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Fibromyalgia in a Horse?

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  • Fibromyalgia in a Horse?

    Can a horse have fibromyalgia?

  • #2
    There's little consensus on what fibromyalgia is in humans, no accurate means of testing for it, no agreement on the cause(s), no effective treatment, and a lot of correlation with psychological issues and intense gender bias in the diagnosis (95% of adults with it are female).

    How to make this work in an equine diagnostic scenario would be beyond me. The one working theory that seems to be accepted nowadays is that some sort of disorder of sensory processing is to blame. Certainly there seem to be horses that are more "reactive" to sensory input than others, but how to correlate this with pain (which horses are so poorly equipped to display unless it's one leg that's hurting) is daunting.
    Click here before you buy.

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    • #3
      DW--a bit off topic, but in medical terminology, what does the word firbromyalgia mean? My guess is fibro = fiber e.g. connective tissue or maybe just tissue, myo = muscle, algia = pain? Anywhere close?
      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

      Spay and neuter. Please.

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      • #4
        I've been researching types of magnesium (specifically magnesium malate) and malic acid (commonly used for treating fibro patients) for horses with muscle issues, and found this about fibromyalgia:

        In recent years, evidence has accumulated to suggest that FM is the result of local hypoxia in the muscles. For instance, patients with FM have low muscle-tissue oxygen pressure in affected muscles, and to a lesser degree the same was found in other tissues. Muscle biopsies from affected areas showed muscle tissue breakdown and mitochondrial damage. Additionally, low levels of the high energy phosphates ATP, ADP, and phosphocreatine were found. It has been hypothesized that in hypoxic muscle tissues glycolysis is inhibited, reducing ATP synthesis. This stimulates the process of gluconeogenesis, which results in the breakdown of muscle proteins to amino acids that can be utilized as substrates for ATP synthesis. This muscle tissue breakdown, which has been observed in muscle biopsies taken from FM patients, is hypothesized to result in the muscle pain characteristic of FM.
        Here is the original article about malic acid, energy, and fibromyalgia:
        http://intelegen.com/nutrients/malic...bromyalgia.htm

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        • #5
          I don't know but they can have autism!!!!

          http://www.site.missywryn.com/Benny_...tic_Horse.html

          (please don't hate me for doing that )
          I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

          Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

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          • #6
            monstrpony, you have it exactly right. It is a descriptive name, and accurate enough.

            Fantastic, the link you gave was not to the original article, but to a website that sells products and is using that "study" to give them legitimacy. The so-called "leading medical professionals" turn out to be a family practitioner and a retired gynecologist who have new careers selling remedies and tests for fibromyalgia. The study above POSTULATES a lot of things (including the theory that pain in fibromyalgia is due to breakdown of tissue, etc.) but that is not the same thing as proof.

            The study linked above is not in PubMed, although it is published in a journal. This probably means the journal is not peer-reviewed and it would be my guess that the trial they discuss was observational, not randomized, controlled, etc.

            But here is a link to a small study (same authors) that did attempt to use a little bit of scientific rigor.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8587088

            Nothing earth-shattering there, and it's quite old, suggesting that follow up studies were never done or did not yield anything more promising.
            Click here before you buy.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by equineartworks View Post
              I don't know but they can have autism!!!!

              http://www.site.missywryn.com/Benny_...tic_Horse.html

              (please don't hate me for doing that )
              I loves me some autistic horse! I just need to know how to lunge them at Devon.
              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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              • #8
                Dang, can I get someone to send me some donations to help me look after my horse with Napoleon Syndrome? He's a little guy with an enormous inferiority complex. Very heart-rending, actually.
                Click here before you buy.

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                • #9
                  As soon as you figure it out, let me know. I'd like to take up donations for my horse with the unfortunate seasonal disorder known as "the first sign of fall is a big vet bill"
                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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                  • #10
                    My two have seasonal ADHD.
                    It's kinda fun.
                    You jump in the saddle,
                    Hold onto the bridle!
                    Jump in the line!
                    ...Belefonte

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                    • #11
                      I think I'd take that over "attempting to bleed to death after a routine otherwise uneventful gelding", "attempting to cut off my leg and delay healing for 6 months for no discernible reason" and "breaking my face ... but not leaving even a ding on the skin" I'd like to point out he's only just starting his 4th fall on this planet, and I didn't own him to say waht happened for that first one. A little ADHD or autism sounds like comic relief...
                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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                      • #12
                        Deltawave, patients with fibromyalgia do have chemical changes in the cerebro-spinal fluid which esults in over-stimulation of the nerve endings. It can be tested for.

                        Tiffany, symtoms of Fibromyalgia in people mimic the symptoms of Lymes, maybe have the horse tested for Lymes titers?
                        Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                        Bernard M. Baruch

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                        • #13
                          That was my guess too..Lymes
                          *Every horse is a self-portrait of the rider....Autograph your work with excellence.*
                          Supporting Nokotas www.nokotahorse.org
                          Lipizzan's rock! http://rigitta.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            A lot of people don't really believe in fibromyalgia as a diagnosis, and yes, it is very poorly defined, highly associated with depression and other psychiatric conditions, and difficult to treat- because, most often the physical pain needs to be managed with psychological treatment and behavioral therapy (also increased sleep and exercise).

                            I would be pretty skepitcal of it being possible in horses, as really, fibromyalgia is a SUBjective disorder, with no significant objective findings. Horses have a problem with the subjective part of the history, not many of them will say, "I just hurt all over."

