Do you happen to own a pony? If so, then perhaps you are aware that they are at risk of insulin-based laminitis. This is why checking your pony’s insulin level is such a great undertaking. However, the checking is presently not all that you need. This is because a test on current sugar and insulin levels fails to reveal the intermittent fluctuations in the levels when they are feeding. These fluctuations can deal a blow to your pony.
Fortunately, researchers have been studying the issue hoping to tackle the deadly disease. They have suggested an oral glucose test. Its results have been cited as reliable and helpful in the fight against laminitis in ponies.
Apparently, the test can be done in the field. This is according to Dr. Melody de Laat, a researcher at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Even though many tests are available, not all arrive at correct results. That’s why you are advised to conduct the most precise test. However, you might need to re-do the test once in a while according to researchers’ advice.
Dr. Melody de Laat and colleagues tested the impact of oral glucose on 8 mixed-breed ponies. They dissolved the powder in water and mixed it with pony feed in the morning. Afterwards, blood samples were collected. This was done again and again just to ascertain the reliability of the results. Normally, researchers say that a test done once is enough to give conclusive results.
However, she says that “not all the ponies seemed to like the taste of the D-glucose”. This, of course, adds a twist to the test. But that’s not the end of the road yet. She advises owners to use high-carbohydrate commercial grain products.
Inappropriate insulin responses are not the only causes of laminitis -- injury can trigger the disease as well. However, that’s not a major problem. Therefore, studying insulin responses can be a major step in tackling laminitis. Additionally, ponies that are more vulnerable can be saved from the disease using prevention strategies, for example, dietary alterations. The test will be featured in the upcoming edition of the Equine Veterinary Journal.
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