Diagnosed with RER - Advice - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 37 Old 10-25-2018, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
This is what she states for exercise:





These episodes only happened at speed and at great exertion. I do not think what I do with her has triggered any episodes. The racing around the arena for minutes on end surely did and this is not even close to the amount of work she would experience under saddle.
It's not necessarily the amount, it's the intensity. Her racing around for 5 minutes takes a heck of a lot more anaerobic energy then an hour of dressage work. That's what I mean by low intensity. She can still work, just make sure she's not going from 0-60.
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post #22 of 37 Old 10-25-2018, 07:52 PM
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I learned a lot about RER when my mare had Vitamin E deficiency. It was obviously a muscle/nerve disorder, but it was unclear at first whether it was PSSM, RER, etc until after I had her tested.

Dr. Valberg is one of the leading experts on RER:

https://aaep.org/horsehealth/equine-...rhabdomyolysis

To me it seems like you won't know if your horse is one with chronic, persistent RER that can't tolerate even mild exercise, or one that will have episodes eliminated by management, until you have balanced her vitamins and minerals.

One thing I had forgotten until reading this article again is that they suggest giving chromium as a calming supplement. I had given this to my mare when I suspected she could have RER, using a supplement called Quiessence. It didn't help my mare, but she didn't actually have RER so it might be worth a try for you.

One of the biggest triggers is excitement, so that is where I would consider carefully your thoughts about turnout. If your mare is an excitable type, you are far more likely to trigger an RER episode by keeping her in a stall, which would make going out of it always exciting. Many horses if not most become far less excitable if they are turned out 24/7.
The excitement factor is why many horses have difficulty at the track, because the problem shows up when they go to race and get too excited.

I understand about being mistaken that horses need supplements. There are people who commonly spread around that simpler is better, and don't waste your money. That was why I stopped giving my horses a multivitamin, and after that was when my mare deteriorated and became debilitated by severe vitamin E deficiency.

Even though wild horses only need an apparently "simple" diet, they manage to get a wide variety of grasses and plants, vitamins and minerals. Our horses often eat one type of hay that is a single type of grass or maybe two, and cultivated on the same land for many years. Horses can't get everything they need from such a limited diet.
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post #23 of 37 Old 10-25-2018, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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@gottatrot - this is where the data and my horse do not align, it seems. She is not excitable. She does not fit her breed profile well. If it were up to her she would stay in her stall and eat her hay all day and never come out. She does not enjoy turnout. I know this because for the entire duration she stands in one corner and cribs. It has been like that for 3 years. She doesn't crib as much in her stall anymore. Now she only cribs when she eats. Otherwise, she spends her entire day outside stuffing herself with her hay net xD. She is truly NOT a hot, excitable, hyper horse.
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post #24 of 37 Old 10-25-2018, 08:57 PM
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She has learned to crib to release the endorphins to COPE. God love her...

I don't break horses, I FIX them!
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post #25 of 37 Old 10-25-2018, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by greentree View Post
She has learned to crib to release the endorphins to COPE. God love her...
I agree. She's probably learned that if she does move the way she would like to, it often hurts. For a horse to teach herself to hold back and shut down would be very stressful. Might be the main reason why she is prone to ulcers and cribs.

I don't quite understand...if she doesn't run around, then why can't you turn her out and allow her a more mentally natural lifestyle? Whether a horse bottles it inside or shows it outwardly, it is stressful to be stuck in a small space without the ability to move around. If she does not move with high intensity or get excited, then there should be no harm in turning her out.

Except for immediately after a severe episode - with muscle damage, the pain will be worse if the muscles are not allowed to move. If she is allowed to move, her body will get rid of any built up waste products from previous damage, and her muscles will function better. Even with horses with chronic RER, the recommendation is not to shut them up and not let them move. Gentle constant movement is the key for almost every condition with horses, and especially muscle myopathies.

Quote:
Turn-out (if available a big advantage, the more time to blow off steam and move about the better)

Avoid training regimes like holding back at a gallop or intervals that excite the horse

Avoid stall rest or lay-up if possible, providing calm exercise if rested the day before
https://cvm.msu.edu/research/faculty...rhabdomyolysis

Everything I've read about muscle myopathies says that turnout is best and avoid stalling.

It makes sense to me now, some of the issues you've had with your mare. Hopping or getting upset when held back when going out with other horses, issues with consistency while dealing with an apparently calm horse, nagging sorenesses that were difficult to pinpoint to just one problem...

This is often the case with things like EPM or muscle myopathies, that horses get diagnosed with SI or stifle or hock issues, when these things are cropping up because of the pain caused by the nerve and muscle issues.

If your horse's condition gets managed to where she is finally feeling better you may find her to have a different personality and a different level of athleticism than before. I'd keep in mind that some horses are unable to have athletic careers with these conditions, but there are some that feel much better and can perform once they are managed correctly.
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post #26 of 37 Old 10-25-2018, 11:30 PM
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I'd encourage you to read all you can about the latest research into RER. Something you said was that RER horses can't have potassium...that's not something I've read anywhere, and you should understand that the calcium regulation in the muscles doesn't relate to having calcium absorbed in the bloodstream like when a horse just eats calcium, but instead is related to the calcium channels in the cells that are not functioning properly.

