Identifying and Managing Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)

Diagnosing EMS and taking steps to manage it can allow your horse to live a healthy and productive life.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Identifying and Managing Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)
Remember that not all obese horses actually have EMS and not all horses that have EMS are obese. Work with your veterinarian to determine if you horse has EMS and how to best manage it. | Photo: iStock
Is your horse obese? Has he been diagnosed with insulin resistance? Does he suffer from intermittent bouts of laminitis? If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of these questions, your horse might be suffering from equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).

But, says equine researcher Ray J. Geor, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, pro vice-chancellor of the Massey University College of Sciences, in Palmerston North, new Zealand, identifying EMS and taking steps to manage the disorder can allow your horse to live a healthy and productive life.

Identification

Geor explained that the endocrine/metabolic disorder EMS can be defined as “increased adiposity (fat deposits), insulin resistance, and a predisposition to laminitis,” but the disorder appears to manifest itself in several different ways. He added that EMS research is ongoing, and researchers are currently exploring the possibility of different subtypes of EMS.

Veterinarians will diagnose EMS on the basis of history, findings from clinical examination, and the results of blood tests and radiographs of the feet (checking for evidence of subclinical laminitis), but obesity, insulin resistance, and laminitis—especially in combination with one another—are strong indicators of EMS

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Which skin issue do you battle most frequently with your horse?
252 votes · 252 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!