A cross sectional study examined the association between insulin levels and the severity of laminitis among horses diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, also known as equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction.

The 38 horses enrolled in the study had been previously diagnosed as having Cushing’s disease based on blood tests and the abnormally long hair coat commonly associated with the disease, but this study examined their insulin blood levels and the severity of laminitis present based on the history provided by the owners, appearance of the hooves and X-rays.

Owners reported laminitis for 37% of the horses presented; however, based on the physical exam and radiographs, evidence of laminitis was found for 76% of the horses. Owners reported laminitis more commonly and the visual and radiographic signs were more severe for horses with abnormally high blood insulin levels.

— Tadros EM et al. EVJ 2019;51:52-56