Diseases and their effects on the hooves. I’ve selected 4 of the most common “afflictions”.
WHAT ARE ENDOCRINE / METABOLIC DISORDERS?
2 are classified as Endocrine disorders:
▪️ EMS (Equine Metabolic Syndrome) or IR (Insulin Resistance) – The condition has similarities with human metabolic syndrome and Type II Diabetes. The term describes a common syndrome of obesity and predisposition to laminitis that affects horses. It results in a reduction in the normal response to insulin (insulin resistance).
▪️ PPID, also called Cushing’s – dysfunctional pituitary gland’s hormones production. In PPID, the normal mechanisms which control hormone production by the pituitary gland are damaged so that the inhibitory part is lost. Thus there is excessive production of the normal hormones from the pituitary. These hormones then enter the circulation and affect the whole body. Clinical signs include increased coat length and delayed shedding of the winter coat, laminitis, lethargy, increased sweating, weight loss and excessive drinking and urinating.
▪️ Then there’s PSSM, which is a problem in glycogen management. There’s Type 1, that’s hereditary, and Type 2 (diverse unknown causes)
Horses with either form of PSSM have signs typically associated with what’s commonly called “tying-up”: muscle stiffness, sweating, and reluctance to move. These signs most often appear when horses go into initial training or return to work after a lay-up.
You will surprisingly find that those disorders (EMS, PPID & PSSM) are particularly present in equine breeds that are originally meant to be hard working animals with poor-quality diets (QH, Warmbloods, Arabians, ponies, draft horses, donkeys, Mustangs, RMH, Lipizzaners).
▪️ Last, but not least, ticks (at least in Europe) come with a s#$%load of problems: Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and piroplasmosis.
WHY DOES IT IMPACT THE FEET?
Well, all the horses suffering from these diseases have a rather fragile metabolism.
It means that depending on husbandry, they may or may not access all the needed nutrients and exercise to maintain optimal health.
Hence, that will necessarily show in the feet: sensitivity, event lines, White Line disease, thrush, founder, flares, cracks, etc.