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Equine Metabolic Syndrome

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Equine metabolic syndrome is a term used to describe horses with both a metabolic and a hormonal disorder characterized by obesity, regional adiposity, insulin resistance and laminitis. EMS is important to the equine industry due to the high prevalence of chronic, recurrent laminitis in horses with EMS.

Horses with EMS might also be insulin-resistant. EMS more commonly affects ponies or hardier breeds. The disorder often is observed in horses that are 5 to 15 years of age.

EMS cannot be cured, but the overall health, well-being, and laminitis episodes can be improved by instituting the necessary diet and lifestyle changes. The most important factor impacting prognosis is laminitis and the degree of rotation or sinking of the coffin bone at the time of diagnosis.