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EPSM horse owners or draft horse owners!!!long but worth it

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  • EPSM horse owners or draft horse owners!!!long but worth it

    Monte’s Thanksgiving Episode that could have been catastrophic! (Monte is a 6 yo Shire)

    The EPSM vegetable oil diet saved my Shire’s life. This is how…
    10/10/07 start high fat, low starch diet because of EPSM like symptoms
    11/8/07 Muscle biopsy – came back negative
    Continue diet anyway.
    Some improvement, then decline.
    Can no longer hold hind legs up at all, must be drugged to trim hooves.
    Seemed more like Shivers symptoms.
    10/08 Consulted with a National Shivers veterinarian expert regarding diet, suggested switching to Purina Ultium so wouldn’t have to mess with vegetable oil and all the other supplements, etc.
    Monte current diet was :
    2x/day 1.3lbs Triple Crown Low Starch
    4oz Omega Horseshine
    2 oz magnesium
    1 ½- 2 cups vegetable oil
    1x/day scoop selenium & Vit. E
    Grass turnout (Bermuda grass)
    2nd cutting alfalfa
    Over 7-8 days changed to 2quarts of Purina Ultium 2x/day.
    Wednesday, November 26th was 1st day of no oil and only Ultium.
    Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Day) when leading Monte out
    to his pasture, his nose was to the ground. When let him in pasture
    he pawed and attempted to lie down. I wouldn’t let him lay down
    and drug him back to pasture in front of house. Legs looked like they
    were attempting to crumble underneath him. No interest in grazing.
    His nose to ground and obvious discomfort & pain.
    Because of recent feed change, immediately thought he was colicing
    I check other vitals, which were normal, except gum color and
    respiration. Administered Banamine, called vet, over the phone, he
    concurred colic and suggested I up the Banamine.
    Monte improved for a couple of hours.
    Then around 4pm he went downhill. Actually laid down. This horse
    only lays down at night, never during the day EVER. Managed to
    get him back up only to have him go back down.
    For some reason I thought to look at my Draft Horse Owner’s Manual book by Dr. Beth Valentine. Where I read the most common
    underlying cause of down draft horses is EPSM. And even though
    his biopsy came back negative, I began to suspect that EPSM was
    more the cause than colic. The book also states that it can look
    like colic.
    Seemed that his new feed just was not giving him enough fat.
    The book also said that if you suspect EPSM and can get 4 cups or
    more of vegetable oil in them the fat will provide enough energy for
    the horse to stand within a day or 2.
    Because Monte’s feed regime just recent included about 4 cups of oil
    a day he gobbled it up and didn’t have to use stomach tube or iv
    fat solution.
    Monte laid there eating his vegetable oil mash. He got up within 2
    hours. He did go back down later that evening and we got more
    vegetable oil into him.
    Friday, November 28th Monte was back to his normal (his
    nose in everyone’s business) self as far as attitude. His original
    EPSM symptoms came back, but I hope with getting back on the
    EPSM diet will help eleviate some over time.

    Prior to the scary incident, I really wasn’t sure if the EPSM diet was doing anything, much less helping anything. Especially since his biopsy came back negative.
    This diet and this book saved his life. I am not one to be dramatic or overly enthusiastic about much. However, if you own a draft or know someone who does, this is worth remembering. Most like your vet will not know what is going on because typically they don’t deal with many drafts in their practice. (Esp. where I am)
    I know there is a lot of controversy over the EPSM, high fat diet and I was one of them that was becoming skeptical. Because of this, I almost killed my horse. Thank God for the thought in the back of my head to consult this book. Or I would be writing a different note today.
    I really had something to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving!

  • #2
    Glad that it helped him, but I wonder if there's more going on here that's not obvious. He should have responded better to the diet from the start if he is indeed EPSM.

    At this point I wold not rule out other issues, like selenium deficiency for example.

    Best wishes!

    Comment


    • #3
      my shire x is on no hard feed, extra oil plus selenium/vit e/lysine supplement made by NAF.

      seeing the change in him, i'm a believer too

      i'd try a selenium/vit e supplement too with your boy, i think it's recomended by the EPSM diet people but not 100% sure

      really pleased your boy is ok
      Last edited by Alexie; Dec. 1, 2008, 01:51 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Scary!
        My appendix QH (who was biopsy positive) just had an episode on saturday. And yes, it looks like colic, but isn't. Luckily, he was only down for a few hours and after syringing oil and banamine, he got up, got a drink and started eating hay like nothing had been wrong. usually, I catch his episodes immediately and he is fine with 10cc banamine. But this time, it took a little longer.

        He is on the full EPSM diet and is doing quite well. But occassionally, he will relapse and I always worry. And then i rack my brain to try and figure out why he had a problem.

        Glad to hear your boy is doing well again. I agree that Ultium does not have enough fat. My non-EPSM TB does well on it but the appendix QH gets his special beet pulp/alfalfa cubes/gro-n-win and oil mix!

