Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a disease that is characterized by obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels and an increased risk on developing laminitis. In humans and mice, the bacterial composition of the gut has been implicated in metabolic syndromes; whether similar changes occur in ponies with EMS is unknown. In addition, questions remain whether the microbiome changes are a cause or an effect of EMS. In this study, researchers will study the bacterial composition of the gut over time in Shetland ponies that do or do not develop EMS. Understanding how EMS develops, and the role of gut bacteria in this process, might provide new opportunities to intervene in early stages of disease and help prevent horses and ponies from getting EMS in the future.
Grant amount awarded
Mathijs J .P. Theelen, DVM, Dipl.ECEIM
Endocrine/Metabolic (Diabetes, Thyroid)