Oral Glucose Tests Could Predict Laminitis Risk in Ponies

Researchers identified a link between glucose and insulin concentrations (measured using an oral glucose test) and risk and onset of laminitis.
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Laminitis Risk
The team recommends owners have their veterinarian perform an OGT on any horse or pony showing signs of insulin dysregulation and radiograph the feet to look for evidence of subclinical laminitis. | Photo: iStock

Laminitis continues to be a research priority due to its prevalence and severity. Although researchers have identified a number of causes and risk factors, predicting which horses will actually develop this complex hoof disease isn’t always black and white. For example, veterinarians often use the oral glucose test (OGT) to detect insulin dysregulation—a fairly reliable predictor of laminitis—but the connection between laminitis risk, the OGT, and blood glucose and insulin concentrations has remained a gray area.

A group of Australian researchers recently set out to examine the relationship between these three factors, hypothesizing they could incite laminitis in a predictable way and that they could predict the condition’s speed of onset and severity based on insulin glucose response to a high NSC (nonstructural carbohydrate) diet.

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Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as a certified equine acupressure practitioner. She also hosts a blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. Once an avid barrel racer, she now enjoys giving back to the horses who have given her so much.

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