We think out dutch cross may have EPSM , we're in the process of doing the muscle biopsy. Does anyone have any experience with it and what can we expect in the long term? Thanks to all who take the time to answer! We're kinda freaked out at the prospect.
Get thee to www.ruralheritage.com and enter The Vet Clinic. Read all the goodies. Plus, you can contact Dr. Valentine directly and she is VERY good about returning emails promptly, offering any assistance you needed.
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It seems to me that it can be very individual. You may need to do a good bit of tinkering with diet and be conscientious about exercise, but chances are decent that you can have a useful outcome. Mine was "moderate" but still ended up being essentially career-ending, but he was also 12 years old before he was diagnosed; that's a long time to be trying to function with inadequate muscles.
It may take a while to figure out what works best for your horse, and there is always a period of relapse after conversion to diet, so be prepared for some time for fine-tuning your horse's care.
Good luck; don't freak yet, till you know what you're dealing with.
PS--ditto what Chocomare said; Dr. Valentine is a saint!
"One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine
I did a ton of research on this a few years ago when my gelding was diagnosed.
Beth Valentine is very open to taking questions over email etc. She helped me formulate a diet for my guy that seemed to help quite a bit. If your biopsy comes back positive-memorize the results you will need to refer to them pretty often when dealing with future questions etc.
Takes a while to figure out what diet work best, but there is hope! I think as far as "what to expect"...well you are going to have to cut sugars, increase fats. A moderate work plan will be in your future with little time off between work.
I still am not 100% that my results were typical and many vets thought I had a false positive result. We retired our 7 year old with a mild case of EPSM, but I do think I had other things going on-Vet thought I may have also been dealing with DSLD as well.
If you want diet help, I had to do a ton of research when a horse I had was diagnosed moderate PSSM (which is the new term, EPSM for drafties, PSSM for non-drafts). After I got his diet right, he absolutely bloomed and was very athletic.
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In my experience it's very individual. My mare had PSSM and she was the best little event pony, happily going BN/N and now teaching little kids to ride With the right diet, exercize schedule and feed she did great! Hope it turns out well!!