Retrospective assessment of the use of extended-release cabergoline in the management of equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction

Tania Sundra, Erin Kelty, Gabriele Rossi, David Rendle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Dopaminergic agonists are accepted as the most effective treatment for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. However, some horses are refractory to daily oral pergolide, the recommended registered treatment. Extended-release cabergoline (ERC) injection may offer an alternative. The objective of this retrospective case series was to describe clinical and endocrinological responses to ERC. Methods: Medical records of horses treated with weekly intramuscular injections of ERC (5 mg/mL, BOVA Aus) at either 0.01 mg/kg (high dose, HD) (n = 10) or 0.005 mg/kg (low dose, LD) (n = 30) were reviewed. Short-term ACTH responses were assessed at 5–8 days using a Wilcoxon signed ranked test. Longer-term ACTH responses (30 to 365 days) were assessed using generalised estimating equations. Results: Five to eight days after the first dose of LDERC, median adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) concentration was lower (p = 0.001), changing from 153 pg/mL (IQR: 78, 331) to 57 pg/mL (IQR: 30, 102). With HDERC, median ACTH concentration was also 153 pg/mL (IQR: 96, 185) before and then 56 pg/mL (IQR: 29, 86) after 5–8 days of treatment (p = 0.047). Over 12 months of treatment, ACTH concentration ranged from 14 to >1,250 pg/mL (median: 51 pg/mL) in horses treated with LDERC and 20 to 472 pg/mL (median: 50 pg/mL) in horses treated with HDERC. Measurements remained above the seasonal reference range in 39.3 and 52.3% of horses treated with LDERC and HDERC, respectively. Clinical improvement was reported by owners in 78.3 and 100% of horses treated with LDERC and HDERC, respectively. Partial, self-limiting inappetence was reported in 30.0% of LDERC and 60% HDERC cases. Seven horses exhibited lethargy (5 LDERC, 2 HDERC). Insulin concentrations measured 30 days post-ERC treatment were no different from baseline. Discussion: Clinical and endocrinological responses were consistent with results of previous reports of oral pergolide treatment. Weekly injection of ERC may be an effective alternative to pergolide; the 0.005 mg/kg dose appeared to be as effective, with less risk of inappetence, than the 0.01 mg/kg dose that has been reported previously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1332337
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2024

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