Blood Brothers: The Story of Wellness Ready
How one scientist turned a family health problem into a horse health breakthrough
Patrick Lawless never gave much thought to metabolic health until it hit close to home. Lawless and his two older brothers were nurtured in a health-conscious household and always remained active. So it came as quite a shock when both of his older brothers developed Type 1 Diabetes in their twenties.
A biopharmaceutical research scientist by trade, Lawless was naturally compelled to shift his focus to metabolic health, specifically within veterinary medicine, where science had only begun to scratch the surface of recognizing and managing metabolic diseases.
One particularly debilitating and incurable disease that affected many horses in his native Kentucky soon commanded his attention.
“When I came into the equine industry, it was actually largely due to laminitis,” Lawless explained. “As all horse owners know, it's an extremely debilitating and potentially lethal condition. We know that high insulin levels or hyperinsulinemia is the number one risk factor for the development of laminitis. I was somewhat astonished to find out that, in the majority of cases, people were really only testing for blood insulin concentrations once a horse had already had a laminitis episode in the first place.”
By that point it is too often too late.
Laminitis is incurable, so Lawless recognized the need for better preventative tools that could help avoid the issue altogether.
“It made me think, ‘Well, how could we do this better? Wouldn't it be nice if we could provide a tool to allow veterinarians and horse owners to basically be able to monitor insulin levels on a routine basis, just like human diabetic patients?’”
The result of this metabolic deep dive is the Wellness Ready™ Equine Insulin Test, which gives veterinarians the ability to identify and manage potential high risk cases in a matter of minutes. In traditional testing protocol it can take a week or more before results are available.
“With the Wellness Ready Equine Insulin Test, you're going to be able to know within basically minutes what the metabolic status of your horse is,” Lawless noted. “It's an extremely easy and convenient test to administer. And, we're able to provide this high level diagnostic testing device at a price that's no more expensive than the current technology. Now you and your veterinarian can develop a management plan for your horse, immediately.”