Recent News for Metabolic Problems


Stability and Efficacy of Compounded Pergolide Examined

February 21, 2009

Researchers have recently cautioned horse owners currently treating horses diagnosed with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing's syndrome) that the compounded form of the drug pergolide mesylate can become... Read More


New Fact Sheets Available on

February 02, 2009 launched the first in a series of Fact Sheets on Jan. 13 to widespread acclaim. This week we present more Fact Sheets on topics that our readers have indicated are... Read More


Diabetic Foal: Human Glucose Monitor Attempt Fails

January 12, 2009

A continuous glucose monitoring device normally used in humans has proven no match for the typical foal antics of Justin Credible, a foal with the first recorded case of type-1... Read More


Teff Hay for Foundered Horses: A Good Fit?

December 22, 2008

In California, teff is being called the "perfect grass for foundered horses." But is teff hay always safe for horses that are intolerant of high-sugar forage? Teff grass (Eragrostis teff) is a new type of grass being introduced around the... Read More


Human Medical Tools Might Help Foal Live with Diabetes

December 18, 2008

High-tech medical devices normally reserved for humans might prove helpful in managing the health of Justin Credible, the colt with the first documented case of type-1... Read More


Kentucky Colt with Type-1 Diabetes Might Be First

December 03, 2008

A colt born with type-1 diabetes might be the first documented equine case of the illness, according to his veterinarian, Nathan Slovis, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky.

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle... Read More


Glucosamine in a Cushing's Horse?

December 01, 2008

Q: As soon as my 20-year-old gelding was diagnosed with equine Cushing's disease, I eliminated glucosamine from his diet. However, he appears to have become gradually and increasingly stiff and short-strided without it. I really think that it helped ... Read More


Cushing's Horses Sought for Pergolide Study

November 25, 2008

Elanco Animal Health (a division of Eli Lilly and Company), in collaboration with Michigan State University, Oklahoma State University, and Louisiana State University, is seeking horses with equine Cushing's disease, also known as pituitary pars... Read More


No Sugarcoating: Diagnosing and Managing the Insulin-Resistant Horse

October 19, 2008

Insulin resistance can lead to Type II diabetes in people. In horses, it can lead to what is called equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).

"We have diagnosed five or six horses (with EMS) here at Washington State University's Veterinary... Read More


Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM): Search for Underlying Causes Continues

October 06, 2008

Despite having recently identified a genetic defect that results in polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) in many horses, the underlying cause of PSSM remains to be determined in others.... Read More


ACVIM Conference Highlights

October 01, 2008

Among the hot topics this year were nutritional supplements, infectious disease, and metabolism problems.

What do nutritional supplements, infectious diseases, and snake bites have in common? All were considered "hot... Read More


Autumn Challenges for Cushing's Diagnosis, Management

September 27, 2008

Owners of older horses that exhibit any of the classic signs of Cushing's during the fall months work with their veterinarians to determine whether they should test or treat horses until diagnoses can be confirmed.... Read More


Genetic Mutation for Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy Widespread

September 20, 2008

Veterinary researchers from the University of Minnesota have identified a gene potentially responsible for polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) in Quarter Horses and, in doing so, they uncovered a number of research leads to pursue. In a... Read More


Diagnosing Insulin Resistance: Q&A with Researchers

August 28, 2008

Over the past few years researchers have described a strong association between insulin resistance and laminitis in equines. They are working now on defining standard testing protocols and interpretations to identify horses at highest risk for... Read More


Obesity: Big-Boned Beastie

August 01, 2008

Obese horses should be taken off pasture, except for very short (30-minute) turnout periods two or three times a day for exercise, and a grazing muzzle should be used at these times.... Read More


Insulin Resistance and Sensitivity, Causes and Management

July 23, 2008

Insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance in horses have become increasingly important areas of research in equine medicine over the past several years, as evidenced by the timely and popular presentations at this year's American College of... Read More


Laminitis, PPID: The Science of Seasons Behind Them

July 20, 2008

Research groups reported their findings of the impact of seasonal variations for pituitary glad dysfunction.... Read More


A Better Way?

July 01, 2008

Breeders willing to risk disease or injury for the traits they desire are at the heart of the problems we face today.

We've had bad news following bad news lately with the loss of some of the top horses in equestrian... Read More


Diagnosing Muscle Soreness

June 01, 2008

Q: Last year my 18-year-old Quarter Horse mare became very sensitive to touch on her back and hindquarters. It progressed to a slight hind limb lameness. She would stand with her back feet close together until eventually she would... Read More


Muscle Disorders in Warmbloods Easily Diagnosed through Biopsy

April 16, 2008

Owners of Warmbloods with debilitating--or sometimes just plain baffling--muscle disorders can get useful and reliable answers about their horses' conditions through a relatively simple muscle biopsy. So say University of Minnesota researchers,... Read More


Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy: Blame It on the Genes

April 11, 2008

A genetic mutation in an enzyme called muscle glycogen synthase might be responsible for polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM)--a debilitating and life-threatening disease in horses characterized by abnormally high glycogen (the storage form of... Read More


Service Pony Recovers from Health Crisis

April 10, 2008

Thanks to the skill and kindness of several Texas veterinarians, a blind woman's assistive guide pony is recuperating from serious illness.

Trixie is a nearly 14-year-old Pony of the Americas mare, and she has been Tabitha Darling's service... Read More


GetSmart Series: Managing Insulin Resistance

April 07, 2008

Does your horse have a cresty neck? Does he gain weight on air? Does he develop laminitis at the mere sight of spring grass? If so, your horse could have insulin resistance. Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA, medical director/staff veterinarian for SmartPa... Read More


Feeding Horses with Endocrine Disorders

April 05, 2008

Nicholas Frank, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor of large animal clinical sciences at the University of Tennessee, spoke about equine endocrine disorders that are the most manageable by dietary control. There are two main endocrine... Read More


Cytokines, Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance: Dangerous Liaisons

January 31, 2008

Insulin resistance, the body's inability to control blood sugar levels with normal amounts of insulin, is known to be associated with equine obesity, altered reproductive function, and pasture-associated laminitis. In addition, insulin resistance... Read More