Therapeutics for Equine Endocrine Disorders

Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2017 Apr;33(1):127-139. doi: 10.1016/j.cveq.2016.11.003. Epub 2017 Feb 9.


Equine endocrine disease is commonly encountered by equine practitioners. Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) predominate. The most logical therapeutic approach in PPID uses dopamine agonists; pergolide mesylate is the most common. Bromocryptine and cabergoline are alternative drugs with similar actions. Drugs from other classes have a poor evidence basis, although cyproheptadine and trilostane might be considered. EMS requires management changes as the primary approach; reasonable justification for use of drugs such as levothyroxine and metformin may apply. Therapeutic options exist in rare cases of diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, hyperthyroidism, and critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency.

Keywords: Diabetes; EMS; Endocrine; Equine; PPID; Therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Endocrine System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Endocrine System Diseases / veterinary*
  • Horse Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Horses
  • Pergolide / therapeutic use


  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Pergolide