Kentucky foal is first horse of its kind — diabetic at birth

Lexington Herald-LeaderFebruary 9, 2009 

CARLISLE, Ky. — The glucose readings on the day-old foal made no sense. He was brought in by his owners because his mama wasn't producing enough milk for him, and the doctors at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute had prescribed all the right fluids and had turned a weak foal into a rambunctious baby overnight.

But his sugars were sky high.

Take away all the fluids, ordered Nathan Slovis, director of the Equine Emergency Response Team at the renowned veterinary center in Lexington.

The animal kept improving, but the sugars kept climbing.

Slovis rechecked the numbers and wondered, for the first time, whether maybe this horse was insulin deficient. That is, was he looking at a diabetic horse?

That doesn't sound all that dramatic until you realize that, if this colt were diabetic, he would be the only horse ever documented to have been born with Type 1 diabetes.

Tests showed the animal was urinating sugar. They then confirmed what Slovis had suspected: In every way medicine defines it, this horse has Type 1 diabetes.

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