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Am J Vet Res. 2009 May;70(5):624-32. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.70.5.624.

Effects of low-dose oligofructose treatment administered via nasogastric intubation on induction of laminitis and associated alterations in glucose and insulin dynamics in horses.

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Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.



To ascertain whether laminitis can be induced via administration of oligofructose (OF) at doses of 5.0 and 7.5 g/kg in horses and to assess glucose and insulin dynamics before and after treatment.


19 adult horses.


Horses were fed OF (1.0 g/kg) mixed with oats for 6 days. Oligofructose at doses of 5.0 and 7.5 g/kg was then mixed with 4 L of water and administered (0 hours) to 8 (group A) and 4 (group B) horses, respectively, via nasogastric intubation; 8 horses received water alone. One horse in group A that did not develop laminitis was subsequently treated again and included in group B. Before and at intervals after treatment, resting plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations were measured and frequently sampled IV glucose tolerance tests were performed. Area under the glucose curve (AUCg) and area under the insulin curve (AUCi) were calculated, and minimal model analyses were performed.


3 of 8 horses in group A and all 4 horses in group B developed laminitis. Significant treatment-time effects were detected for resting plasma glucose concentrations and AUCg. Among horses in group A, mean AUCg values at 24 and 48 hours were 34% and 32% higher, respectively, than the mean value at 24 hours. Treatment groups did not differ significantly with respect to resting serum insulin concentration, AUCi, or minimal model analysis results.


In horses, laminitis can be induced and glucose dynamics altered via nasogastric administration of 5.0 g of OF/kg. An alteration in insulin dynamics was not detected following treatment with OF.

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