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Clinical Signs of PPID

It is easy to tell when a horse has shed a winter coat but sometimes small patches of hair don't shed. Look for subtle signs of decreased shedding along the jugular groove and the back of the front and rear legs. A deterioration in athletic performance can also occur early on in the PPID disease process. Each horse has a distinctive personality and sometimes a change in attitude is one of the earliest signs of PPID. Regional adiposity or fat deposits can appear in places such as around the tailhead, a "cresty neck" or above the eyes. It is best to view your horse from various angles when checking for regional adiposity. While not always associated with PPID, laminitis can be an early indicator of disease. Below is a full list of early and advanced clinical signs of PPID. Speak with your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs in your horse.

Clinical signs of PPID Early Advanced
Changes in attitude/lethargy !
Decreased athletic performance !
Regional hypertrichosis !
Delayed hair coat shedding !
Loss of epaxial muscle mass (topline) !
Abnormal sweating (increased or decreased) ! !
Regional adiposity !
Infertility ! !
Desmitis/tendonitis !
Laminitis/recurrent sole abscesses ! !
Dull attitude/altered mentation !
Exercise intolerance !
Generalized hypertrichosis !
Loss of seasonal hair coat shedding !
Skeletal muscle atrophy !
Rounded abdomen !
Polyuria/polydipsia !
Recurrent infections !
Regional adiposity (bulging supraorbital fat) !
Excessive mammary gland secretions !
Blindness !
Parasitism !
Tendon and suspensory ligament laxity !
Suspect a horse has PPID? Veterinarians click here to request a test from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
Looking for resources to complete your test? See below:

Important safety information

PRASCEND is for use in horses only. Treatment with PRASCEND may cause loss of appetite. Most cases are mild. Weight loss, lack of energy, and behavioral changes also may be observed. If severe, a temporary dose reduction may be necessary. PRASCEND has not been evaluated in breeding, pregnant, or lactating horses and may interfere with reproductive hormones in these horses. PRASCEND Tablets should not be crushed due to the potential for increased human exposure. Refer to package insert for complete product information.

Equine Endocrinology Group

Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to support the Equine Endocrinology Group (EEG). The EEG is a group of clinicians and researchers that work together to advance our understanding of endocrine disorders in horses. The group contains key opinion leaders in the field who meet annually to review diagnosis and treatment recommendations and discuss research. This group provides advice to veterinarians, specialists, research scientists, and the public with the mission of increasing awareness of equine endocrine disorders and improving the diagnosis and management of these conditions.

To learn more about the EEG visit them here.


1. Donaldson MT, McDonnell SM, Schanbacher BJ, Lamb SV, McFarlane D, Beech J. Variation in plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone concentration and dexamethasone suppression test results with season, age, and sex in healthy ponies and horses. J Vet Intern Med. 2005;19(2):217-222.

2. Grubbs ST, Neal DL and TJ Keefe. Clinical signs associated with PPID status in a large population of horses. J Vet Intern Med 2015;29:1242