Nikki Livermore

Hyperlipemia In Mules And Donkeys

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I thought I'd post this here because it pertains to our long-eared friends and I'm guessing it might be a good FYI sort of thing. Dr. Juliet Getty wrote this article on "fat" for our health section and this was a question posed to her after publishing it... I didn't know about Hyperlipemia and I think our donkey has it for sure.

Question: I have a question about a comment made that Mules, Ponies, Mini's and Donkeys should not receive a high fat diet. Could you tell me why it would be bad for them and does this mean that they should not get something like the Nutra Flax either? Is fat also bad for IR/PPID horses/mules/etc?

Answer: If you have my book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse, take a look at pages 226-227 for a discussion on Hyperlipemia. This disorder can affect minis, ponies, mules, and donkeys because they are genetically predisposed toward developing insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome). PPID (Cushing's) also results in insulin resistance, secondarily. Adding fat to the diet can make them become overweight, which increases insulin resistance. And insulin resistance makes it difficult for the tissues to get the glucose they need, and will therefore pump more triglycerides into the bloodstream, leading to this dangerous disorder known as hyperlipemia.

In addition, their genetics favor a low fat diet. This doesn't mean that you can't add any fat, such as a small amount of Nutra Flax (flaxseed meal). Some omega 3s are beneficial in lowering circulating insulin levels, but be very conservative in feeding it, depending on the weight status of your animal.

Find out about Dr. Getty and read more here >>

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Interesting. It's a good thing that I don't have any fat mules......


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