Insulin Resistance?
 
 

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Insulin Resistance?

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    10-18-2009, 06:15 PM
  #1
Weanling
Insulin Resistance?

Asking this for a friend....

Her horse, an 11 year old Paint has just been diagnosed with insulin resistance. The vet did not feel blood tests were necessary, but he seemed pretty positive that that was what was wrong with him.

Originally she was worried because he has a big belly....she'd joke and say he's pregnant and so on, but she asked an equine nutritionist and she said that he was in perfect weight and the belly was from "low quality hay"...and she just had the vet out for fall shots and she asked him what he thought of her horse's weight and what could be causing the belly. All in all the vet said he wasn't too over weight, definitely fat but wasn't in the "warning!!" range. He said weight wise he's ok with the weight he is now, but he shouldn't gain any, and would be better if he lost some weight.

The vet also said to put him on a low carb/no sugar diet as much as possible. He is going to get no grain, as he takes his vitamin supplement (powered) straight (this horse will take anything and act like it's a treat), and she is planning on using a grazing muzzle so he can not only loose weight and keep out of alot of high sugared grass, but also to slow down his eating.

But her problem is her barn feeds using round bales in the winter, and he "puts his gears into park and shoves his face in". She doesn't particually want to use the grazing muzzle during winter and she's going to get the sugar/starch levels of the hay, but she doesn't want him to bulk up alot and gain more weight.
She lives in NY, and she says her winter is going to be very harsh this winter.

Any suggests that I can pass along to her? She is definitely doing her research on this, and is worried about her horse and his health.
Would it be wise to muzzle during the winter? What other diet stuff can she do?

She is going to be using no horse treats...all treats that he's going to get are carrots. She does Parelli with her horse, and her horse's horsenality is Left Brain Introvert, which is the "what's in it for me" horse, and his motivation is food.

Thanks for everyone who gives input. I know she'll appreciate it!
     
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    10-18-2009, 08:24 PM
  #2
Yearling
Before she goes too crazy on diet changes and trying to get a good plan set up for this horse at her boarding facility, it would be a good idea and easy to perform a screening blood test for insulin resistance. A single blood sample is drawn after a horse is fasted for 12 hours and a resting serum insulin test is run. This is not a fool-proof test, but it is a good basic screening test.

As for the hay, no matter what her horse needs a minimum of 1% of his body weight in forage per day to maintain good digestive health. So she needs to make sure that she isn't cutting too much hay out of his diet. She would be better off to have her horse put in a paddock seperate from the round bale and feed him a hay that has either been tested for non-structural carbohydrate levels or soaked for 30 minutes in cold water prior to feeding. She needs to concentrate on getting the NSC content of the diet down to 10-12%. Besides vitamins, she will also likely need to provide a protein supplement if she is feeding grass hays. Rather than a vitamin/mineral supplement, she should choose what is often called a ration balancer. These supplemental feeds are designed to bring the nutrient levels of a diet consisting mostly of hay to an appropriate range to provide balanced nutrition.

Daily exercise is also very important for these guys to help maintain good health. So, turnout and preferrably at least a bit of light work daily would be a good idea.
     
    10-18-2009, 08:53 PM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle    
A single blood sample is drawn after a horse is fasted for 12 hours and a resting serum insulin test is run. This is not a fool-proof test, but it is a good basic screening test.
This is the quote my friend wanted me to post in responce to this:
"Horses should not be fasted before this testing but should not be fed anything but hay or pasture for at least 4 hours prior to the test. Free access to hay before testing is ideal. The horse also should not be exercised within 4 hours of the test and avoid shipping before testing if at all possible. Stress and exercise influence glucose and insulin dynamics. As we are evaluating the relation of Insulin and Glucose to each other, they need to be from the same blood draw."

This was from a yahoo group that she joined that another friend recommended since she has IR horses. Also in my opinion, it is not good at all to "fast" a horse for 12 hours...and impossible to do so at my barn, or her barn from what she has told me.

Quote:
As for the hay, no matter what her horse needs a minimum of 1% of his body weight in forage per day to maintain good digestive health. So she needs to make sure that she isn't cutting too much hay out of his diet.
Oh he'd of course get at least this and probably more. What she said she wanted to do is if her vet doesn't think the round bales would be a good idea, is to feed him 3 times a day, and if her barn owner will, to spread the hay out so he has to find it.

Quote:
She would be better off to have her horse put in a paddock seperate from the round bale and feed him a hay that has either been tested for non-structural carbohydrate levels or soaked for 30 minutes in cold water prior to feeding. She needs to concentrate on getting the NSC content of the diet down to 10-12%. Besides vitamins, she will also likely need to provide a protein supplement if she is feeding grass hays. Rather than a vitamin/mineral supplement, she should choose what is often called a ration balancer.
All the hay is tested at her barn..well all the different cuttings.
The supplement that her horse is getting is this:
The Cheshire Horse - Keene, NH and Saratoga Springs, NY
What does NSC mean?