                            I agree with the others that suggested Lyme disease as a possible disorder that could present with symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia in humans. That, as well as some of the other tick/insect borne diseases (anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, etc) can present with diffuse joint, muscle, or skin discomfort, disliking being groomed, mild intermittent lameness, fatigue, fever, etc.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by equineartworks View Post
                              I don't know but they can have autism!!!!

                              http://www.site.missywryn.com/Benny_...tic_Horse.html

                              (please don't hate me for doing that )
                              This lady's barn is literally right down the road from my barn, and I don't think her or any of her students get out much. Never see or hear from any of them.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would think horses could have fibro... Why not. I have it and trust me my doubting friends, it's not all in my head I was diagnosed by a rheumotologist and it was very clear, he had a specific method of doing so, so I have no idea why anyone would say it cannot be definitively diagnosed. More eye rolling on my part....

                                FWIW, six years ago I was told by vets and peeps on this board alike that a skinny horse could not be IR. I was also told that there was no way there could be liver flukes in north america. Wrong on both accounts. I could go on and on, but I won't bore you. My point is, just because it hasn't been proven yet in horses doesn't mean it won't be later.

                                Reminds me - my husbands grandmother is at the "call the family" stage of dying... For over twenty years everyone thought she just didn't like to talk. Uh, fast forward... Nope, she has Huntington's Disease, it just wasn't diagnosed at that time and got chalked up to her wanting to be a PITA.
                                Last edited by EqTrainer; Sep. 23, 2010, 09:16 AM.
                                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                ---
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                                • #17
                                  "breaking my face ... but not leaving even a ding on the skin"
                                  Hey, my Petey just did that recently! August 14th...walked down to the barn at 9:30 pm having just gotten off a plane at 8 pm to check on my horses. Sonny check = fine. Petey check = WTF is this bump on your face? And why is the right side of your lip hanging?
                                  Emergency vet call...Petey got kicked in the face by Sonny at some point that day. Petey has a habit of getting over excited when they run around and runs right up Sonny's arse end. Sonny has a habit when they run aroound to throw out big twisting buck-kicks. Betting Petey got a little too close.
                                  Broken face, nothing else damaged, nerves just compressed. Lip tucked back up within a week surprisingly. Lump got bigger over the next 24 hours...all swelling has gone down but now large bony lump remains. Petey's new nickname is Lumpy.
                                  *sigh* This was all my fault though. I just had to go on a vacation for the first time in a dozen years. Last day of the vacation one horse tries to kick off the head of the other. And the vacation 12 years ago resulted in an emergency vet visit for my dog. (wrenched shoulder)
                                  No more vacations for me. Costs too much in emergency vet bills.

                                  I'm surprised FM and Lyme feel the same. Lyme is normally joint paint and not muscle pain. I've had Lyme (too many times, blech) and for me it was definitely in the joints. A deep bone pain or arthritis type pain. It's rather annoying. But I've never had FM...is the pain usually centered near or aroound the joints? Or more in the large muscles?

                                  I've wondered if FM and depression are more related. I can't remember the name of the drug..but the commercial is "Depression hurts...____ can help." Made me wonder how being depressed can hurt unless a deep depression causes a person to stay rigid for a long time, tightness resulting which can be an all over pain. Like heavy stress times, people don't realize how tense they've been for long periods and end up aching like heck. Or maybe from some people with depression being much less active than is healthy, the depression causing the person to not want to leave the house/couch/bed. Inactivity for long periods definitely makes a person have an all over soreness. Happens with surgery patients...a few days of staying inactive in a hospital bed and resulting in body aches and serious soreness from just walking down a hall as they start rehab.
                                  You jump in the saddle,
                                  Hold onto the bridle!
                                  Jump in the line!
                                  ...Belefonte

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                                  • #18
                                    I can't speak for anyone else with fibro except for one good friend who also has it, but depression has never affected my fibro for better or worse. Laying around and resting makes it better, not worse. And IME it's nothing like Lyme, which I have also had. Fibro pain is like torn muscles, Lyme was like having the flu.

                                    I can see how either thing could depress you tho. Most people do not expect to experience pain in their daily life. I think that is kind of ridiculous but I chose a lifestyle conducive to daily hard physical work so no surprise to me. But if you weren't expecting it? Quite a shock apparently, I have students who won't ride if they have a headache LOL
                                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                    ---
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                                      Petey's new nickname is Lumpy.

                                      BWAHAHAHA! My vet noted we should rename my boy "Lido the Lumpy"!

                                      Fractured cheekbone, 3 places, fortunately the treatment is my personal favorite, "benign neglect". I blame the jugheaded horse across the fenceline since I moved my horses to the adjacent pasture because her pookums can't go out alone (all evidence to the contrary) thanks to his former buddy being stallbound for the forseeable future. No good deed goes unpunished, eh?
                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                                        I would think horses could have fibro... Why not. I have it and trust me my doubting friends, it's not all in my head
                                        Which, IMHO, just makes it even worse for the people who suffer with it.

                                        I was incorrectly diagnosed with Fibro, later correctly diagnosed with MS. Now instead of rolling eyes I get "wow, you aren't in a wheelchair, must be you only have mild MS".

                                        You can't win.

                                        As an interesting side...

                                        Many of my MS issues have dramatically improved since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. From what I understand, many of those with CD are incorrectly diagnosed with FM and MS. Unfortunately this is not the case for me. But I will enjoy the respite from the pain and fatigue anyway!

                                        My Paco has PSSM and you know what? The symptoms are very much like FM. Sore all over, fatigue, depression. I just thought of that...hmmmm....
                                        I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                                        Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

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