Test of Resolve: Sibley & Snow
Another normal morning at the barn. A chorus of whinnies greets you at the door and you quickly set about the daily routine. As you make your way down the aisle you are focused on the chores and training that fill your day, when something stops you in your tracks. Your mare is not poking her head out of the stall to greet her breakfast. Instead, you find her standing in the corner, motionless, seemingly stuck in concrete. As you enter the stall she begins to shift her weight from one side to the other in obvious discomfort. Her digital pulse is abnormally fast and her feet are warm to the touch.
Your brain knows what’s happening, even though your heart is not ready to say it: laminitis.
Sibley Hannigan knows this scenario all too well. She has spent a lifetime in the horse world, seen countless horses come and go, but she will never forget the two she lost to laminitis.
“The first one that we lost, he was a horse we raised from a foal and it was when he was like seven,” Hannigan remembers. “And he proceeded to go so laminitic that it was rather touch and go. But I didn't really know a lot at that time, I really didn’t.”
Hannigan is not alone. While laminitis has been around as long as the horse, veterinary medicine has only recently determined its relation to metabolic disorders, like Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistance. These days, Hannigan’s time at the barn is consumed by her dressage stallion, Snow, but her anxiety persists.
“Snow is 14, so not the youngest person in the world,” Hannigan says. “He’s a stallion. And he may be more prone to laminitis than others. So I would like to keep him healthy. Very, very healthy.”
So too does Snow’s veterinarian, Dr. Vern Dryden.
“I would probably test his insulin at least once a month just to make sure his levels are maintaining, especially coming up to a critical time like spring or fall,” Dryden says. “We also like to test to see in response to treatment that we’re managing appropriately. When I see a horse like Snow, my immediate concern is we need to get a handle on the origin of this disease because we know if it goes too far we may not be able to save them."
Like so many horse owners, Hannigan is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her herd healthy and safe. “I do fecal samples for worming,” Hannigan says. “For immunization we do the testing for the antibodies for the things the horses are immunized from. You do tests. Why is there no test for insulin? Why don't we test our horses and take care of our horses better?”
The answer is finally here. The Wellness Ready™ Equine Insulin Test is a revolutionary new stall-side blood test that allows your veterinarian to instantly determine your horse’s risk for laminitis in a matter of minutes.