Thank you for your replies everyone!
is there some special test that needs to be done? I seem to recall reading about a test that's similar to how they test human diabetics -- injecting some sort of sugar and then taking measurements. Or is it just as simple as drawing blood and looking at the number?
I like the idea of getting the test done, if only to have a baseline.
Absolutely do NOT
let anyone talk you into the Dex test. I don’t even think modern vets do that anymore as it was known to throw an already laminitic horse into founder
When my horses were in the study, MSU gave me the added option of adding a massive amount of Kero syrup to all three horses diets. I said no way, that I would pull out of the study before I did that. Thankfully they were ok with my decision.
testing involves a vile of blood. Two viles of blood if you want to check cortisol level for Cushings. Not a bad idea, if you can afford it, as that would give you that base line as well:) Testing protocol:
No feed pan stuff or treats after 10:00 PM. Horse can have free access to hay and water only, no pasture.
Vets generally try to get to the horse in early AM. That not only gives them blood shortly following a night of rest but I have found it also reduces stress on the horse because they want out of the stall.
Regarding environment: I forgot to say that while environment plays a huge part, I feel each horse’s predisposition plays a bigger role.
Duke was diagnosed in 2007.
Joker was diagnosed in 2012 AFTER I had already changed all of their diets in 2007.
Duke, Joker, Rusty and Streeter-the-Arab all ate in the same pastures and all ate the same feed & hay.
Streeter never developed metabolic issues and Rusty still has not thankfully. It is worth noting,
all of their body TYPES. Duke and Joker were/are short coupled stocky types.
While Streeter was “Arab short-coupled”, he was a slender horse.
Rusty is a long backed, athletic built horse and is still very athletic.
I don’t know if that’s important in the grand scheme of metabolic issues but it’s all I could pinpoint on my two, when all three of my Walking Horses essentially share the same heritage once I get beyond their grandparents.
The MSU study was a great learning tool for me, as they kept me appraised of the results, and it was a good study for them as three registered horses of the same breed, living on the same farm, could be used. To reiterate, NO sugar, syrup, dex, nothing——
and don’t let anyone, degreed or not, try and talk you into it.
Vets do not spin blood for metabolic results in their offices. They send it out to labs. My vet used Cornell.