Oral sugar test

Oral sugar test

Species: Horse

Specimen: Serum

Container: Plain (red top) tube

Collection protocol:

  1. Fast for 3 – 6 hours.
  2. Administer 0.15 mL/Kg or 0.45 mL/Kg* of Karo Light corn syrup orally via a dose syringe.
  3. Collect blood sample for insulin between 60 and 90 minutes later.

* Recent work in UK suggests more reliable results are obtained by using the higher dose of 0.45 mL/Kg. Fasting is not necessary if using this higher dose of syrup.

Special handling/Shipping requirements: No

General information about when this test is indicated:

Resting hyperinsulinaemia is only present in a small percentage of horses with EMS. Similar to the in-feed oral glucose challenge test, the oral sugar test offers a more sensitive means of identifying horses with insulin dysregulation, one of the hallmarks of EMS. The oral sugar test has traditionally been favoured in the US, while the in-feed oral glucose test has been used in the UK and NZ. Due to practicality, safety and accuracy, the oral sugar test is starting to be more routinely used in UK and other countries where corn syrup is available.