If your horse is overweight or suffers from laminitis? In most cases it is not an underactive thyroid, but perhaps Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), one of the most common metabolic diseases of horses in our latitudes. It is also called a prosperity disease; the name indicates the main components of its development – too much feed and too little exercise. If untreated, EMS can lead to hoof rotations and other chronic problems, therefore a diagnosis and treatment is absolutely necessary.
We have specialists who can diagnose the cause of your horse's symptoms using the latest examination methods, assess the severity and prognosis of the disease and show you the treatment options should your horse suffer from EMS. What is EMS. How does it develop?
Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) typically occurs in overweight, middle-aged horses. Small horses and ponies are more often affected. A genetic predisposition of some breeds cannot be excluded.
In connection with obesity, insulin dysregulation develops, which is ultimately responsible for symptoms. Fat cells produce substances that inhibit the function of insulin (type II diabetes mellitus). The reduced responsiveness of the various ties to insulin then leads to sugar intolerance and the production of more and more insulin. The increased insulin and sugar intolerance play an important role in the development of laminitis.
Typical symptoms of Equine Metabolic Syndrome
– Overweight – Regional fat deposits on the neck, shoulder or eye sockets – Laminitis – Faintness – Loss of performance – Infertility
Fat deposits in the shoulder and neck area in a horse with EMS
How is Equine Metabolic Syndrome diagnosed??
A tentative diagnosis is often made on the basis of the preliminary report and the typical clinical changes, a definitive diagnosis is made by determining insulin and glucose in the blood.
In early stages resp. at certain times of the year, a one-time determination is often not sufficient, and a so-called stimulation test or tolerance test must be performed. Glucose (sugar) is administered, which stimulates insulin production, and insulin and glucose are measured before and after glucose administration.
Treatment of Equine Metabolic Syndrome
Based on the findings, we create in consultation with you an individual nutrition and exercise plan for your horse, depending on the possibility in view of the frequently present laminitis. Medicinal therapy can only be carried out concomitantly with management changes.
You can obtain the necessary medication directly from us or, depending on the agreement, from your private veterinarian.
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Benign enlargement of the thyroid gland (hyperplasia)
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