The Importance of Equine Health
With the Grand National around the corner, Randox Reagents have investigated the importance of equine health, focusing on racehorses.
Maintaining good health in racehorses is vital as proper management can reduce the incidence of many disease conditions. Racehorses are bred, raised, and trained to perform as athletes. Therefore, it is vital that the performance health of racehorses is continually assessed to ensure that they are physically fit, happy and healthy.
Racehorse’s have a busy life. They are broken in from 18 months of age, usually using traditional methods such as long reining, followed by accepting a rider and training alongside other horses. At 2 years of age, the real training begins which focuses on fitness and speed rather than ‘schooling’ the horse in the conventional way. This training is undertaken alongside another horse to teach the trainee horse how to race but at the same time, it is taught to settle and listen to the jockey.
In peak season, the horse’s weekly exercise regime consists of: two days of fast gallop work with steady trotting or cantering the rest of the week, with a rest day on Sunday’s (depending on races scheduled for the horse).
The most important bodily systems for top athletic performance in racehorses include:
Skeletal system (including bone, tendons and ligaments) problems such as torn or stretched ligaments or tendons or a broken bone will be very painful, inducing lameness and prohibiting performance
Muscles enable the horse to perform. Fatigued or damaged muscles will result in poor performance as the horse cannot generate enough energy and strength to maintain its high performance
Respiratory system (nasal passages, throat and lungs) problems prohibits the normal flow of oxygen through the body, which prohibits the energy required for exercise
Cardiovascular system (heart, blood vessels, volume of blood and red blood cells) problems prohibits the movement of oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, again prohibiting the generation of energy required for exercise.
Central nervous system (CNS) problems can result in the loss of coordination and the fine control that accompanies minor problems to the CNS can significantly prohibit exercise performance
Due to the intense training that racehorses undergo, it is vitally important that their health is continually assessed to diagnose and treat injuries and the jockey allows the horse time to recover from the injury. The most common sites of injury include: forelegs, back and pelvis such as bowed tendon (tendonitis), strained suspensory ligaments, splints, osselets, sesamoid fractures, condylar fractures, knee fractures, bone chips, bucked skins and pin firing. It is vitally important that racehorses are allowed time to rest and heal after an injury. Training or racing a horse whilst injured can be detrimental.
Randox Equine Panel
Randox offer 10 scientifically proven assays for equine health which are made from the same high-quality material as our human assays, providing accurate and precise results. These assays have extensive measuring ranges for the accurate detection of disease or inflammation which are suitable for use with serum, plasma and whole blood. Instrument specific applications (ISA’s) are available for an extensive range of biochemistry analysers suitable for use with manual, semi-automated and fully automated analysers.
The Randox range of assays, suitable for equine use, cover a range of biomarkers:
Adiponectin is used to assess equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) which is characterised by obesity, regional adiposity, insulin resistance, and susceptibility to laminitis. Laminitis is one of the most common causes of lameness in horses. It is a painful and potentially crippling condition, which in severe cases usually results in the horse being humanely euthanised.
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) levels directly correlate with the severity of muscle inflammation or damage, or liver damage. The highest levels of AST will be seen around 24hours after muscle injury and persist for 2-3 weeks.
CK-NAC is a sensitive marker for the detection of musculoskeletal diseases; and is useful to assess the extent of severe muscle trauma, crush injuries, and burns and the likelihood of developing rhabdomyolysis.
Obesity is a condition where a person has abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a serious risk to health. This December, Randox are highlighting the health implications of this potentially deadly condition, especially throughout the midst of this festive season when it is all too easy to overindulge in fatty foods and sugary treats!
Worldwide obesity has almost tripled between 1975 and 2016, with over 650 million adults and 340 million children being recorded as obese in 2016 alone, highlighting that the prevalence of the condition is rapidly rising. Randox are dedicated to improving health and increasing the awareness and prevention of obesity and its consequences.
What are the causes and consequences of obesity?
With more people around the world adopting sedentary lifestyles and the increasing consumption of foods high in sugar and fat, there is a higher risk of an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended, which is the fundamental cause of obesity. This increases the risk of a number of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disease and some forms of cancer, with each condition having detrimental effects to your health.
One of the more serious consequences of obesity is type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), where a resistance to insulin is developed causing blood sugar to rise higher than normal. This can lead to serious, long-term problems such as kidney damage, cardiovascular disease and blindness.
How are Randox supporting the battle against the world’s obesity crisis?
Through extensive investment in R&D, we are able to offer cutting-edge diagnostic tests to assess the risk of obesity-related diseases before they occur!
Randox offers the unique adiponectin test to assess the risk of developing T2DM. Low adiponectin levels have also been linked with the risk of developing other pathologies including metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. The adiponectin test is applicable to both patients with diagnosed clinical obesity, and those deemed to have a ‘healthy’ BMI through a condition known as ‘abdominal obesity’.
This is because while it is widely recognised that people who are overweight or obese are at higher risk of developing T2DM, you don’t have to be overweight to be at risk of developing diabetes. When abdominal visceral fat is stored further underneath the skin and accumulates around major organs, a condition known as abdominal obesity, it greatly increases the risk of developing T2DM. When abdominal visceral fat levels become increased, adipocytes which secrete the protein hormone adiponectin become reduced; this reduces the anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitising properties of this powerful hormone.
The adiponectin test is available for use on hundreds of clinical biochemistry analysers, and can also be run on our world leading RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers. Find out more here: www.randox.com/obesity/
Our world-renowned quality control products help ensure the accuracy of obesity-related testing!
When diagnosing and monitoring obesity-related complications such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and T2DM, it is vital that laboratories have a robust quality control system in place to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results produced. This is especially true considering, 70% of medical decisions are based on a laboratory test result.
It is estimated that over 90% of T2DM is related to obesity. When monitoring diabetes, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in the blood provide an indication of average blood glucose levels for the previous 3 months. It is therefore important that the chosen quality control will effectively challenge the test system across the patient reportable range, as an inaccurate result at the cut-off could mean a patient does not receive appropriate diabetes treatment. Our Acusera Liquid HbA1c control provides clinically relevant levels, not only helping to ensure accurate instrument performance but maximising laboratory efficiency. Find out more here: www.randox.com/obesity/
Thankfully, for those deemed to be at risk, obesity and related illnesses are largely preventable through engaging in regular physical activity (60 minutes daily recommended for adults), limiting energy intake from total fats and sugars and increasing the consumption of fruit and veg, whole grains and nuts. Knowing your risk allows you to stay in control of your health throughout this festive season!
Further to our clinical lab tests, our Randox Health clinics offer heart health, metabolic health and diabetes health testing as part of our Everyman, Everywoman and Signature packages to identify and assess risk of developing obesity-related diseases. Our clinics utilise the same cutting-edge tests and quality control that we have available to clinical laboratories globally, as well as our patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT).
For more information about our clinical diagnostic range of obesity-related products, visit www.randox.com/obesity/