Muscle Wasting, Azoturia, PSSM? Feeding???
Long story short, my OTTB mare came off the track because she was having issues tying up when breezed or worked hard. I found this out after I had her. She was gorgous, muscly, and healthy when I brought her home last late September....then she started to crash....she had skin problems (scratches, rain rot, and ringworm) all over her. She started losing muscle. She was put on a high fat feed and did not gain a lot. I added Vitamin E and Selenium supplementation (plus Daily Omegas, a hoof supplement, fat cat, and probios) in early November. Nothing seemed to help. She continued losing muscle and gained a pound or two here and there. She does not look emaciated by any means, just has no muscle tone. Her back dropped, backwards neck, and lost all rear end muscle. I had the vet out again today to draw blood work (CBC and muscle enzymes, checked her retinas, (were fine) and sent off a vit E and Sel blood vial to Cornell University. CBC and enzymes will be back tomorrow morning...Vit E and Sel won't be back til next week. My question to all of you is...if you have had a horse prone to tying up, had PSSM, muscle wasting, or whatever...what brand of feed did you use? I know I need a high fat low carb/sugar feed....but it seems that everything high fat is beet pulp or molasses based. I would really love to hear your stories about horses you may have had with any type of muscle disease and if treatment was successful (and what treatment you used). Her back is very sore right now and she has general body soreness so I am unable to ride her. I'm waiting to hear the results of bloodwork before I change anything for sure, obviously, but I'd love to hear from all of you! Thanks!
How much are you working her? What kind of training/schooling are you doing with her?
-BP w/o molasses (I found it at agway.) BP is just a forage
-Well Solve L/S (expensive)
-Buckeye Ultimate Finish
-Flax Seed (you can buy it in bulk at agway, it was about $33 a bag, I herd you can feed up to 2cups a day w.o issues)
- If you switch to just hay, make sure its really good quality
I would call a Nutrina, Purena and BuckEye rep. see what they suggest.
So the "resting" and change of work from the track is likely your biggest reason you're seeing muscle loss. It doesn't matter what you feed them (fat, protein, carbs), if there is no work then you're going to have muscle loss. Just like a human athelete loses muscle mass the second they stop training- though it does *not* "turn into fat" as many think, a horse will too- especially one off the track.
I think the down time is an excellent idea, but don't expect her to stay muscled. You will know more when your blood work comes back, there could be a nutritional deficiency that is underlying and that is more important to uncover than trying to find the miracle muscle building diet. What most horses need is a good balanced hay, mineral/salt block, lots of fresh water. Especially for a young horse who is not in training, supplemental protein and what have you will only put on fat or do nothing at all. Concentrated feeds are for performance atheletes, so if that is your goal for her (but with her muscle disease it sounds like it isn't?) then slowly introduce these as her training level increases.
Good luck with your new-ish girl. I have an OTTB as well, they are amazing horses!
Could my horse have PSSM?
on PSSM and feeding.
good article. I will add, however, that PSSM/EPSM is very rare in TB's and wouldn't top my list of differentials, though it *is* a consideration. With the skin issues starting after the owner took her on, it sounds a bit more like a deficiency problem. Good info though!
Her muscle loss started in November ish, after she has been off the track for a few months. Shes a really really quiet horse, for an ottb and a baby, so I wouldnt be suprized if it was an infection, weakening her immune system causing her to be so drowsy/quiet. Her immune system was pretty crappy when she got her. She had ring worm and a horrible case of scratches in the first month. Although the scratches are almost gone and the ringworn was short lived.
I am actually suprized she has tye up. When we rode her nothing was noticable, but she was probably really pushed at the track, more then she was, when she was in light training in january. It was originally thought she had fistulus withers (sp?) because she was so sore/swollen. It sounds like its moved from local swelling to her stifles, and more significant muscle loss.
I was thinking EPM, but with no neurological issues its probably not as likely.
Thanks for your advice. I'm waiting for a call back from my vet. I'm just asking for feeding brand suggestions because prior to her wither injury she was in training. She is getting plenty of quality hay and lots of supplements...vit e and selenium, omega plus, probios, shorts friend to try and help boost her immune response.
Kt saddlery and she said you can't go by the listing order that they put on the bag...the higher up in order doesn't mean those are the most previlent. She said that rice bran may be a good idea to use. For flax seed is that 2 cups ground or unground?
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