Your Guide to Equine Health Care

Feeding the Endocrine-Challenged Horse

Laminitis risk is the No. 1 reason we worry about equine metabolic conditions such as EMS and PPID when feeding horses.

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Feeding the Endocrine-Challenged Horse
Dietary management is of utmost importance when managing horses with metabolic problems. Overweight horses need to have reduced calorie diets. | Photo:

Laminitis risk is the No. 1 reason we worry about equine metabolic conditions such as equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing’s disease).

Laminitis is the painful inflammation and sometimes separation of the soft laminar tissue on the hoof involved in weight bearing and can be life-threatening. And endocrine disease such as EMS and PPID are behind up to 90% of clinical laminitis cases, says Lisa Tadros, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, assistant professor of endocrinology at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in East Lansing.

“Hormonal abnormalities induce abnormal hoof growth and weaken laminar tissues,” said Tadros. She talked about the nutritional management of the endocrine challenged horse at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference in Hunt Valley, Maryland, on April

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Written by:

Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS, is an equine nutritionist based on Long Island, New York. She is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she studied equine exercise physiology and nutrition. Liburt is a member of the Equine Science Society.

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