The association between insulin resistance (IR) and laminitis is not a new concept, but has become increasingly prominent due to an expanding population of obese horses and ponies that are managed in a way that is alien to their evolutionary origins. Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is currently considered to encompass problems comprising IR, obesity and laminitis ( Frank et al., 2010 ), although other potential targets for treatment and management exist, including hyperinsulinaemia, dyslipidaemia, dysglycaemia, hyperleptinaemia and hypertension. The precise pathophysiological mechanisms linking IR and obesity with laminitis are not yet fully understood, although the adverse effects of hyperinsulinaemia have become the focus of several recent publications.</P>Fundamentally, IR and obesity usually become pathologically concerning in individuals that are allowed to consume more dietary calories than they expend, often compounded by a relatively sedentary lifestyle, over a prolonged period of time. In equine breeds that are highly adapted to survive in harsh environments, free access to managed pasture is incompatible with long term health unless work load is high. Ingestive, assimilative and metabolic efficiency in individuals prone to obesity further augment caloric overprovision. Even when grazing is limited, the chronic availability of forage and other feeds frequently overestimates an
The Veterinary Journal – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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