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NSC and ACTH--Double trouble in the fall

By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

Horses are more likely to suffer from laminitis in the fall than any other time of year. Two reasons—high NSC (non-structural carbohydrates) from cooler nighttime temperatures and increased blood ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) secretion from the pituitary gland. Both of these lead to elevated insulin.

Insulin rise = laminitis

Simple sugars (denoted as ethanol soluble carbohydrates—ESC, on your hay analysis report) along with starch, are digested down to glucose. Once glucose enters the bloodstream, it signals the pancreas to produce insulin. Elevated insulin is the most common cause of laminitis. It stimulates the production of “insulin-like growth factors” within the hoof’s laminae, resulting in proliferation of the epidermal layer. The laminae have two intermeshed layers, the epidermal and the dermal layers. When the epidermal layer lengthens and stretches with uncontrolled growth, it can weaken the laminae. This can lead to a structural failure by compromising the connection of the coffin bone to the hoof wall, creating a gap between the wall and the sole. You may see some hemorrhaging under your horse’s foot—an indication of laminitis.


Horse Care 101 educational seminar Nov. 8

The Kansas Horse Council, in conjunction with the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, will host the 3rd Annual Horse Care 101 educational seminar Nov. 8 beginning at 8 a.m. The event will be held in Mosier Hall at the KSU Vet School, 1800 Denison, Manhattan, Kansas.

2015 Extreme Mustang Makeover schedule announced

Wild horse training events will reach coast to coast in 2015.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation has 11 events planned in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program in 2015. Youth and adult trainers, adopters and fans from across the U.S. will have the opportunity to take part in this popular Mustang event.

Chatfield Stables closure will continue
More than a dozen dead horses found in barn
NILE Horse Haven plans announced
UHC meets during AHC's Annual Meeting
Scout for striped blister beetles
Corn harvest hard work no matter how it's done



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