Geldings Sought for Cushing's Study at Auburn

Researchers at Auburn University need horses to participate in a study that will examine the use of chasteberry (vitex agnus castus) supplements in horses with Cushing's disease.

This study, which is being conducted through the Department of Animal Sciences, will take place for seven months beginning in April. Chasteberry supplements are often used to treat Cushinoid horses in Europe, although little controlled research on its effects on the illness has been conducted.

To accomplish this Auburn study, researchers need 10 geldings that have been diagnosed or are suspected of having Cushing's disease. These horses will be leased for the duration of the study, and will only be subjected to blood draws--no invasive procedures will be performed. Horses involved in the study will receive full care for seven months and their clinical signs might improve.

Criteria to be involved in the study are:

  • Geldings only
  • Quarter Horses preferred
  • Cushing's diagnosis, based on clinical signs or through diagnostic test
  • Must be able to live at the Auburn Horse Unit for approximately seven months
  • If currently being treated, must be taken off treatment
  • No special shoeing
  • Horses must be up-to-date on vaccinations and have a current Coggins test

Horse owners or veterinarians interested in participating can contact Auburn Animal Sciences Graduate Student Ashley Monfort Bruce at or Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences Elizabeth Wagner, MS, PhD, at

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