Barefoot for Soundness this website has a pretty informative page about founder/laminitis. Best of luck with your horse!
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