The Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Group Inc. website is complimentary to the Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Yahoo outreach group. 

Equine Cushing's Disease, also known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), and Insulin Resistance (IR) are distinctly separate conditions. This website is intended to provide detailed information for correct Diagnosis, and support through Diet, Trim and Exercise.

With over 11,500 international members, the ECIR Yahoo outreach groupis arguably the largest field trial in the world and provides the latest research, medication information & dietary recommendations for horses with these conditions. Even universities do not and cannot compile and follow long term as many in depth case histories of PPID/IR horses as the ECIR Group.

The mission of the nonprofit ECIR Group Inc. is to improve the welfare of equines with metabolic disorders via a unique interface between basic research and real-life clinical experience.  Prevention of laminitis is the ultimate goal.  The ECIR Group serves the scientific community, practicing clinicians and owners by focusing on investigations most likely to quickly, immediately and significantly benefit the welfare of the horse.

dustyroseCushing's Disease ~ Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction

The name Cushing's Disease stems from Dr. Harvey Cushing, a human physician and the first person to describe the symptoms in 1932.

Cushing's Disease refers to a collection of symptoms seen when there is an excess of cortisol. In the horse, what is commonly called Cushing's Disease is caused by hyperplasia (enlargement) or adenoma (benign tumor) in a portion of the pituitary called the pars intermedia (intermediate lobe).



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BeaucrestJune2002Equine Insulin Resistance ~ Metabolic Syndrome

Owners and veterinarians have long recognized a "syndrome" among young adult horses relating to obesity and chronic laminitis. Terms like Pre-Cushing's, Cushingoid, Syndrome-X, Hypothyroid and Metabollic Syndrome have been used to describe these animals. 

In the past few years, researchers have examined this condition more closely and the more specific term Insulin Resistance is now used to describe this metabolic body type. Insulin Resistance (IR) is characterized by a loss of insulin sensitivity at the cellular level. The insulin resistant horse is carbohydrate intolerant and the degree of insulin resistance can be assessed and measured as part of the diagnosis and recovery process.


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Laminitis ~ Founder

The pain and distress of an acutely laminitic horse is a very difficult thing to witness. When you care about your horse every hour seems like an eternity. However,the truth is that a horse's will to live is extremely strong.

When an owner is faced with a laminitic horse, their overwhelming concern, understandably, is pain control. However, it is critically important to understand that you cannot get the pain under control unless you eliminate the cause or trigger of the laminitis.



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Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Group Inc. - Nonprofit

The Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance Yahoo discussion group was founded in 1999 by Robin Siskel for her mare Night Flight (Tina). At that time little was known or even recognized about Cushing's or Insulin Resistance.

Robin Siskel founded the ECIR Outreach Group for her mare, Tina with the goal of keeping information firmly based in science. Noted veterinarian Eleanor Kellon, VMD, joined the ECIR Outreach Group in 2001 and became Co-Owner with Robin.

By providing up to date information and education and following the principles of Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise (DDT+E), the ECIR Group has become the largest field trial database for Equine Cushing's Disease and Insulin Resistance horses in the world. 


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  • Introduction
  • Cushing's Disease
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Laminitis
  • Non-Profit Status