Jan 092012

Equine  Laminitis Treatment


A formula enriched with some  herbs that was originally designed by Dr Xie Huisheng DVM, in USA. This formula has  incrediably changed the lifestyle of the Laminitic horse, and allowed them to live a normal life. To be given on the onset of Laminitis each year aroung Spring time, it will prevent this condition , can also be given to treat laminitis involving a 50% rotation of the coffin joint. This special herbal mix costs €85.00 plus €10 postage to Ireland or the UK.

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Equine Diabetes
Adult-onset diabetes might underlie problems currently puzzling owners and veterinarians
The modern horse has been referred to as an excellent example of evolution. Natural selection has equipped the animal to thrive on forage (grass) and to adapt to seasonal variations in the availability of that grass. In periods of good weather and plentiful rain, the horse adjusted to intensive grazing and the production and storage of fat within its body. These fat deposits were used in cold weather or in times of drought and poor grass availability. Horses that stored fats best were healthier; they survived lean times better and reproduced more regularly. Their genes were selected for, and, consequently, are represented in, a reasonable section of the genetics of the modern horse.

Today’s horses rarely have to tolerate times of poor forage availability and drought. In most situations, in present times they receive plenty to eat and have had less and less work to do.

“Under modern horse management systems,” writes Philip Johnson, B.V.Sc., M.S., a leading laminitis researcher from the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine, “the combination of feeding starch-rich rations over many years and protracted periods of stall confinement tend to lead to the acquisition and maintenance of substantial body fat in the domesticated horse.”

Simply put, we are making our horses fat by feeding them too much. We keep them in stalls and work them too little, which probably contributes to a number of more serious problems, as well.

Problems of Obesity

Diabetes is a common health condition in humans. Until recently, the disease was not thought to exist in horses. A review of medical literature over the past 50 years shows only a small number of cases of equine diabetes. The majority of cases were caused either by pancreatitis (an infection of the pancreas) or by tumors of the pancreas or pituitary gland.

Recently, many equine researchers are taking a closer look at metabolic conditions in horses that they believe are strikingly similar to type 2 or adult-onset diabetes in humans. Johnson has a special interest in such conditions and has noted the increasing problems associated with obesity in both horses and humans. Obesity can be difficult enough, but the secondary problems that tend to occur in overweight horses really concern him.

The tendency for horses to develop obesity and the problems and diseases of the endocrine system that result from obesity-associated insulin insensitivity, according to Johnson, “closely parallel the development of noninsulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes in humans.”

Perhaps equine diabetes is only now understood and accurately diagnosed. Or, it might have existed all along and been misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed. Or, the increased attention and medical care currently given to equine senior citizens have caused the veterinary community to become more sensitive.

Johnson believes we might have helped create this condition by unknowingly managing our horses too well in the face of their ability to make and store fat. Regardless, we are currently seeing higher levels of obesity in horses and are seeing more and more cases that resemble type 2 diabetes.

Equine Insulin Production

In a normal horse or human, insulin is secreted by special cells in the pancreas in response to a rise in blood glucose. Eating a meal rich in sugar and starch will elevate the glucose or sugar in the blood. The body senses this increase and releases insulin, which stimulates the body’s cells to take up glucose from the blood and, once in the cell, use it for energy or convert it for storage.

Glucose typically is converted to glycogen or fat. Type 2 diabetes is the end stage of breakdown of this system. Typically, horses that have trouble with insulin sensitivity have cells that slowly lose their responsiveness to insulin. At first, the body simply increases the production of insulin and the cells respond to this new, higher level. Normal glucose levels are maintained. Gradually, however, cells become resistant to higher and higher levels of insulin. Eventually, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas become fatigued and are finally exhausted.

This is the normal progression for this disease in humans, but not in horses. Horses seem to be able to maintain a high level of insulin production even in the face of extreme insensitivity of the cells of the body to that insulin. So, even though horses maintain insulin production, there comes a point where there is no response to that production, and they are considered to have type 2 or noninsulin-dependent, adult-onset diabetes.

There are names for the various stages along the way to this conclusion. The term insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance has been used, but the exact demarcation between these conditions is not clear and the progression of clinical names is somewhat academic. The bottom line is these are stages of a disease that leads to a horse having difficulty controlling glucose and metabolizing fat.

Signs of Metabolic Problem

Insulin inhibits the breakdown of triglycerides (fat molecules) into free fatty acids and glycerol. In the absence of insulin–and possibly when the body no longer responds to insulin even if it is there–the process of lipolysis can occur allowing the horse’s body to release fatty acids.

