Metabolic syndrome and obesity is an epidemic in the equine world. The fact is that you are in control of your horse’s health, believe it or not, and the foods you choose to feed them can either assist in their vitality and health, or work against it, contributing to more disease and pain. The blueberry …
An overweight body condition in the horse can lead to many clinical problems, contributing to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome and even predisposing to other health ailments including laminitis. The effects can be devastating for both patient and owner, creating huge expense and constant maintenance. Remedies are plentiful in the equine industry, but many just cover up problems while doing little to correct the underlying condition.
Equine metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance have been a common problem but seem to be potentialy increasing in frequency or incidence over the past decade. As the number of cases of EMS or insulin resistance increases, we are ultimately left with determining the best means of controlling these horses for the long term. There have been proposed many theories of management, but not every approach works in every patient, often leaving us much to be desired.
Insulin resistance is a form of “pre” diabetes and is unfortunately very common in the horse as well as in humans. Insulin resistance or IR is a physiologic condition in which the cells in the body have a decreased response to insulin.
Insulin resistance in the horse has been a problem plaguing private veterinary practitioners for years if not decades. The problem seems to be getting worse and more prevalent as time progresses, which raises issues and questions as to a possible husbandry or dietary problem that are contributing to the rise in caseloads.
Healthy sugar metabolism is the key to cellular function. Metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity are strongly connected with poor sugar regulation. In horses, abnormal sugar metabolism is also closely linked with laminitis and poor hoof health.