Diagnosing Insulin Dysregulation in Horses: Consider Season’s Effect
As many as 89% of horses with the hoof disease laminitis develop this painful condition because of insulin-related endocrine disorders, so it’s important to monitor for these problems and make diagnoses early. Time of year can impact blood-insulin levels, though, complicating diagnosis for other endocrine diseases, such as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, equine Cushing’s disease). So a University of Kentucky (UK) research group recently analyzed how season affects one type of endocrine test and visual indicators that could help veterinarians make a diagnosis.
Erica Macon, MS, a PhD candidate under Amanda Adams, PhD, at UK’s Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington, examined seasonal effects on morphometric—that is, body shape and size—measurements and insulin responses to the oral sugar test (OST) in horses with and without abnormal blood insulin levels (known as insulin dysregulation, or ID) in control and ID horses. She presented her results at the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in San Francisco, California,
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