Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM) and Thomas Equinas

This blog serves to chronicle my day to day struggles dealing with this metabolic disorder and how it effects my soon-to-be 13 year old dressage horse.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 4: Sitting Down with the Vet

I woke up this morning to darkness and a cold house. The wind was howling outside and rain was pounding on the windows. The power had gone off at 5 a.m. In this neck of the woods the power can be off for days at a time. At least right now we don't have snow to deal with (yet). I went over to the barn and stumbled around in the dark feeding the gang. I gave them extra hay because I knew they wouldn't want to be out in that weather. I told Tom to walk laps in his stall. He's so big we removed a partition and he has a double stall "suite", so he can walk around if he wants to. He usually just stands and sleeps if he's not eating.

At 10 a.m. I put him out with my youngster, Willy, hoping they'd move around a bit while I did their stalls. Other than practically rolling on top of each other, they stood with their backs to the wind looking miserable. I brought them back in and gave them some more hay.

I had an appointment to talk with Barb, my vet, today about Tom's diet. At 2 I called her because our power still wasn't on, the house was freezing and I couldn't get any work done (I'm an artist) without any good light. I asked her if I could come to her clinic to talk with her (and maybe get warmed up!)

So we sat down and I took some notes and asked some questions. When we first thought about the possibility of EPSM, I changed Tom's diet from 4 qts. Blue Seal Demand, 2 qts. Trotter and a qt. of plain crimped oats with 1 scoop of MVP Senior Flex to 4 qts. Demand, a cup of corn oil and 3/4 of a quart (dry) beet pulp soaked. That was 4 weeks ago and he has gotten quite plump and he's high as a kite! I asked Barb what was up with that and she thinks it's mostly the lack of exercise. I stopped working him as much because he was very stiff and sometimes off in the left front. Then when we did the biopsy he had to take it is easy so he wouldn't pop any stitches. Today he got out twice for about a half hour each time, but with very little exercise. I hope the weather will be better tomorrow.

Barb wants me to switch him to one of the feeds specifically for horses with EPSM. I will call around to see what is available locally. She suggested I keep with the cup of oil but no more right now. There's some speculation that too much oil can lead to insulin resistance, so we''ll keep that down. She wants him to have 2000 IUs of Vitamin E daily. She suggested getting capsules at WalMart as the cheapest way to go. I asked about Magnesium and she agreed that Quiessence would be good, so I'll order that. Tom also gets about a bale a day of really good quality mixed grass hay. I will get that analyzed for content. He also has a big salt block in his stall which he loves to devour. I actually realized a couple of weeks ago that I had let his old salt block disappear about mid August, and I wonder if that contributed to his soreness this fall.

Tomorrow I will try to do my homework and find out about grain that is available to me here. By the way, the power finally did come back on at 5p.m. and the house is almost warming up!

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