Researchers Study Glucose and Insulin Testing in Donkeys

Researchers found that test results should be interpreted differently for donkeys than they are for horses.

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Albeit from the same genus, donkeys and horses have distinctly different physical characteristics, from their ears to their hair coats. But they differ internally, too.

Researchers recently determined, for instance, that when it comes to diagnosing endocrine and metabolic disturbances, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing’s disease), donkeys and horses have significantly different test parameters.

In the past, relatively little research has been conducted on donkeys. But because these hardy animals play an important role in developing countries’ economies, researchers have begun to evaluate how owners and veterinarians can better care for them, including testing for and diagnosing endocrine and metabolic conditions.

Francisco Mendoza, DVM, PhD, MSc, Dipl. ECEIM, and colleagues from University of Córdoba, in Andalusia, Spain, recently took a closer look at how donkeys regulate blood glucose (blood sugar, the body’s most important fuel molecule)

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Written by:

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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