These acids are transported to the liver, where they are repackaged. Then they are transported to fat tissues and stored. Insulin generally would keep these fats in other cells where they are more likely to be used for energy. Some cresty-necked horses and overly fat ponies might be insulin resistant as they inappropriately continue to store fat in the tissues of the crest, back, and hips.

This body condition may be the first clue to an underlying metabolic problem. These horses also tend to stay fat on minimal rations. Owners often refer to then as “living on air.” They have good appetites and always seem hungry, despite having more than adequate fat stores. They do poorly with exercise, tire easily, and do not seem to have much energy. When they do tolerate exercise, they tend not to develop much muscling, compared to normal horses with the same workload.

As with human diabetics, there is believed to be a genetic predisposition for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Johnson mentioned the evolutionary advantages of being a good fat producer, so it is little wonder that some ponies, Morgan and other gaited breeds, and certain Arab bloodlines have all been suspected of a genetic predisposition for insulin resistance.

Conditions are linked

It is not currently known if obesity leads to insulin resistance or if insulin resistance contributes to obesity, but the two conditions are linked. Conditions of temporary insulin resistance have been shown to occur in horses during times of stress and with infection, inflammation, and even extreme variations of some hormones.

The exact process of this temporary resistance is unknown, but human studies have shown that sustained levels of elevated blood glucose can lead to microvasculature changes in many tissues. Damage to these small blood vessels leads to a lack of cellular oxygen and to potential cell death.

It is well known that human diabetics are at risk of developing all manners of infections and have higher percentages of liver and kidney disease. Damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the hands and lower limbs of diabetics often lead to the loss of fingers and toes. In fact, the most common diabetic complication requiring hospitalization in humans is foot disease. This point might be the most important link between diabetes in humans and horses.

Insulin Resistance and Laminitis

Christopher C. Pollitt, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., of the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia, has been looking at insulin resistance and laminitis, and he feels the two are related. His research suggests that altered glucose metabolism could be an underlying or contributing cause to almost all cases of laminitis.

Lack of glucose in the peripheral tissues (fingers and toes) of humans, as seen in diabetes, leads to damage of the peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy) and to ischemic damage or lack of cellular oxygen. This process has been well documented. In Pollitt’s studies, lack of glucose in hoof extract tissue led to damage of the basement membrane and to separation of the dermal laminae from the epidermal laminae. This is the exact cellular sequence in cases of laminitis or founder.

This process of insulin resistance leading to excess glucose storage and decreased glucose availability, and finally to cellular death and laminitis, would explain a few things. Veterinarians and horse owners often have wondered why one horse out of many grazing the same field and on the same management program develops laminitis. Why can one crafty pony continually get into the feed room and overeat without incident while another pony eats far less and develops founder?

Veterinarians ponder why some horses fail to respond to aggressive laminitis treatment when far more horses improve and return to nearly normal under the exact same treatment regimen. Why do some horses seem to develop laminitis following a dose of dexamethasone or other corticosteroid that is almost uniformly tolerated by most horses?

The answer could lie in some degree of insulin resistance in those horses that develop laminitis and do not respond normally to treatment. Cases of laminitis following infection, stress, or even grain overload possibly might share more of a temporary insulin resistance state than strict endotoxemia (an overload of bacterial toxins in the blood), as has been previously thought.

Because the idea of an underlying metabolic basis to laminitis potentially explains so many previously confusing cases, some researchers have been calling the idea of insulin resistance in horses the “unification theory.” This theory points the way to potentially new methods of treating laminitis that would be directed more at correcting glucose metabolism and new means of prevention related to treating insulin resistance and diabetes. The formula below has been significient and should be well rewarded for its action on the laminitic horse.

The research done by Dr Shen Huisheng to design and formulate this herbal formula which in my practice certainly have resulted in recovery and horses returning to normal activity.

Once an early diagnosis is made the formula below will prevent any rotation to the coffin joint. If the joint has already started to rotate even to the level of 50%this formula will prevent any further movement and resolve the problem.


A formula enriched with some  herbs that was originally designed by Dr Xie Huisheng DVM, in USA. This formula has  incrediably changed the lifestyle of the Laminitic horse, and allowed them to live a normal life. To be given on the onset of Laminitis each year aroung Spring time, it will prevent this condition , can also be given to treat laminitis involving a 50% rotation of the coffin joint. This special herbal mix costs €50 plus €10 postage to Ireland or the UK.

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May 302011

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