Weight Loss In Horses – Dental Or Not? – Podcast #061

The Equine Practice Inc, The Horse's Advocate

Many horse owners associate weight loss in horses with dental issues. The most common sign of a dental problem is “Quidding” or the formation of a “Quid.” When a horse chews food, material moves in an orchestrated relation between the teeth, jaw and tongue to auger from the front of the mouth back to the swallowing mechanism of the throat. However, when this food bolus is unacceptable for swallowing, the horse will spit the soggy, half-crushed material out onto the ground; horse owners call this a “quid.”

Will the horse lose condition (weight) because of this? I discuss the other reasons for weight loss, the most important being that losing body fat may be a sign of health after ruling out starvation. In simple terms, the only way a horse can lose body fat is by taking in less sugar (glucose) than is needed in a day to survive. Going through the mechanics of glucose use in the body, I not only touch upon horse health, but I correlate excess sugar with the health of humans. I propose a possible connection between laminitis and atherosclerosis/cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in humans.

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