what IS MSM?
I'm not sure what it's made of, if that's what you're asking, but it's generally thought of as a joint supplement. Basically, how it works as a joint supplement is by decreasing the inflammation common to arthritis. In our case, with ERU horses, inflammation is the most damaging factor of ERU so MSM helps calm that down. Sort of like taking an Advil on a day you know you're going to do some serious yardwork - it helps decrease your body's inflammation response during the yardwork and you feel less sore the next day.
It's the same idea, the MSM makes the eyes a bit less over-sensitive to light (by lessening the inflammation response) on a day to day basis and that calms the eyes down quite a bit (episodes basically happen in clusters, one in any given time period means that the horse is at serious risk of having another episode -or more- within the next 6 months). It's sort of like a wound - if you pick at the scab (ERU is the wound, scab = eyes, picking at it = sunlight) constantly, the wound is going to start bleeding and take longer to heal. If you leave the wound alone, you might still get a scar but the wound will heal. ERU will never heal but it's a mater of actively "bleeding" or going sort of "dormant".
I've found that MSM, over a longer period, does a LOT to make ERU go dormant. *touches wood* My girl hasn't had an episode since December. We're still in the 6 month "danger zone" but I've found (I just started her on MSM last June) that the longer she's been on MSM, the more comfortable she seems and the better her eyes are.
It used to be that any sunny day = definite pain response, right now she's uncomfortable in the sun without a mask but she doesn't get mopey or "not herself" and I can definitely attribute that to the MSM!
I'm not super familiar with cyclosporin (that's the implant, right?). If it's what I'm thinking it is, my girl isn't a candidate at all for it. But, if it's what I'm thinking it is, I've read articles where horses have found serious relief using that method!
Anything else you can do? My only advice is to start your vet fund now and get it fat. Or be rich. In any case, you better not be attached to your money very much because ERU horses basically eat $$ like it's hay, more than normal horses.
Seriously though, I can't describe to you enough how expensive ERU is as a disease.
Of course, it can be less expensive if you don't do it right but that means the horse is enduring pain. And personally, pain is not right for anything I'm responsible for.
I'll have to look into tumeric! I haven't heard that one.
Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.