Minimizing Laminitis Risk in EMS Horses

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By Erica Larson, News Editor, The Horse

The relationship between obesity, equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), and laminitis is like a confusing slippery slope: obesity often goes hand in hand with EMS, and a diagnosis of EMS puts the horse at greater risk for developing laminitis. But not all obese horses develop insulin resistance and some lean horses develop insulin resistance placing them at risk for laminitis.

While there’s no cure for the latter two conditions, said Philip J. Johnson, BVSc (Hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS, professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, there are several strategies for minimizing laminitis risk in horses affected by EMS.

While there’s no cure for the latter two conditions, said Philip J. Johnson, BVSc (Hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS, professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, there are several strategies for minimizing laminitis risk in horses affected by EMS.

Address Obesity–“Obesity has been associated with both insulin resistance and risk of laminitis,” Johnson said. Obesity is reversible. So one of the top things an owner can do to minimize laminitis risk is to ensure their animal maintains a healthy body weight…

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GEM