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October 2010 e-Tips Newsletter

Welcome to e-Tips!

Welcome to the October 2010 eTips brought to you by My Horse University and eXtension/horses. Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is a metabolic disease that is most commonly identified by horses that are insulin resistant, prone to laminitis and have abnormal fat deposits. In fact, EMS is now regarded as the most common cause of laminitis.

A free webcast, Equine Metabolic Syndrome, will be presented on October 19 at 7pm. Dr. Raymond Geor, a Professor and Chairperson in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University will review the signs, diagnosis and management of EMS and offer strategies for reducing the risk of laminitis in affected horses.

Did you know...?

Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Causes, Signs, Treatment and Prevention
Adapted from the Horse Nutrition online course
My Horse University

Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is also called Peripheral Cushing's Disease or insulin resistance. EMS has some similar signs to Equine Cushings Disease, but it is a different disease with different underlying causes. Clinicians, however, believe that Equine Metabolic Syndrome could be a factor in horses that develop Equine Cushing's Disease in their later years. Horses with EMS will be insulin-resistant, will be prone to or have laminitis, and will show abnormal fat deposits. Read on.

This Month's e-Tips

Improving diet and increasing exercise are still the best ways to treat Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Below are some strategies that can be used:

  • Reduce calorie intake and eliminate simple sugars (carbohydrates).
  • Feed moderate quality grass hay at 1½ % of ideal weight.
  • If the horse can tolerate pasture, use a grazing muzzle and allow the horse to graze in the mornings before the sugar content rises with sun exposure.
  • Other acceptable feeds are grass hay cubes and beet pulp without molasses.
  • DO NOT feed grains, carrots, apples or sweet feeds.
  • STOP supplements that are soybean meal-based or high in sugar content.
  • If needed, supplement grass hay with soaked beet pulp and/or vegetable oil or rice bran rather than grain.
  • Increase exercise, if laminitis is not present or is improving to a degree to allow some exercise.
  • Use chromium supplementation and magnesium supplementation to achieve dietary calcium: magnesium ratio of 2:1.
  • Soak grass hays in water before feeding to reduce the non-structural carbohydrates.

Question of the Month

A horse fence that effectively contains the horse and minimizes injury should NOT:

A. Have some "give" to it upon impact
B. Be smooth on the inside of the fence
C. Be invisible to horses
D. Have rounded corners

Click here for the answer!

Photo of the Month

Meet Lady's Foxy Gold aka Hope. She is my $10 rescue. Hope is a registered American Saddlebred that was rescued by Horse Forever a rescue based out of Colorado. Hope lives with our other Saddlebreds on our farm in Denmark, Maine. She is currently being trained to drive.

Submitted by Lynn Harrington

Want your extraordinary equine featured in the next Photo of the Month?

Send your photo along with your name and a little background info to and we'll also feature your horse on our brand new Facebook page!

Write "Photo of the Month" in the subject line.

October 2010

In This Issue

Purina Mills
Gold Sponsor
Purina Mills is a proud sponsor of My Horse University and eXtension.

News & Updates

FREE Live Webcast
Equine Metabolic Syndrome

Dr. Raymond Geor
October 19, 2010
7:00 PM EDT

NCSU Horse Judging Short Course
Cary, NC
October 29, 2010

FREE Live Webcast from Purina
Winterize Your Horse
November 2, 2010, 6PM CST
November 4, 2010, 7PM CST

NCSU Open Horse Show Judges Certification Clinic
Raleigh, NC
November 13, 2010

Purina Horse Owner's Workshops
Various dates and locations

MHU on Facebook


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