Australian Researchers Surveying Horse Owners on Equine Cushing’s Disease

This research seeks to better understand management of horses and ponies with equine Cushing's disease or PPID.

This research seeks to better understand management of horses and ponies with equine Cushing’s disease or PPID. iStock

University of Melbourne researchers are undertaking a survey of horse owners to better understand their management of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) also known as equine Cushing’s disease. PPID is a common condition in older horses and ponies and is linked to a range of problems including laminitis (a foot problem causing severe lameness), weight loss and a long curly hair coat, plus various other signs. The survey forms part of a broader, major international project to improve the understanding and knowledge of the fundamental causes of the condition, to improve early diagnosis, treatment, husbandry, and nutritional management.

The short online survey is designed for horse owners, to better understand how they manage horses or ponies with PPID, and what the important factors are for them including: the ability to feed separately and cost of medications. Nettie Liburt, PhD, PAS, Senior Equine Nutrition Manager, Mars Horsecare US, Inc., working on the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition brand, emphasized the importance of understanding of current management practices when it comes to PPID. “This research is critical to help link science with practical management, so we can develop tools that horse owners can easily utilize to improve the care of their PPID horses in a way that works in everyday life.”

The research is supported by the Australian Research Council and being undertaken by the Melbourne Veterinary School and Queensland University of Technology with industry partners including WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute (UK), Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica (Germany) and The Liphook Equine Hospital (UK). The results from this anonymous survey will provide valuable information and contribute to improved targeted education of the horse owning public.

To take the survey, copy the link below and paste into your browser:

About the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition Brand

The BUCKEYE™ Nutrition brand combines science, innovation, and a genuine passion for horses to produce the highest-quality, safest feed possible. Every product is formulated by equine nutritionists and produced in a state-of-the-art, medication-free facility. The BUCKEYE Nutrition brand takes feed safety seriously, using only 100 percent pure ingredients delivered daily and traced from field to feed bucket. These stringent quality standards are backed by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, a world-leading authority on animal care. In business since 1910, the BUCKEYE Nutrition brand is passionate about unlocking the full potential of horses, allowing them to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Visit

About the Waltham Petcare Science Institute

The Waltham Petcare Science Institute is Mars Petcare’s pet research center. Our work focuses on the nutritional and behavioral needs of pets, as well as preventive health. We use this knowledge to support development of innovative products and services, advancing science to deliver our Purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™. The WALTHAM™ Equine Studies Group, which is headed by Dr. Pat Harris, MA, PhD, VetMB, DipECVCN, MRCVS, is dedicated to advancing the science of horse nutrition and provides the scientific support for MARS Horsecare globally including the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition, SPILLERS™, and WINERGY™ brands. By collaborating with key research institutes and universities around the world its work remains at the forefront of equine nutritional science.






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