What Does It Mean When a Horse Is Insulin Resistant?
Dianne McFarlane, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, said insulin resistance occurs when the body doesn‚Äôt respond appropriately to insulin. Insulin‚Äôs job is to trigger events that facilitate the uptake of glucose out of the blood and into the muscle and other tissue. When a horse is insulin resistant, his body still releases insulin, but it does not function properly at the cellular level. Therefore, the glucose remains elevated in the blood. In some cases, the pancreas creates too much insulin, causing insulin dysregulation.
About the Experts:
Dianne McFarlane, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, is a professor and chair of the University of Florida‚Äôs Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, in Gainesville. She has studied equine aging and age-related diseases for more than 20 years. She is most recognized for her work in equine endocrine diseases, including pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction and equine metabolic syndrome. McFarlane received her DVM from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. She then completed a large animal internship at the University of Georgia, followed by a residency in equine internal medicine at North Carolina State University. McFarlane completed her PhD at the Atlantic Veterinary College, on Prince Edward Island, Canada, where she investigated the cause of equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction.
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