The symptoms of Cushing's are brought on due to an increased amount of the stress hormone, Cortisol, in the equine's system. When a tumor (called a Pituitary Adenoma) develops, the Pituitary gland sends out the wrong signals to the body, causing the increase in Cortisol, which causes the signs and symptoms of Cushing's.
Signs and Symptoms of Cushing's Disease can include:
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Hirsutism (abnormally long hair)
- Fatty deposits on the body
- Increased susceptibility to infection
A veterinarian can perform a panel of blood tests to properly diagnose Cushing's, and get the horse started on a treatment program. There are a few medications available that are thought to help manage the symptoms of Cushing's, although there are none that are known to cure the disease. Proper diet can go a long way in treating Cushing's.