Reader Commentary: September/October 2019

A Note of Caution About Velagliflozin

I saw an article online from American Farriers Journal, “Study Finds Velagliflozin Effective for Reducing Insulin Levels in Ponies,” ( about the human drug Velagliflozin and an experiment on horses in Australia. I wanted to offer a note of caution, as this drug and this study has multiple problems. 1. This experiment is paid for by the maker of the drug — it is not an independent study. There are conflicts with this. 2. FDA put out a bulletin for this drug class: a. amputations of feet/legs; b. genital gangrene; and c. increased bone fractures due to demineralization 3. The 2018 study never got insulin levels near normal. They touted a 40% drop — from super high to very high (average 149 on insulin). This is 148% above the highest normal for the test type running (60). So how is 148% above normal a “victory”? The horses are still exposed to high insulin levels: there is no denying this.

— Dr. Frank Reilly, West Chester, Pa.

Farriers Must Adopt Practice to Accommodate Changing Times

As a third-generation farrier from Malta, the article “New Mexico Farrier Gives Clients an Incentive for Hauling Their Horses to Him” ( took me back. That was our way of working during the 1960s and ’70s. We used to stay put at our workshop and clients used to call for their horses’ shoeing needs. Then, because the traffic in Malta increased, it was not worth it for our clients to…

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