Wellness Wednesday: Metabolic Issues in Horses


Has your horse been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome, Cushing’s Disease, PSSM, or even just low thyroid?  It’s becoming more and more common to hear of horses with any number of metabolic issues, insulin resistance, etc.   This, of course, has led the feed companies to march forth with “low carb” and “metabolic formula” products designed to be “safe” feed choices. But have you stopped to wonder WHY so many horses are having these problems with metabolizing their nutrients?? Could it be because their digestive systems have been so compromised that they don’t function properly anymore?

We know for a fact that equine ulcers are almost the norm in the performance horse world- the number of tubes of omeprazole disposed of at a horse show will confirm that.  So not only do our horses have ulcers, but the rest of their digestive system has imbalances – i.e., acid imbalance leads to ulcers.  An imbalance in the good gut bacteria limits nutrient absorption and limited nutrient absorption leads to Functional Malnutrition TM – a term coined by Equine Health and Performance’s nutritionist, Caron Haggerty, who has been dealing with metabolically challenged horses for many years and in designing nutrition programs for them.

So what is “Functional Malnutrition?”  The damage caused by chemicals in feed products, dewormers, drugs and other toxic additives destroy digestive function, and consequently, immune function. Their bodies aren’t utilizing the nutrition necessary to produce the basic components of health, let alone deal with challenges to it.  And so the cycle begins.


Metabolic issues can cause problems such as body pain, inflammation, poor hoof growth, weakened tendons and ligaments, decreased circulation, poor coat, muscle atrophy, and lethargy. As a horse owner, you can choose to feed something to deal with the result (i.e., low carb processed feed), or you can feed something that is CERTIFIED ORGANIC, WHOLE FOOD BASED nutrition with 100% bioavailable constituents that detoxify, renew and help the body repair broken and damaged DNA.  These nutrients aid heart function, reduce collagen destruction, increase circulation, reduce inflammation, eliminate fungus, strengthen liver function, and improve thyroid and adrenal function – among other benefits.

If you're interested in getting your horse’s metabolism back on track (or keeping it where it should be, before a problem begins) with something that has certified organic, actual whole food as its source, please take a look at the HP Daily product line at www.tamigeorge.com