Horses today, in general, don’t work as hard as they once did, before cars and trucks. As a result of this they have developed a lot of the same problems as the typical American. They can develop a condition very similar to Type 2 Diabetes. It’s called Equine Metabolic Syndrome, or EMS, and it leaves tissues less sensitive to insulin, which in turn causes the pancreas to produce more of this vital hormone. One dangerous disease that often results from EMS is laminitis, also known as founder. Laminitis is the modern name for an old disease. The word refers to the weekend structures in a horse’s foot, the lamina, that results in this crippling form of lameness.
The consumption of too much starch/sugar stresses the digestive tract and can lead to colic or laminitis. High starch and sugar concentrates should be fed in limited amounts, especially to sensitive horses. The fiber your horse consumes is the most important part of their daily diet.
Early signs of Insulin Resistant Horse:
– Abnormal weight gain or weight loss
– Increased or excessive water consumption and urinating
– Loss of stamina and muscle tone
– Tendency to develop laminitis or colic
– Abnormal fat deposits
– Excessive Hunger
– Depression and/or fatigue
In the rainy seasons, spring and fall, grasses can be triggering to sensitive horses. Once again, the grass turns brilliant green and starts producing sugars. Limit time and access to the grass during these times. Grazing muzzles, while out in the pasture, can be used to help prevent colic or founder for all horses.
Low starch options at Burns Feed Store:
– Wellsolve L/S
– Enrich Plus
– Enrich Plus Senior
– Low starch
– Low carb Complete
– Low Carb Stage 1
– Low Carb Senior
– Gentle Balance
– (Lite) Low Fat/ Low Carb
– Safechoice Senior (No Molasses)
Burns also stocks horse treats that are low sugar and low starch. This disease can be both prevented or maintained to keep your horse living a comfortable life. Stop in and ask for recommendations for your horse if you are noticing any of these signs!