Can Horses Get Diabetes?

Diabetes is a common condition for people to have.  I’ve even heard of friends dogs and cats having diabetes, and having to take insulin shots for it.  But, can horses get diabetes?


Insulin Resistance in Horses

Diabetes in horses is also called “insulin resistance.” For a long time, it was thought that horses couldn’t contract “diabetes,” and that they could only develop Cushing’s disease.  Diabetic symptoms would almost always come before a horse developed Cushing’s.


According to EquiSearch, a renowned website on horse care and horse health, there are many signs and symptoms that your horse might be contracting Insulin Resistance.  Two of these include your horse’s family history.  If your horse’s family has a history of easy weight gain or a history of laminitis, you may want to keep your eye out.

How do Horses get Insulin Resistance?

Not much research has been done on the genetics of Insulin Resistance in horses, or at least, not the same quantity that has been done on diabetes in humans.  So, vets and researchers can really only speculate on what causes Insulin Resistance.


Exercise One way you can help your horse combat Insulin Resistance is exercise.  Exercise can look different for all different kinds of horses.  Diet Another way you can help your horse overcome Insulin Resistance is by changing what and how he eats.


Stress Reduction Make sure your horse’s mental health is just as cared for as his physical health.  When horses are mentally stressed out, it can have physical effects on their bodies, the same way it can with people.

Thankfully, Insulin Resistance is a treatable ailment in horses.  While there hasn’t been a lot of research done on it, it is something that can be treated.  I hope this article helped you better understand “diabetes” in horses! 


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