Research Journal: September/October 2018

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Soaking Hay For Ponies

Many studies have examined the effects of soaking hay, specifically on the hay itself, but this randomized crossover experiment examined the effects of feeding regular hay, soaked hay (soaked in water for 14 hours, followed by 30 minutes to drain) and haylage on the insulin and glucose responses in 12 ponies — six with normal insulin/glucose metabolism and six with insulin dysregulation. The animals were fasted, then fed each test forage. This was followed by blood tests for glucose and insulin for 5 hours after feeding.

Soaked hay produced the lowest glucose and insulin response to feeding followed by regular hay, with haylage producing the highest responses. Ponies with insulin resistance showed higher responses than normal ponies. Since high glucose and insulin levels have been linked to the development of laminitis, it follows that soaking hay may be beneficial for ponies, particularly those with a predisposition to or a history of laminitis.

— Carslake et al. The Vet J 2018;235:83-89

Horse Owners Payment Threshold

An unusual study was conducted to estimate the value that United States horse owners place on the daily use of their animals. The researchers solicited horse owners to participate in an online survey using an email list from the AQHA, as well as announcements on equine industry websites and social media. They collected demographic information and opinions on how much owners would pay for a treatment(s) to avoid a day of lost use due to infectious upper respiratory disease, as well as…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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