Long-Term Study: Owners Pleased With PPID Treatment Pergolide - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Long-Term Study: Owners Pleased With PPID Treatment Pergolide

Pergolide has been the drug of choice to treat horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID or Cushing's disease) for decades. It has proven to effectively control clinical signs of PPID, but studies on long-term use have been lacking. 

Dr. Harold Schott and researchers at Michigan State University followed 28 horses and 2 ponies that were given pergolide for diagnosed Cushing's disease; 15 were on one pergolide tablet (1 mg) a day and 15 were on two tablets a day. The equids were treated with the medication for up to 12.5 years.

To determine how the horses were handling treatment, the owners were contacted by the study team every three months. The animals were also examined at various intervals.

The team reported that five equines were euthanized for PPIR-associated laminitis and that 24 died or were euthanized for other age-related conditions. The animals survived for 0.6 to 12.5 years, with 3.3 years being the median survival time. One animal was still alive at the conclusion of the study. 

Owners of 13 of the equids reported continuing clinical improvement after 5.5 years. This included a better appetite, a healthier hair coat, and fewer laminitis issues. After 5.5 years, 75 percent of the test horses had normal endocrine results. 

Seven of the 15 horses that began on a one-tablet dose were increased to two tablets each day. Overall, owners reported being happy with their horse's response to long-term pergolide treatment.

Read more at Equine Science Update. 

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