The Genetic Side of Metabolic Syndrome and Laminitis

We have learned so much about laminitis in the last few years. One huge breakthrough was discovering that up to 90% of laminitis cases are endocrinopathic – meaning they are due to a metabolic issue. For these horses, diet and exercise is crucial to prevent laminitis, and some horses need medication to keep their metabolic status under control.

While an overweight horse is a clue into a potential metabolic issue, not all overweight horses have equine metabolic syndrome.

But what if we could reliably predict which horses would have metabolic issues and be at a higher risk for laminitis?

Dr. Elaine Norton has spent the last few years researching the heritability of equine metabolic syndrome, in finding which genetic factors put a horse at higher risk. She presented at the 2021 No Laminitis Conference, and I found her presentation fascinating, so decided to reach out to her to share her findings for the podcast!

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