The Horse

FEB 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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TheHorse.com | The Horse February 2019 21 ISTOCK.COM; LEFT (TOP TO BOTTOM): ISTOCK.COM, MAMEFRAME PHOTO, ISTOCK.COM NANCY S. LOVING, DVM I t can be incredibly satisfy- ing when things fit neatly in a box—including diagnoses for equine ailments. But not all health problems are so simple. Horses can experience more than one disease process at the same time, an occurrence known as co- morbidity. (Morbidity means being affected with disease.) The pres- ence of more than two diseases at a time is called multimorbidity. These scenarios can make for confusing clinical signs and long lists of diag- nostic tests. They're important to recognize because if you're treating only one of multiple reasons for a horse's clinical signs, you're not go- ing to solve the problem. In this article we'll look at the equine diseases veterinarians most commonly see in conjunction with other conditions. Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction One disease that frequently coexists with other health issues in horses is pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID). It's caused by an enlargement of the pituitary gland's middle lobe (the pars intermedia), which results in an overproduction of hormones that regulate bodily functions. The disease generally occurs in horses older than 18, although it can also manifest in individuals in their mid-teens. In a recent study British researchers looked at nine common diseases in more than 100,000 horses over a 26-year period simultaneously can be challenging to diagnose and treat at Comorbidities

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