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Date Posted: 12:54:29 09/27/06 Wed
Author: Leslie Berro, L.M.B.T.
Subject: PSSM
In reply to: Andrea 's message, "thanks" on 16:25:59 09/26/06 Tue

Hi Andrea,
Is your vet referring to PSSM (poly-saccharide storage myopathy)? If so, the most notable symptoms are muscle stiffness and atrophy (wasting); typically is diagnosed via muscle biopsy (painful); the cause is often genetic and every Friesian carries the gene; cases can be mild, moderate or severe. It is a disease that prevents the horse from utilizing carbohydrates (glycogen) effectively whereby it is stored in excess in the muscle due to a missing enzyme (protein). Success in management has been found by changing the horse's diet to low carb/hi fat (as much as 25% of total calories) as well as regular turnout and moderate exercise. Moving about keeps glycogen stores down in the muscles.

If it is PSSM, you may want to talk to your vet about dietary changes. There are pelleted feeds made by Nutrena and Purina for just such carb sensitive horses.

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