Ten percent of the horses that had a BCS greater than 6 but less than 8 and 32 percent of the horses that had a BCS of 8 to 9 were hyperinsulinemic. Horses today are managed much differently from their evolutionary roots, indicated Dr. Later the horse served primarily as a work animal, serving as a source of transportation and draft power. These findings support the researchers' hypothesis that the rate of overweight and obese horses is greater than the five percent figure reported in the NAHMS study. If obese horses are also found to suffer from chronic inflammation, the possibility would then exist for the horse to serve as an animal model for the study of obesity in people for the very first time The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine VMRCVM is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Pleasant, noting the highly publicized struggle that the racehorse Barbaro had with the disorder as a result of his catastrophic injury at the Preakness.
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Thirty-two percent of the horses in the study were found to have a BCS of greater than 6 but less than 8 and 19 percent of the horses were found to have a BCS of 8 to 9.
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Instead of overfeeding of grain and concentrates, the evidence indicates that improved forage and lack of exercise are the two most common contributing factors in equine obesity. Thatcher, an internationally renowned veterinary nutritionist, on the innovative research project. Funded in part by the Virginia Horse Industry Board, the study hypothesized that overweight horses may suffer from insulin and sugar imbalances, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress, a malady that occurs as a result of changes to metabolic processes that alter the delicate balances between the destruction and creation of new cells in the body. However, the preliminary data clearly demonstrates that this research has important implications for both equine and human health. And just like people, it appears as though the culprits are over-eating and lack of exercise.