Vitamin Levels in the Blood of Overweight Horses

Obesity is considered to be a significant global health problem in both humans and animals. A recent study has investigated whether the oxidative stress relevant in humans is also decisive for the health consequences of obesity in horses.

It is well known in humans that obesity is associated with a chronic increase in inflammatory parameters and increased oxidative stress. These aspects are thought to underlie secondary changes such as atherosclerosis. The organism tries to counteract oxidative stress with endogenous and exogenous antioxidants. The latter includes the cell-protecting vitamin E. Assuming that more vitamin E is consumed in overweight horses, the researchers expected lower blood levels compared to horses of normal weight.

A challenging study structure

In summary, it can be said that the study results did not meet the expectations of the investigators. Rather, both the ten ponies and nine horses examined showed an increase in vitamin E in the blood with increasing obesity. The researchers suspect the reason for these results to be the high-energy feed used to gain weight, which also contained significantly higher levels of vitamin E. This assumption could be supported by the correlation between vitamin intake and blood levels. Further studies controlling for this confounder are needed to learn more about the impact of obesity on vitamin metabolism in horses.

Very interesting indications of the influence of laminitis

One very interesting finding came unintentionally from this study. Indeed, one pony and one horse developed laminitis at an advanced stage of the study and required appropriate treatment. The level of vitamin E in the blood of these two animals was significantly reduced compared to the clinically healthy subjects. The researchers explain this by the massively increased need for antioxidants during inflammation in the hoof area.

Studies of the vitamin levels in the blood of other horses suffering from laminitis will show how relevant these initial findings are and could provide approaches for new therapeutic measures.

Frequently Asked Question

How do I get my horse to lose weight?

The most important thing for horses during a diet is hay.

0.5 kilograms per 100 kilograms of body weight feed straw. It makes sense to fill the hay in close-meshed hay nets and feed them throughout the day. So the horse chews long enough. Important: Avoid radically shortening the lining!

Why no oats for horses?

Oats are relatively low in gluten compared to other grains. Gluten intolerance is very rarely observed in horses. The sticky protein “gluten” can lead to inflammation of the mucous membrane of the small intestine in intestine.

Why isn’t my horse losing weight?

No matter how much weight a horse is trying to lose, a minimum amount of high-fiber hay must be fed daily. At least 1 kg/100 kg body weight. If your horse is going to lose weight, it is best to feed it hay with low sugar content. The daily energy intake can/should be reduced by a maximum of 30%.

What does an overweight horse look like?

There are pads of fat on the crest of the mane, above the eyes, on the belly, and on the croup – the horse is too fat. However, simply going on a diet and feeding less so the horse can lose weight is not a good idea.

Are Norwegians weight carriers?

The Norwegians are good weight carriers. The Fjord horse has a large but dry head and a short, very strong neck. The shoulder is often steep, there is little instep, a strong back of a medium length, good depth, and a short, sloping croup.

How many kg can a horse withstand?

A common rule of thumb is that a horse can carry a maximum of 15 percent of its body weight without suffering permanent damage. For a horse that weighs 500 kilograms, that is 75 kilograms.

Can you ride with 100 kg?

Horses can carry heavy riders – but they need certain prerequisites for this, as a new English study confirms. The focus is on the cannon bone, back, and loins. From 62 kilograms including tournament, clothing is over!

What happens if the rider is too heavy?

Riders who are too heavy can impair the horse’s well-being and even cause lameness – this is the result of a recent British study. And ill-fitting gear can amplify these negative effects.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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