Horses with EMS will be insulin-resistant, will be prone to or have laminitis, and will show abnormal fat deposits.
Is EMS in horses fatal?
Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a term used to describe several health complications and horses with EMS usually present with obesity, laminitis and insulin resistance. Although EMS is not fatal, as a result of the significant pain and lameness that results from laminitis, horses are often euthanized.
Can a skinny horse have EMS?
However, even horses with a normal or poor body condition can be candidates for EMS. “Thin animals of breeds predisposed to EMS often retain regional fat deposits, such as a cresty neck and/or tail head fat pads, even if they have little visible fat deposition elsewhere,” Burns said.
What triggers EMS in horses?
EMS is caused when fat cells or adipose tissue produce high levels of adipokines, a protein hormone that leads to an increase in cortisol. As a result of the abnormal hormone production, a horse’s normal response to the hormone insulin is disrupted, resulting in high insulin and glucose blood concentrations.
How do you prevent horse EMS?
Horses with, or at risk of, EMS should be fed a diet that is low in soluble sugars and starches. In many cases this means feeding forage with a high fibre and low sugar level only; most native breeds do not require hard feed to maintain their condition.
What do you feed a horse with EMS?
Horses and ponies with EMS do not need large amounts of a concentrate feed but they still require a fully balanced diet to support health and well-being. Feeding a low intake, low calorie, protein, vitamin and mineral balancer is ideal.
Why does EMS cause laminitis?
The reason why EMS causes laminitis is currently the focus of much research. In humans, high insulin levels have been associated with blood vessel narrowing and damage, and a heightened inflammatory state, which may be the cause of laminitis in ponies with EMS.
What does Cinnamon do for horses?
Use to support healthy digestion, particularly in good doers. Antioxidant-rich Cinnamon is a great digestive aid that can help balance blood sugar levels, making it especially useful for equines prone to weight gain.
What is EMS disease in horses?
Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a characteristic collection of clinical signs and clinicopathologic changes in equids that places them at high risk for developing laminitis. Insulin dysregulation is the key feature of the syndrome. It is found in both horses and ponies and has also been recognized in donkeys.
How do you test for EMS in horses?
To diagnose EMS in horses, insulin and glucose concentrations can be measured in a blood test. Horses are starved for 6 hours over night and a blood test taken in the morning. Stress raises insulin concentrations in horses so it is important not to take a blood sample whilst the horse is suffering from laminitis.