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Click Here for July 2013 News Letter

OWEC is now offering microchips for your horse. Keep your horse from being lost in the event of a natural disaster, trailering accident or trail riding separation. Call the office for more information or to set up an appointment.

Our seminar Pasture, Your Horse’s Friend or Foe? Discussions on laminitis, fescue toxicity and other poisonous plants (March 9th, 2011) was a great success. Thank you to everyone who attended. Here are pdf versions of the presentation. Adobe Reader is required to view pdfs.

Obesity and Insulin Resistance

Researchers at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a study to evaluate the effects of weight gain on horses’ insulin sensitivity, specific hormones and fatty acids. 13 Arabian or Arabian-cross geldings were fed twice their normal caloric requirement for 16 weeks resulting in an average of 189 lb weight gain.

The following alterations in blood parameters were noted:

  • A threefold increase in both leptin and insulin blood concentrations.
  • A 71% decrease in insulin sensitivity.
  • A 40% increase in insulin response to glucose levels or circulating fatty acids.
  • No change in blood glucose or circulating fatty acids.

The authors concluded from these results that preventing weight gain and obesity could minimize these changes and ultimately reduce the risk for laminitis.

The take home message from this research is that obesity in our horses can result in insulin resistance and increase a horse’s risk of developing laminitis. The good news is that by monitoring and controlling our horse’s weight we can prevent these health problems.