I watched a couple videos of Snickers. Her hind leg lameness does strongly resemble my mare's "unexplained" lameness/soreness we later realized was PSSM related .
My mare's lameness shifted from one back leg to another, and would sometimes vanish and reappear "randomly." Does Snicker's lameness ever shift? What other signs of she showing?
In case it helps, here's what I currently feed Baby Girl:
Morning: 1 pound of Legends Performance Pellet (10% fat, 8-10% NSC; includes rice bran = vitamin E), 1 cup of Cool Calories, Smartvites EZ Keeper Grass (provides 1.5 mg of selenium and 750 IU of vitamin E, among other things.)
Afternoon: 3/4 a pound of Legends with 1 cup of Cool Calories.
I had to use grain as a "base" instead of alfafa because my mare just wouldn't eat it. A small amount of very low NSC hasn't killed us yet.
Cool Calories is my salvation, by the way. My mare hates oil. Won't touch it. Cool Calories is fairly cheap, 100% fat. 1 cup of CC is the same as 1 cup of oil. CC is dry, tasty, and smells like candy.
I've also used rice bran (it takes five pounds a day to get the amount of fat you need; too expensive!), every oil (nasty!), a couple different high fat supplements, and eveything else.
Baby Girl is turned out 24/7. She eats off a round bale in the winter, and wears a grazing muzzle 14 hours a day in the summer. Grass contains sugar, and my horse's PSSM signs increased during spring/summer, when the grass was lush.
Also, never stall a PSSM horse. They need to move 24/7.
It takes four months for a horse's metabolism to fully convert using fat as a primary energy source. I fed Baby Girl a full two cups a day of Cool Calories for six months. After that period of time, you can cut down the amount of added fat slightly.
The funny thing is, she never gained weight. Most horses don't gain much weight on this diet. They might gain a little at the beginning, but they level back out in around three/four months. Their metabolisms are using
all the fat; that's sort of the point of the diet.
To use fat and not starch/sugar/carbs.
^^ Just a general ramble. I'll take questions!
Thanks for that, I LOVE rambling!! I do it too...lol.
I thought of Cool Calories before, but wasn't sure if that would be a good choice. I will check into that. It's nice to have people that understand my situation too dealing with this. Horse owners that don't understand look at me like I'm a lunatic! But I am just trying to do the best for my mares.
Anyhoo, when I first found Snickers, she was two and I noticed her feet after she trotted off and slowed to the walk...throwing her hip or leg out, or knuckling over her hind feet. I thought 'wobblers syndrome'. The pasture she lived in was on a slope so I thought maybe that was why. I had the vet come out and look at her and she said that Snickers was very butt high and going through a growth spurt. The vet did the physcial tests for neurological type stuff and she passed. I was also not familiar with young horses, I'm not a good judge of comformation and lameness stuff and the horse has such a goofy personality....I chaulked it up to it being what the vet said. So, I purchased her, since I just wanted a trail horse, she didn't have to be perfect. I knew she was a draft cross, and was prepared for any oddities.
When I started lunge work with her the following spring, I noticed her slapping her hind feet in the trot. She seemed very stiff. If she was to canter in the round pen, she would seem to start forming a coma shape where her hind end would start over-swinging towards the center, or her legs would twist up and she would crowhop. When she would run around in the arena at a canter and would slow down to a trot, she would do it like she had rear peg legs and it was not smooth. If she slowed down from the canter to stop...lets say at a fence line....her hind legs would tumble underneath her like a sliding stop and just get tangled. However, this has never been consistent. At times, it's like she gets in a rhythm and does beautifully....it's the down gait that flubs it all up. She has never acted like she is in pain, more like she gets frustrated with herself because her legs are limiting her. Under saddle at the walk she is fine, unless she walks briskly, then for me it is uncomfortable because her hips/butt swings crazy side to side or something. At the trot, she is smooth as butter. her hind legs hit the ground a second after her front ones. It just seems hard for her to hold the trot, but is holding it much better than she was. I don't canter her under saddle. When I watch her walk downhill, her hind feet knuckle over...uphill she is good. When I ride her down hill, she stops to think and continues on...in her own way. It may not look pretty, but she does it and I don't feel like she can't do it enough to not ride. I would not ride her up or down a steep hill. I am very aware of her limitations and don't over-expect. She always tries her hardest without getting mad or in a fight with me.
I've done the neurological test myself, several times.....she passes. Her legs don't swing out in tight circles, she can move laterally and back up just fine. She can flex her neck around beautifully. I've blindfolded her and walked her and ridden her with a tarp on her head, and she doesn't stagger. She just does as she is asked to. Her tail tone is fine. She is not touchy going down her spine.
She reminds me of the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.....always happy go lucky with the occassional uncoordination with her hind legs. Her hind end seems 'loosey goosey' and she is fidgety when standing, though she can do it. But she is the type of horse that is always trying to be a part of what you are doing, so I thought she was maybe just moving around, like being part of the conversation, not just standing there zoning out. There are times when I see her having to shift her weight to balance better for something, like....me picking up her feet, her scratching her face with her hind hoof, her reaching around to her belly to get a really good itch, but not everytime either.
I've had another vet look at her recently who diagnosed her with stringhalt after watching her at a trot in the roundpen for 5 minutes and pulling on her tail. I've also had chiros, massage therapist and trainers all watch her in person with them just shaking their heads. Some people thought she was trying to gait in the trot.
The ricebran would be a lot for sure. I thought it was 5lbs of ricebran per cup of oil! Snickers is getting two cups of oil and Belle is getting 4 cups of oil....that would be a lot of ricebran.
The girls are always turned out. You can see where they live in one of the videos. They are ridden almost daily on trails or at least in the arena or around the ranch.
I'm trying to get the diet situated so I can focus on being patient and waiting the months it takes for their bodies to change. Oy.
So, I think that is it in a nutshell. Who is rambling now?