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Nutritional Support for PPID (Cushing’s Disease)

For many owners, feeding a horse or pony suffering from PPID, also known as Cushing’s disease can be a worry. Thankfully, help is at hand from Dengie with its great range of chopped fibre feeds.

Horses and ponies suffering from PPID should be fed a low-sugar, low-starch diet which is why Dengie feeds are ideal as the alfalfa they are based on is naturally low in both sugar and starch. The ration should be balanced and contain a level of energy appropriate to the individual’s condition and workload – not all PPID cases are overweight!

Ideally PPID horse’s should be given feeds with less than 10-12% NSC (non-structural carbohydrate), which is the combined amount of water-soluble carbohydrates and starch. Many Dengie feeds meet this requirement and can be used as partial or complete hay replacers.

Product DE MJ/kg NSC % ‘As Fed’
Alfa-A Oil 12.5 6.5
Alfa-A Molasses Free 11.5 6.5
Healthy Tummy 11.5 6.5
Alfa-Beet 10.5 7
Alfalfa Pellets 10 8
Alfa-A Lite 9 10
Hi-Fi Molasses Free 8.5 4
Healthy Hooves 8.5 6.5
Healthy Hooves Molasses Free 8.5 4
Hi-Fi Lite 7.5 8.5

When choosing a feed, always select one that is approved by The Laminitis Trust as this is an independent indication that they are low in sugar and starch. Dengie has four feeds approved by The Laminitis Trust – Alfa-A Molasses Free, Hi-Fi Molasses Free, Hi-Fi Lite and Healthy Hooves Molasses Free.

The Hi-Fi and Healthy range feeds are ideal for overweight horses and ponies whereas the Alfa-A range are perfect for those needing to gain condition or that are in work. As PPID is a condition that often occurs in veteran horses and ponies, they may have the additional problem of poor dentition. In these situations feeds that are fed soaked such as Dengie Alfa-Beet and Alfalfa Pellets are ideal for providing fibre in an easy to chew format.

A broad-spectrum supplement or a balancer should be added to straight fibre diets – or when less than the recommended amount of a fortified feed (one with added vitamins and minerals) is given. Leisure Vits & Mins from Dengie’s supplement range and Leisure Balancer are suitable for those at rest or in light work, whereas Performance Vits & Mins and Performance+ Balancer are ideal for those in work.

Fussiness can also be a problem for horses and ponies with PPID either through the presence of medication in the feed or the effects of the medication itself. Tempt them with feeds containing added herbs such as Dengie Alfa-A Molasses Free with its added mint and fenugreek.