Quote:
Daily exercise is also very important for these guys to help maintain good health. So, turnout and preferrably at least a bit of light work daily would be a good idea.
Her horse is outside 24/7, never in a stall. She comes up at least 2 times a week (her work schedule is very weird) to ride or play with her horse on the ground and she makes sure she works him a good ammount each time
     
    10-19-2009, 11:10 AM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SavvyHearts    
This is the quote my friend wanted me to post in responce to this:
"Horses should not be fasted before this testing but should not be fed anything but hay or pasture for at least 4 hours prior to the test. Free access to hay before testing is ideal. The horse also should not be exercised within 4 hours of the test and avoid shipping before testing if at all possible. Stress and exercise influence glucose and insulin dynamics. As we are evaluating the relation of Insulin and Glucose to each other, they need to be from the same blood draw."

This was from a yahoo group that she joined that another friend recommended since she has IR horses. Also in my opinion, it is not good at all to "fast" a horse for 12 hours...and impossible to do so at my barn, or her barn from what she has told me.

While that might be what is stated on the yahoo list, the recommendation made by the University of Tennessee who designed and perform the test is for fasting or grass hay only overnight prior to the test, not simply 4 hours. I got my information from an AAEP meeting where Dr. Frank of the Univ. Of Tennessee Large Animal Clinical Sciences Dept. Spoke about IR.

The round bales need to be tested for Non-Structural Carbohydrates to determine if they are appropriate. If they aren't then he needs to be removed from that pasture and fed a low NSC (non-structural carbohydrate) hay or a hay that has been soaked prior to feeding because soaking will leach some of the sugars out of it.

The supplement she is using is throwing everything plus the kitchen sink at her horse, but isn't addressing the issue of providing BALANCED protein, vitamins and minerals in the diet. More of everything isn't always better. She would be better off choosing a forage based ration balancer---like Purina's Enrich 32.
     
    10-19-2009, 11:36 AM
  #5
Weanling
Yes she is going to get the results of the hay. Her barn tests all the cuttings of the hay (I'm assuming even the square bales but I am uncertain). If the tests do not show the sugar levels, carb levels, and starch than she is going to pay to have them tested for that so she knows.

She wasn't trying to say that you are wrong, but that quote there was posted by alot of people that have had the test done and is what their vets told them and so on. Just wanted to get your intake on it. Her horse does not get grain, and if he does it's a very very little ammount (a small handful) but she is going to cut out all grains out of her horses diet as well as try to come up more often to get him moving a bit more.
She is willing to seperate him into seperate pasture if needed, but she would have to talk the owner of another "fat horse" on the farm to see if she'd be ok with moving her horse in with her horse (sorry if that was confusing) as horses should have company.

What denotes a balance rationer? Is the vitamin supplement that she uses one? The only one she has heard of is LinPro, which was because the equine nutritionist that she emailed recommended it, but it was very high in fat (if I recall what she told me it was like 25% which to me and to her that seemed way to high to give an already fat horse).

As for soaking hay, would that cause a problem not only with mold (for example if this horse) or that it would freeze and her horse just wouldn't eat it? She says this winter is going to be really harsh as it is so cold right now and seems like winter.
     
    10-19-2009, 02:00 PM
  #6
Foal
I don't know if its available in your area but Purina has a new grain alternative called Wellsolve L/S that is supposed to help horses with possible IR or horses that may become prone to it when they get older. I saw a tv show on RFD-TV when they were about to release the new feed. That could be a alternative so the horse stays motivated, I know mine are all feed motivated.
     
    10-19-2009, 09:33 PM
  #7
Weanling
Her horse definitely is food motivated, and I'll definitely have her check that out. Anyone know about Celery? Is that a good treat for a horse with IR? I heard carrots were not.
     
    10-23-2009, 11:13 AM
  #8
Weanling
Her barn owner bought her horse Carb-Safe, a pelleted feed, so make the supplement go down a bit easier as she said he was loosing interest in it. Sweet Feed is out of the diet completely now.

Riding wise she is going to hopefully go up at least one more day to ride him in the morning or at least give him a decent workout to get some pounds off of him.
I know the weight tapes aren't accurate in the sense that if you need to know exact weight, but if she taped him next time she comes up, and continues to take him will it show a somewhat accurate weight loss? Like his weight may not be right with it, but it will show some decreases with it.

Now a curious question on my part, I read somewhere that trotting burns more energy and calories for the horse than cantering. Is this true?
     

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