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PSSM Type 2 symptoms/testing in a young horse

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    PSSM Type 2 symptoms/testing in a young horse

    Hi everybody, as this is my first post on COTH please forgive me if there is another post out there asking the same question. I will first say that I am not asking this as a replacement for vet advice as I have been working with a vet and have another appointment later this week. I am however curious to see what others have noticed with their horses.

    What symptoms have you seen with your horses that have tested positive for PSSM type 2? I have already tested for PSSM type 1 and the results were negative. My guy is a coming 6 year old gelding (he was halter broke only when I got him 2 1/2 years ago) and have been experiencing several symptoms at various times that all point to PSSM, but also could be unrelated. He is currently on a PSSM diet, low sugar, low starch, 100% turnout in a 7+ acre field, ration balancer and 1-2lbs grain in the winter only if he needs to keep weight of a PSSM formulated grain. Wears a muzzle spring-fall. Daily electrolyte, pre/probiotic, joint supplement, and free access to salt.

    Here is what I have seen. Please note these are not all the time (sometimes there are weeks/months/or days between instances), nor are they seen always together, which is part of the mystery.
    - full blown bad tie up last May (lost top line and having trouble gaining it all back since)
    - 2 other muscle tremors after lunging
    - depending on the day can be horrible for the farrier with back legs...although this is improving greatly and I'm attributing it to training and age. This past time he was a perfect gentlemen.
    - will have random days where he will buck, rear, or try to bolt (luckily this is not all the time and seems to be when he is not feeling great)
    - mystery lameness that presents as shifting and intermittent. presents as stifle and/or SI (has had several times of "time off")
    -anxious personality (that may just be him)
    - can be girthy (switched feeds and seemed to help)
    - can be sensitive to groom (but again same as above)
    - hates being stalled (but to my knowledge had never been in a barn before i owned him)
    - some days has trouble picking up the canter (may have some gaited breed in him though, as his background is a mystery). Has a beautifully smooth canter when he's in it.

    He's been in professional training with 2 respected and knowledgeable trainers. Full blood work done multiple times, saddle fitted, chiro, osteopath, dentist,and farrier. I feel like whatever this is, is holding us back and just curious if anybody else has had similar experiences. Like i said the vet is scheduled to come out and will talk about the possibility of doing a muscle biopsy. TIA

    Originally posted by Racer1KY View Post
    He is currently on a PSSM diet, low sugar, low starch, 100% turnout in a 7+ acre field, ration balancer and 1-2lbs grain in the winter only if he needs to keep weight of a PSSM formulated grain. Wears a muzzle spring-fall. Daily electrolyte, pre/probiotic, joint supplement, and free access to salt.
    Low NSC is only part of a PSSM diet. Type 1 horses need additional fat.

    Type 2 horses don't seem to need quite as low NSC as the 1 horses, but they need higher protein. A lot of people are finding great results by first feeding a higher protein diet, but then also adding whey protein

    The symptoms certainly do sound typical of PSSM, either type.

    Does he seem to have more trouble with cold weather, either with weight loss, shivering, or worse behavior? Also a Type 2 symptom.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      Get bloodwork. If all these are normal then it probably isn't pssm. I had my mare tested after she became sick on a trail ride on a hot day. She was negative.

      Blood work
      reveals increased concentrations of the enzymes creatine kinase (CK), aspartate transaminase (AST), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), among others. These enzymes are normally found in muscle cells, and are released when muscle cells become damaged during an episode of tying-up. As a result, abnormally high concentrations of CK, AST, and LDH will be measured in the blood.


        There is a facebook group, PSSM Forum, that has a ton of information and people who are dealing with PSSM variants. It helped me figure out how to best handle my PSSM1/n mare.