An Investigation of the Elemental Composition of Horse Hair Affected by Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) Using SEM EDX and ICP-OES

Marycz K., Toker N. Y., Czogala J., Michalak I., Nicpon J., Grzesiak J.

JOURNAL OF ANIMAL AND VETERINARY ADVANCES, vol.12, no.2, pp.146-152, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Equine metabolic syndrome is a metabolic disorder which is characterized by obesity, insulin resistance and laminitis. At present, its therapy and especially, diagnostic process has not been fully elaborated. The study aimed to examine the elemental composition of hair collected from horses affected by equine metabolic syndrome in order to introduce this kind of analysis as an ancillary diagnostic tool in the course of this disease. Seven horses with diagnosed EMS were chosen as research group. Seven healthy horses served as a control group. Measurements were conducted by means of two independent methods: Scanning Electron Microscopy combined with roentgen microanalysis and Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry to amplify the accuracy of the results. The data obtained revealed differences between the elemental composition of hair collected from horses with equine metabolic syndrome when compared to healthy controls as far as Ca, Zn, S, Pb and Cr contents are concerned. Moreover, it was shown that the mineral composition of the hair of the examined animals was similar to the elemental composition of human hair from individuals suffering from type II diabetes which further confirmed the similarity of this condition in people and horses. In summary, multi-elemental hair analysis in. the course of equine metabolic syndrome could be considered as a valuable, noninvasive and convenient diagnostic method complementary to clinical examination and blood testing.