A study of horses with equine metabolic syndrome showed that weight loss, managed by their owners at home, reduced insulin resistance and susceptibility to laminitis.
The researchers said recent research provided proof that conscientious owners really can help reduce the risks posed by obesity in ponies.
Clinical studies already have identified that calorie restriction and increased exercise are the mainstays of treatment for the syndrome. However, there is potential for poor owner compliance, which historically has made it difficult to accurately monitor the effects of owner-managed weight loss.
The new study, published in the Equine Veterinary Journal and one of the subjects of the journal’s latest podcast, has shown that owners of ponies with equine metabolic syndrome were able, with veterinary support, to implement highly effective weight loss programs and thus improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of laminitis.
The study, “Treatment of equine metabolic syndrome: a clinical case series,” was conducted by vets at the universities of Liverpool and Edinburgh to determine whether significant weight loss and improvements in insulin sensitivity can be achieved in horses and ponies with the syndrome, managed by their owners at home under veterinary guidance.
Reference: Treatment of equine metabolic syndrome: a clinical case series RA Morgan, JA Keen and CM McGowan DOI: 10.1111/evj.12445