Free Reports

Chubby Horses

June 3, 2013

Keeping your horse from being fat will help her avoid a number of problems.

We hear everyday about ways to tweak our diet and exercise programs to combat human obesity. But did you know that studies are beginning to show that obesity is becoming a growing problem with horses as well? AQHA’s FREE Chubby Horses report examines some of the findings of a study done by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

“This study documented that this is an extremely important problem in horses that is has been under-reported,” says Dr. Craig Thatcher, a professor who was involved in the study.

Not surprisingly, the No. 1 recommendation is diet and exercise.

Other topics included in this report are:

  • Equine metabolic syndrome
  • Conditions resulting from EMS
  • EMS and Cushing’s connection
  • How to manage EMS
  • Possible management procedures and medications for EMS

University of Tennessee equine metabolic syndrome researcher Dr. Nicholas Frank breaks down three different components that horses can suffer from as a result from EMS: obesity, laminitis and insulin resistance. Of these three, laminitis can prove to be fatal in horses as it has delivered the final blow for greats like Secretariat and, more recently, Barbero. Find out how these three conditions can impact your horse in the Chubby Horses report.

Dr. Dianne McFarlane of Oklahoma State University also weights in on equine Cushing’s disease. Chubby Horses goes in depth on some of the first signs of Cushing’s disease, so you will be able to spot it quickly and be able to control the onset of this disease, which is comparable to Parkinson’s disease in humans.

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“Horses with EMS appear to be predisposed to equine Cushing’s disease,” says Dr. Frank. “The key thing is, because it seems these horses (EMS horses) do transition into Cushing’s, is to be ready to recognize the clinical signs of Cushing’s. And this is going to be potentially at an earlier age than we traditionally think about looking of the disorder.”

The Chubby Horses report lays out three different management plans to combat EMS as prescribed by Dr. Frank. Whether you have an obese horse with insulin resistance, a nonobese horse with fatty deposits or a severely affected horse of either category experiencing laminitis, find out how to get your horse back on the right track. Dr. Frank further explains how you can expand upon a good management system with supplements to bring your horse to a healthy weight and away from any further complications that can come from obesity.