Your Cart is Empty

All You Need to Know About Equine Insulin Resistance: Is My Horse Diabetic?

May 26, 2023 2 min read

Types of Diabetes in Horses

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which your horse is truly resistant to insulin. This is an incredibly rare condition in horses. Overall, the condition can be managed with diet and medication.

Equine Metabolic Syndrome

Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is a disorder involved with insulin. Your horse will gain weight in EMS as he cannot regulate proper insulin levels.

How Do I Know My Horse Is Diabetic?

The physical symptoms between diabetes and EMS are very similar. These symptoms include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Frequent Urination
  • Excessive Thirst

However, a complete blood panel will differentiate the two conditions.

What Causes EMS?

There is some genetic predisposition to EMS. However, obesity is a major comorbidity. Horses with increased fat around the neck, ribs, and tail seem the most prone to EMS. 

In rare cases, EMS can develop in horses of a healthy weight. Other than genetic predisposition, the cause is often unknown.

What Are the Consequences of EMS?

One of the most concerning consequences of EMS is laminitis. Laminitis is a condition in which the hoof separates from the bone. It is often associated with an uneven gait, lameness, and warm feet.

Benefab Versiwraps are designed to promote circulation and oxygen flow. With more blood flowing through the lower leg, your horse will experience less lameness and inflammation. The wraps fit well under a polo wrap during exercise.

How is EMS Diagnosed?

There are multiple tests your veterinarian can run to diagnose EMS. These tests will measure and evaluate your horse’s reaction to glucose. 

One test is an oral sugar test (OST). Your veterinarian will feed your horse carbohydrates. At specific times, he will measure your horse’s insulin. A horse suffering from EMS may experience an increase or a decrease from this test.

Another test is the insulin tolerance test (ITT). Your veterinarian will test your horse’s response to an insulin treatment in this test. After 30 minutes, the blood glucose should decrease by at least 50%.

What is the Treatment for EMS?

The best way to treat EMS is through diet. You must strictly control the calorie and carbohydrate intake of your horse. Additionally, you may need to restrict pasture and grazing time. Finally, your vet may prescribe exercise if your horse is physically capable.

You will increase the calories explicitly consumed in fat and protein for thin horses suffering from EMS.


What are the symptoms of a diabetic horse?

Diabetic horses lose weight suddenly. Additionally, they exhibit excessive thirst and frequent urination.

Can horses be diabetic?

Yes! Horses can be diabetic. However, it is very rare.

What causes diabetes in horses?

Type 1 diabetes mellitus can be caused by the pancreas producing less insulin. Type 2 Diabetes mellitus is caused by a gradual resistance to insulin.

What is diabetes in horses called?

Diabetes in horses can be called diabetes mellitus. Another condition involving the dysregulation of insulin is Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

Also in Blog

Dog Cancer Symptoms: Key Indicators and Early Detection Strategies
Dog Cancer Symptoms: Key Indicators and Early Detection Strategies

September 21, 2023 5 min read

Cancer in dogs is an unfortunate reality that many pet owners face. Early detection of signs plays a crucial role in providing better treatment options and increasing the chances of overcoming the disease. Familiarizing oneself with the common symptoms of cancer in dogs can significantly help pet owners take timely action, ensuring their canine companions receive appropriate care and support.
Horse Topline Exercises: Effective Techniques for a Stronger Back
Horse Topline Exercises: Effective Techniques for a Stronger Back

September 14, 2023 4 min read

A strong and healthy topline is crucial for a horse's overall health and performance. The top line, which encompasses the muscles that run along the horse's spine from the withers to the croup, plays a vital role in supporting the rider's weight and maintaining proper balance.

What Is PEMF Therapy For Horses?
What Is PEMF Therapy For Horses?

September 07, 2023 4 min read

PEMF therapy is a rising star in the equine world, offering remarkable benefits for horse well-being. By utilizing electromagnetic waves to trigger natural healing, this non-invasive technique is transforming horse treatment. Unveiling the potential of PEMF therapy sheds light on its role in improving equine health, recovery, and performance. Its unique qualities, including pain relief, inflammation reduction, and tissue repair, make it an invaluable addition to horse care.