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Does My horse have Equine Metabolic Syndrome?

Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a disorder of the endocrine system that’s a major concern to horse owners because of its association with recurrent or chronic laminitis. Often compared to Type 2 diabetes in people, EMS is characterized by obesity and insulin resistance – an impaired response to insulin that causes glucose levels in the blood to remain high. EMS tends to develop in horses and ponies from the hardier breeds such as Saddlebred, Tennessee Walking Horse, Paso Fino, Morgan, Mustang, Arabian and Quarter Horse. Since these breeds evolved from ancestors that survived on very little nutrition, it appears that their metabolism isn’t compatible with today’s typical equine diet. As a result, they can easily become over-conditioned and are often described as “easy keepers” who are capable of gaining weight without eating very much. In addition, an important indicator of EMS is the development of fat deposits – typically on…

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