How can I keep my PPID (Cushing's) horse at a healthy weight?

How can I keep my PPID (Cushing's) horse at a healthy weight?

Our Cavalor Consumer Line receives many questions about feed every day. The following question often arises: “My horse has Cushing’s disease (or PPID), so he’s extra sensitive to sugars. Nevertheless, he loses weight quickly. What can I feed my horse to keep him in good condition?” In this blog post, our nutritionists share their advice.

Cushing’s disease is a serious illness and there’s still no cure. It occurs mainly in older horses. Horses with PPID have an additional challenge, in that their sugar metabolism is disturbed, making them extra sensitive to sugar and increasing the risk of laminitis. So we try to avoid using sugary and starchy feeds as much as possible. But the horse must maintain its weight, and so we have a number of tips to help you do that.

Keep internal systems working properly

We recommend starting with a Cavalor Hepato Liq cure. Your horse’s internal system must be working properly. Cavalor Hepato Liq supports the liver and kidneys in their job of breaking down waste products, so the horse can utilise them better and faster.  This cure can be carried out at least once a year, but here we recommend doing it twice a year during the moulting periods. Administer Hepato Liq twice a day (5cc) for 25 days.

Monitor sugar metabolism

PPID horses can be helped with Cavalor LaminAid (2 x 25 cc per day). Recent scientific research in the US state of Kentucky has shown that Cavalor LaminAid has a positive influence on sugar metabolism in horses that are sensitive to this, including PPID horses.  This greatly reduces the risk of laminitis.

Every horse needs sugar, including horses with PPID. They already get the sugars and starch they need from roughage, which is why we try to avoid sugar and starch in concentrates as much as possible. Cavalor FiberForce is a muesli that provides energy through fat and fibre. It’s also low in sugars and starch, making it the ideal mix for sensitive horses. For horses weighing 600 kg, we recommend a minimum of 3 kg per day to a maximum of 12 kg. Feed Cavalor FiberForce in small portions throughout the day. 

Choose fat and/or protein as an additional food source

If your horse needs more feed, feed him Cavalor Wholegain, a balancer that ensures safe weight gain by adding fat to the horse’s ration. For weight gain, we recommend 150 g Wholegain per 100 kg of body weight. For horses weighing 600 kg, that corresponds to 0.9 kg per day. Build up gradually over a 5 day period.

In horses, weight loss means lost muscle mass. If you want to rebuild muscle mass, the ration must contain extra protein for muscle development. We therefore recommend Cavalor Vitamino as a follow-up feed to Cavalor Wholegain. This balancer helps build muscle mass. For senior horses, we recommend a minimum of 100 g and a maximum of 200 g per 100 kg of body weight. For horses weighing 600 kg, this corresponds to a minimum of 0.6 kg and a maximum of 1.2 kg of Cavalor Vitamino per day.

Prefer to avoid balancers? You can also add Cavalor OilMega to the ration, a supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Cavalor OilMega keeps your horse healthy inside and out. It is also important that the horse gets energy from fat. Make sure that it is added gradually to your horse’s ration. This can be done in the following way:

Dose per horse per day:
Day 1: 20 ml
Day 2: 40 ml
Day 3: 60 ml
Day 4: 80 ml
Day 5: 100 ml
After day 5: 100 ml

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