Equine metabolic syndrome in UK native ponies and cobs is highly prevalent with modifiable risk factors

Carslake, Harry B ORCID: 0000-0003-1288-1768, Pinchbeck, Gina L ORCID: 0000-0002-5671-8623 and McGowan, Catherine M ORCID: 0000-0002-1946-9584
(2021) Equine metabolic syndrome in UK native ponies and cobs is highly prevalent with modifiable risk factors. EQUINE VETERINARY JOURNAL, 53 (5). pp. 923-934.

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<h4>Background</h4>The epidemiology of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is poorly described.<h4>Objectives</h4>To estimate the prevalence of EMS in native UK ponies and cobs in England and Wales and identify associated risk factors.<h4>Study design</h4>Cross-sectional study.<h4>Methods</h4>Breeders registered with UK native pony breed societies and registered riding schools and livery yards within a set radius were invited to participate. All native UK ponies and cobs aged 3-14 years and not diagnosed or being treated for conditions likely to affect insulin regulation at participating premises were eligible. Animals underwent a clinical examination and an oral glucose test while their owner or keeper completed a questionnaire by face-to-face interview. Data were analysed by multilevel uni- and multivariable modelling using insulin concentration and EMS diagnosis as outcomes.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 354 animals were examined at 64 properties (19 studs, 19 livery yards, 26 riding schools). The overall prevalence of EMS adjusted for clustering within yard was 23.3% (95%CI 17.9%-29.8%). Risk factors associated with a diagnosis of EMS included age, being female, more sedentary main activity, obesity, and shorter periods on pasture during the summer. Compared to the Welsh section A, the other Welsh, Connemara and cob breeds all had decreased odds of EMS. Clinical manifestations of hoof growth ring and supraorbital fat scores of 3/3 were more frequent in EMS ponies and animals with a history of laminitis within the last 5 years (9.7%) were 14.4 (95% CI 5.9-35.3) times more likely to be positive for EMS than those without.<h4>Main limitations</h4>Results may not be transferable to other breeds or age groups.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Equine metabolic syndrome is highly prevalent in UK native ponies and cobs with modifiable risk factors including obesity and sedentary activities. Modifying risk factors could help reduce the risk of laminitis in susceptible animals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: horse, EMS, laminitis, prevalence, epidemiology, obesity
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2020 09:01
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:21
DOI: 10.1111/evj.13378
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/evj.13378
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3106750