Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID)

Previously known as Equine Cushing’s Disease, PPID is a common hormonal dysfunction in horses. It can affect as many as 1 in 7 horses and ponies over the age of 15 but can be seen in younger horses too.


In horses affected by PPID, the pituitary gland produces an excess of hormones which can cause imbalances in a number of your horses’ normal bodily functions. This can cause a whole range of problems that vary in severity according to how far the disease has progressed.

The most obvious symptoms of late stage PPID include changes to the hair coat, altered body shape, muscle wasting and unusual areas of fat deposits and laminitis. Laminitis a painful condition that affects the feet and hooves of horses and ponies.

Earlier signs to look out for are

  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Change in attitude/lethargy
  • Delayed haircoat shedding
  • Increased areas of hairiness
  • Change in body combination
  • Regional fat deposits
  • Laminitis
  • Infertility

If you think that your horse may have PPID, contact us on 09 238 2471. A simple blood test can diagnose for PPID. The test is most sensitive at diagnosing if performed in the autumn.

There is no cure for PPID but it can be effectively managed with the use of medication and careful horse maintenance such as weight management and clipping.

When effective treatment and management is started early, horses with PPID can expect many more healthy quality years to come.