For some reason, when the reaction is triggered, the channels do not close properly, which means the muscles end up contracting and not relaxing, causing the damage. No matter how little calcium the horse is eating, if the calcium channel allows calcium to enter the muscle cells to cause contraction, but this reaction is not shut off again, the muscle damage will occur.

Researchers have noted that when horses have their electrolytes well balanced, in particular the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio, that episodes were less common. I'd be concerned that you wouldn't try to cut back on normal amounts of calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc, but rather balance them properly.

RER is quite different from other muscle myopathies like PSSM, where the horse stores too much glycogen in the muscles and can't use it, which causes the muscle damage.

Something you should realize is that after a severe tying up episode, the horse is in danger of kidney damage or failure. If you see dark urine, that is a bad sign because the horse is passing large amounts of waste from muscle damage through the kidneys, and those large proteins can cause damage. For sure you wouldn't want to exercise and possibly dehydrate a horse soon after an episode, because sweat losses could cause increased kidney damage. When humans have rhabdomyolysis, we give them large amounts of IV fluids to help save their kidneys.

You need to understand that this is a serious condition, and a horse that will require careful management of diet and exercise. You won't be able to just continue training as usual until you understand what the triggers are for her, and get her diet well aligned. She also may have permanent muscle damage if she has suffered from low level episodes for years, so may not have the capability for athletic pursuits you are interested in.

I've read in many places that being stalled for 12 hours or more a day puts horses at higher risk for RER episodes.

Reading your other thread about "throwing the test," I'd point out that stress is the biggest known trigger for RER, so avoiding stressful training would be important for your horse at this time. It hasn't "caused" it, because this is genetic, and it might be a blessing in disguise that the stress has exacerbated the problem to where it could be finally diagnosed.

Last edited by gottatrot; 10-25-2018 at 11:36 PM.
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post #27 of 37 Old 10-26-2018, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ty tied up again thursday night... I am really frustrated on why this is happening? we WTC'ed, no collection. On the bit but not on the vertical. I didn't know what to do so I walked her out. Stop and start. Put her to bed with a blanket. ;_; feeling so helpless...
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post #28 of 37 Old 10-26-2018, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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@gottatrot - that is so interesting about the cribbing... i never thought the tying up and the cribbing were related. OMG this is so sad...

We thought the large, open spaces = cribbing because she is stressed by NOT being in her stall.

@gottatrot , before we knew what this was, the night she colicked the vet gave her a huge dose of electrolytes. She went into the worst muscle spasms and sweating i'd ever seen. It was awful. We think it was the potassium overdose in the electrolytes.

Last edited by thecolorcoal; 10-26-2018 at 10:27 AM.
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post #29 of 37 Old 10-26-2018, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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@gottatrot , potassium sensitivities:

https://cvm.msu.edu/research/faculty...rhabdomyolysis

Quote:
Muscle samples from young thoroughbreds that tied-up reacted very differently than samples from normal thoroughbreds during this test. Horses that tie-up had muscle samples that were much more sensitive to contractions induced by halothane, caffeine, and potassium. The contracture reaction indicated a possible problem with the way calcium is regulated inside the muscle cell. When we test other forms of tying-up, such as that in PSSM Quarter Horses, we do not get this abnormal reaction.
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post #30 of 37 Old 10-26-2018, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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I would also like to clarify her stall is not small and has outdoor access. She is not in a 12x12, her stall is 14x14 with a 14x28 outdoor run. We are trying to get her moved to the 14x14 with the 50x50 run.

If a "natural lifestyle" means she is in a herd of over 20 horses, a pasture with multiple gopher holes, manure from unvaccinated horses everywhere, potential to rip blankets and make her muscles cold, and lack of private space to eat her food (she is extremely food aggressive with other horses), then I do not want her to have "natural lifestyle." I want her to have her OWN SPACE, where she can be separated from horses who give her agitation. We have a new gelding who moved in next door and him and Tyra fight and kick over the fence when it is meal time. I have had to put her bowl in the boxed area, away from where she can see him because I am thinking he is a trigger to these episodes.

She is NOT a pasture candidate. I have said this over and over. She does not play well with other horses and does not enjoy their company. The times she is out with another horse she spends most of the time trying to get away from them into her own personal area.

She likes people. she does not like other horses. It is extremely frustrating that HF members refuse to work within the confines of what I have... I have a horse who needs a stall, who has a muscle issue, but cannot be in a pasture. She can be turned out in a large area BY HERSELF but she does not utilize the time. She stands and cribs, of which she can DO IN HER STALL.Turnout time is so she can do what she can't do in her stall, NOT so she can participate in the same activities she participates in "at home."

She spends the entire hour in one place cribbing. In her stall she does not crib. So, to my uneduated eye, the fact that she is AWAY from her friends in the barn, AWAY from her comfortable area is causing her STRESS which causes her to crib.

I like to be at home. I don't enjoy going out. I like the comforts of my bed and my house and what I know. I would say horses are no different. Some of the truly enjoy their "houses."

Last edited by thecolorcoal; 10-26-2018 at 10:55 AM.
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