If your horse is diagnosed with PPID, a sound treatment plan coupled with great general health care will ensure that your horse gets the best results.1,3 Your veterinarian will give you a customized road map to follow to help get your horse back into shape. Horses with PPID need tailored nutrition and exercise plans, as well as regular grooming, hoof care, physical exams, deworming, and vaccinations.
Diet and exercise
Your veterinarian will advise you on a customized diet and exercise plan that will help your horse maintain the right weight.1 Horses with PPID often do well on the low-sugar, low-starch diets fed to horses prone to laminitis. This diet usually rules out alfalfa and grain, but leaves grass hay and grass hay pellets as good choices. You may like the convenience of new commercial feeds designed specifically for older or endocrine-impaired horses.2 These concentrated foods often come in pellets and are easier for your horse to chew and digest.
Just like people, horses with PPID need their vitamins, especially vitamins E and C, for optimal health.4 Also, if your horse has gotten too thin from PPID, it may be best to temporarily separate it from herd mates so it doesn't have to compete for access to food and water.3
Horses that are insulin-resistant (ie, diabetes-like) have a higher chance of being overweight and getting laminitis. So, they need to avoid too much sugar.4 If your horse is insulin-resistant, limit his access to sugary feed and the pasture (there’s a lot of sugar in grass). If your horse has this condition, you may notice fat pouches at the top of the neck or other unusual places. Your veterinarian can check your horse's insulin status and tailor its diet for you.
Grooming and hoof care
We know horses with PPID often have long, wavy hair coats. Regular grooming and body clipping will allow you to watch for skin problems and keep your horse cool and comfortable (as well as looking good).2,5 Also, your horse may have trouble maintaining a comfortable body temperature, so plenty of fresh water, shelter, shade, body clipping, and blanketing as needed will help.2
In addition, regular hoof care helps keep your horse from having a laminitis flare-up.1,3 So, schedule your routine farrier appointments today.5
Many horses with PPID are older, and we know that dental problems affect 60% of horses over 15 years of age.6 So, getting regular dental care to prevent malnutrition and disease is important for your horse's overall health as it ages.1,3
Regular veterinary care
Your veterinarian is your primary resource when it comes to keeping your PPID-affected horse happy and healthy. Remember to schedule regular veterinary exams for your horse. This allows your veterinarian to see how your horse's treatment program is working and adjust as needed.3 You will get the best results by carefully following your veterinarian's directions.
Your veterinarian will also keep your horse dewormed, vaccinated, and treated for any wounds or infections.
Quick treatment tips
- Use feeds that are easy to chew and digest
- Provide plenty of fresh water
- Get regular hoof care and body clipping
- Get regular dental care
- Deworm regularly
- Vaccinate your horse
- Talk to your veterinarian often