        Oh, and BTW, in the same vein, before I had the biopsy done, I had convinced myself that my horse probably did not have EPSM. So I also changed his feed. He crashed: weight loss, lameness in the front end and finally lost his balance one day and flipped over me while cantering. I had that biopsy done and meanwhile he went right back on the diet!
        ************
        \"And indeed the love that the horses of the Rangers bore for their riders was so great that they were willing to face even the terror of the Door , if their masters\' hearts were steady as they walked beside them.\" The Return of the Ki

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          think I had that I feed selenium/vit E in my post, but not sure. I do feed a selenium & vit e supplement

          CC were you ever able to figure out if anything in particular caused him to go down dispite being on the diet? Also my guy, prior to this episode, had become increasingly "funny" up front. As though he is trying to park out. It is very evident when he goes to take his first mouthful of feed from his bucket on the ground and in cross ties. And he seems to get worse in the winter.
          Such a frustrating disease, but I'm so glad I know now how much the oil actually was helping!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            The only thing I could come up with was that 2 days earlier, my sister had switched him into the other field as we were trying to fit a new horse in. That other field has more grass, so it is possible he just consumed more sugars. He wears a grazing muzzle 3 seasons out of the year but has not been wearing one lately so he can eat hay. He is back in the sparser field now!
            ************
            \"And indeed the love that the horses of the Rangers bore for their riders was so great that they were willing to face even the terror of the Door , if their masters\' hearts were steady as they walked beside them.\" The Return of the Ki

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow. I am so glad that things worked out! That is so interesting. So, when you say an "EPSM episdode"--what is it? Tying up? Seizure? This is such a strange and frustrating condition.

              Comment


              • #8
                Rebmik, I'm not sure where you are in Va., but Dr. Valentine designed a special feed specifically for EPSM / Shivers horses and it's made and carried by the Farmer's Co-op. There are a few dealers in Va. The feed is 20% fat and I cannot say enough good things about it. I still feed 2 C of oil on top of the feed. I have a Belgian that is suspected EPSM too. The feed is here and click on dealers to see if there is one close to you if you are interested in trying it. http://www.farmerscoop.com/Feed_Divi...t%20Low%20Carb
                Whole Horse Hoof Care
                Horseshoeing...Deceptively Simple
                Endlessly Complex

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well it is my understanding that a muscle biopsy is conclusive......in other words if it is negative than your horse does not have EPSM/PSSM. I have not heard of any false negatives.

                  I know the new blood test for EPSM is only 80% conclusive.

                  I wonder if where you had the test done did not do it correctly.......I had mine done at the University of Minnesota where Dr. Valberg does her research.

                  Dalemma

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    2boys, what I call my horse's "episodes" are, I think, muscle pain. So it resembles colic but there are no intestinal symptoms: plenty of manure production, gut noises etc.

                    He will paw, not eat and lay down. Usually 10 cc banamine will relieve him in about 10 minutes. This time, it went a bit longer.

                    Re: the muscle biopsy. Dr. Valentine has stated that not all affected horses show the abnormal muscle pathology especially if they are young. My horse has shown symptoms since he was a yearling and did not have the biopsy until he was 19. And, pathologically, not clinically, he was diagnosed as "mild". So if there had even been a biopsy test when he was young, I'm wondering if he would have been labeled as negative also. He also did not show the glycogen aggregates so it is possible that Dr. Valberg may also have diagnosed him as negative as I know the two labs use slightly different criteria for diagnosis.
                    ************
                    \"And indeed the love that the horses of the Rangers bore for their riders was so great that they were willing to face even the terror of the Door , if their masters\' hearts were steady as they walked beside them.\" The Return of the Ki

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      No the muscle biopsy is not conclusive. Although a fairly good specimen is taken, if it's early stages that part of the muscle may not show denervation atrophy, muscle damage or stored carbs. Monte syptoms were minimal at the time of the biopsy. He was 5 yo. The symptoms have since gotten worse, then without the fat, his body showed how much it was actually helping him.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Dalemma View Post
                        Well it is my understanding that a muscle biopsy is conclusive......in other words if it is negative than your horse does not have EPSM/PSSM. I have not heard of any false negatives.

                        I know the new blood test for EPSM is only 80% conclusive.

                        I wonder if where you had the test done did not do it correctly.......I had mine done at the University of Minnesota where Dr. Valberg does her research.

                        Dalemma
                        I have also been corresponding with Dr. Valberg. Sent her a video to see if Monte could be a candidate for their shivers study.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Patty Lynch View Post
                          Rebmik, I'm not sure where you are in Va., but Dr. Valentine designed a special feed specifically for EPSM / Shivers horses and it's made and carried by the Farmer's Co-op. There are a few dealers in Va. The feed is 20% fat and I cannot say enough good things about it. I still feed 2 C of oil on top of the feed. I have a Belgian that is suspected EPSM too. The feed is here and click on dealers to see if there is one close to you if you are interested in trying it. http://www.farmerscoop.com/Feed_Divi...t%20Low%20Carb
                          Thank you, I will see what kind of availability it has in my area.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Patty Lynch View Post
                            Rebmik, I'm not sure where you are in Va., but Dr. Valentine designed a special feed specifically for EPSM / Shivers horses and it's made and carried by the Farmer's Co-op. There are a few dealers in Va. The feed is 20% fat and I cannot say enough good things about it. I still feed 2 C of oil on top of the feed. I have a Belgian that is suspected EPSM too. The feed is here and click on dealers to see if there is one close to you if you are interested in trying it. http://www.farmerscoop.com/Feed_Divi...t%20Low%20Carb
                            do you have the feed label info? there is a dealer somewhat close by. I looked on the web page and didn't see the entire feed label for that particular feed. Why do you still feed 2 cups of oil? After my incident, I am so afraid to change anything. My reason for changing would be to not have to mess with the oil! But if I have to still feed the oil on top of that feed, the Southern States is closer and much more accesible.
                            thanks for any info. soooooo frustrating!

                            Comment

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