Laminitis horses: Labwork not always dependable

Laminitis horses that have metabolic issues are such a challenge to diagnose and treat. It is tempting to focus on lab results but this can be a mistake unless you look at multiple tests.

My basic tests for metabolic laminitis horses are glucose, insulin and ACTH. I run these tests regularly and look for patterns instead of single results. For example, I just got results back on 2 mares that I have been working with for over a year. Both of these mares are looking fantastic as far as their weight and energy levels. Their hooves look good and they have no lameness at all.

Yet, according to their blood work they are both still have high ACTH levels. If I did not have previous blood work on these laminitis horses I would be tempted to make changes in their management programs but when I look at previous tests I see lower ACTH levels than when last tested. This combined with the good clinical picture, we will stick with what is working.

A low starch diet, pasture turnout with a grazing muzzle, daily supplementation with  packets of bluegreen algae, probiotics and enzymes for digestive support and low levels of pergolide is working fantastic for these laminitis horses. The mares are happy and have a great quality of life. This is my goal, not getting perfect lab results. Madalyn

Horse Laminitis Resources

Laminitis Discussion on the Horse Health Hotline

Ebook: Understanding and Managing Cushing’s Disease, Insulin Resistance and Laminitis

A Holistic Approach to Chronic Laminitis

Laminitis Case Studies

Bonita: A Holistic Approach to Laminitis Case Study

Bonita’s Case Continued

Chronic Horse Laminits: The Road Back to Health

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