Insulin Levels And The Prediction Of Laminitis

Your horse’s well-being is always going to be at the forefront of your mind, and so you will undoubtedly want to do everything you can to reduce any health problems. You can do this in a number of ways such as ensuring they only eat healthy horse food, giving them plenty of exercises, and more.  There are certain conditions that horse owners are particularly keen to avoid and laminitis is one example. Recent studies have revealed more about the causes of laminitis and hyperinsulinaemia (high levels of insulin) is now known to be a significant risk factor. So much so, that one study has shown that a horse’s insulin level could predict whether or not they develop laminitis. To find out more, keep reading, and let’s delve into these new findings.

What Is Laminitis

Laminitis is a painful disease that can develop in horses and ponies. Which becomes apparent in their hooves. Inflammation causes the soft tissue called laminae in the hoof to fail.  Which means the pedal bone is no longer supported in the hoof capsule and so it can start to rotate down potentially coming through the sole of the foot. . This causes severe pain and if left untreated, can have devastating effects potentially resulting in the horse being euthanased. Once your horse develops laminitis it will always be at increased risk of a repeat episode and so has to be managed accordingly. This usually requires specialist types of horse feed to be used along with restricted grazing.

Insulin Levels And The Link To Laminitis

The recently published study monitored 374 ponies that had never experienced laminitis before.  Their insulin levels were recorded over 4 years during which time  43 developed laminitis.  The researchers were able to calculate that an insulin level over 45 equated to a 70% chance they could develop laminitis.

Bloodwork And Health 

This study demonstrates that bloodwork can be a useful indicator of your horse’s risk of laminitis but it is important to note that any horse that is overweight is at risk and so keeping a horse at a healthy weight should be a priority.

If you’re ever unsure of what you can do to improve your horse’s well-being, don’t be afraid to speak to an equine vet or nutritionist, and they can provide you with expert knowledge.