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Should we screen for PSSM (and how?)

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  • #21
    My mare's only symptoms were actually tying-up and they resolved entirely with the latest diet change (what I quoted above). It took us a little while to figure out the right proportions of the diet--adding protein, tweaking fat levels, etc--but now that we've landed, she hasn't tied up in over two years. (knock wood)

    She has some hind-end related issues that complicated things when we were making initial diagnosis (before the test came back) and those are still there, but to a lesser degree, I think. A funky hock (that images cleanly, wtf?) and a reluctance to engage her hind end until you really convince her it's necessary...both could be related to the PSSM, I suppose....but she spent a couple of seasons in the hunt field just fine w/r/t tying up.

    It can be managed if you're willing to adjust your expectations to what their limitations are. I did retire her from the hunt field, but that was really more about me feeling worried that every hunt might be the one where she ties up 10 miles from the trailers than it was about her willingness or fitness to do it.


    • #22
      I think horses today tend to be better off initially when PSSM is diagnosed than when my guy was. I was doing almost everything right before I knew he had PSSM. Regular exercise, full 24hr turnout, minimal hard feed. I was giving him two closed handfuls of feed a day, and bumped that up to four when I wondered if lack of energy was the cause of his sluggish start to every ride. That tiny increase actually made things worse.

      At any rate, he was on stall rest at the time of diagnosis and was getting about two cups of feed twice a day (from over generous staff) so he was storing glycogen badly and using almost none of it. I think he did some muscle damage when we went back to work even though he never tied up.

      These days horse feeds are generally much lower in carbs, even when they aren't PSSM friendly super low starch/carbs. I couldn't buy a safe horse feed then, and now the manufacturer I use has half a dozen things I could feed my horse!

      There was a reason my horse got worse first. I don't think it is a usual occurence.


      • Original Poster

        *** UPDATE ***

        Got the results back from the genetic test: P1/P1 homozygous for PSSM1. Not unexpected, but still feels like a kick in the gut.

        Above, it is recommended to add L-Carnitine ... but another poster says not if it's a draft. Can anyone clarify?

        Has anyone tried the Farnam E-Se supplement? It's noticeable less expensive than the others ... my review on Farnam s generally that it's never the BEST product, but usually if you don't know what to get their products are OK. Does this hold true for this one as well?

        Also, I'll snag magnesium but again can't get the pricey stuff. Sadly, because that works best.

        I kind of want to kitchen sink it, but don't want to take steps backward.

        This horse is now scheduled to compete in a couple of weeks so we're trying to help.
        Last edited by M'al; May. 25, 2018, 12:29 PM. Reason: ETA: had more thoughts


        • #24
          M'al - sorry to hear that

          Try Horsetech - they can mix you up a custom supplement that IMEX is cheaper than buying separately.


          • #25
            Check out this site: Dr. Stephanie Valberg is probably the premier expert on EPSM and has done a large amount of the critical work and published extensively on it. She is now out of Michigan State U. She also discusses her opinion of the "testing" for P2 and P3, which is often discussed on the PSSM FB site. Dr. Beth Valentine out of Oregon State Univ published some early management guidelines (which are still valid) but I can't see where she is still actively doing any research.