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Discussion Starter #1
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!
Janae
 

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How much are you working her? What kind of training/schooling are you doing with her?
She has been resting for a month because she is back and body sore. Waiting for bloodwork to come back before I start her again and it will be a lot of long and low walking for a while.
 

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-BP w/o molasses (I found it at agway.) BP is just a forage
-Hay pellets/cubes
-Well Solve L/S (expensive)
-Purena Amplify
-Buckeye Ultimate Finish
-Corn Oil
-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.
 

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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!
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
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!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
-BP w/o molasses (I found it at agway.) BP is just a forage
-Hay pellets/cubes
-Well Solve L/S (expensive)
-Purena Amplify
-Buckeye Ultimate Finish
-Corn Oil
-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.
Heyy, I was thinking of grow n win plus a fat supplement since it's low starch/carbs...but we will see what Julia says...she's calling me back within an hr with the results. That's a good idea calling the reps...I talked to Kim at
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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^^ not sure for flax. but unground is heavier then ground.

Purena makes a few supplements you could look into as well. THey have something like grow n win, but you're probably better off just going w/ buckeye so you dont have to drive all over for different things.

I was thinking rice bran as well, just watch the calcium to phosphorus ratio.
I would just becareful, too much fat = very loose stool.
 

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I manage my horses tying up issues through feed. His presented as back soreness over the kidneys and is now completely managed.

Firstly - NO GRAIN. That also means no grain by-products.

I switched him from a sweet feed onto beet pulp (Forage/bulk + carbohydrates), Copra (Coconut meal - high in coconut oils so very high in fat) and lots of grass hay, plus a mineral block in the paddock.

He did really well on this but didn't particularly like it, so at the moment I am trying out Prydes Easi-Sport - Completely grain free and low starch/low sugars, does have a small amount of molasses but appears to be handling it.

Other feeds suitable are micronised/steam extruded lupins, full fat soy, flax seed, rice bran, oils, and complete feeds especially formulated. We have Hi-Gain Zero, Happyhooves, Omega No Grain Gold, etc. Not sure what you have over there.

Make sure she is getting enough Vit E and Selenium - Won't fix the issue but are a great help.
 

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definitely call the reps. buckeye or Progressive are excellent. Progressive makes Envision, hi fat, low sugar. buckeye has a similar product. also many senior feeds are easier to digest and easily absorbed, so that helps too. and be sure your hay is hi quality.

i would not rule out that she may have been on some strange drugs on the track (steroids or other things) that are now wearing off. sad to say.
 

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correction. don't call the reps, call directly to their nutritionists!!! call their 800 numbers and they will get you in touch. both buckeye and progressive have great nutrition experts that will work with you
 
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