Certain sources of energy may effect the metabolic responses of exercising horses subjected to feed restriction. Eating causes a positive response in thyroid hormones, and exercise may help maintain thyroid hormone production during negative caloric balance.
Old horses sometimes lose weight for inexplicable reasons, even if they appear to be in good health with robust appetites. Weight loss can be so gradual that owners notice it only after the horse becomes thin.
Despite decades of research, it’s not clear why some horses develop insulin resistance while others that are fed and managed identically stay healthy.
Ultrasound may be used to measure subcutaneous fat thickness, also called rump fat thickness, in horses and help researchers ascertain body condition.
Obesity is a widespread problem in the horse population. Owners may not realize that overweight horses have more strain on their legs and feet than thinner equines.
Whether it’s because owners are killing their horses with kindness or if the growing rate of equine obesity is simply mirroring the pandemic in humans, the sad fact is that too many horses are overweight. What steps can you take to ensure your horse is at an ideal weight?
Horses with equine metabolic syndrome are characterized by obesity, abnormal insulin dynamics, and a tendency to develop laminitis. Even though weight loss is desirable in these horses, that goal is often hampered by their inability to exercise due to laminitis-related pain.
In parts of the world where winter is approaching, owners need to think about how their horses’ daily nutritional requirements will change, and how to adapt management practices so they will stay in tip-top condition right through until spring.
Obesity isn’t just a problem in humans, cats, and dogs. It is also a widespread issue affecting horses and ponies in industrialized nations, and is sometimes considered a welfare issue.
Insulin is involved in the pathways of protein metabolism and can potentially contribute to the muscle atrophy that is common in horses with Cushing’s disease.
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