Veterinary Update, and Thank You

Dino's abscess is drained, healed and closing up. HUZZAH! He's back to doing some very easy work every day, and I just had a fantastic chat with Dr. Liz. The results of his latest blood test still showed elevated levels of muscle enzymes, even after 2 weeks of doing absolutely nothing but eating and meandering around his paddock. This is, of course, not normal. The enzyme abnormality, in conjunction with Dino's history of balking, bucking, rearing, and being generally snotty when not in constant turn-out, as well as his more recent hind end lameness, led Dr. Liz, myself, and the internist at MidAtlantic Equine Hospital (we don't mess around!) to the conclusion that we are most likely dealing with PSSM.

The treatment for PSSM is an adjustment in diet and exercise. The goal is to remove the majority of sugars and starches from the horse's feed, and add fat, thereby essentially re-training the body to use fat instead of sugar as an energy source. Daily exercise and all-day turnout also help the muscles start to flush out sugars and use fats as fuel. For Dino, this looks like feeding him a low-starch pelleted grain twice a day with added corn oil for fat, and a Vitamin E and Selenium supplement to help his muscle recovery, in addition to his normal ration of hay. Right now his exercise program consists of short daily sessions with lots of walking and a very little bit of trot, which he's not complaining about. The plan is to stick with this program for a month or two, and then re-group with Dr. Liz to check his progress. I'm actually quite optimistic about it, and hope that in a few months I will have one sassy, energetic, fantastic-feeling pony on my hands.

In addition to updating everyone on His Royal Obnoxiousness's condition, I just want to take this opportunity to reach out to y'all and give a big, hearty, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU for your words of support and encouragement. Your comments here, on facebook, and in person have meant so much to me as I deal with Dino's various and sundry health issues. Your love, prayers, and positive vibes have been such a blessing!

THANK YOU for reading, laughing, commenting, and encouraging me in writing this blog! It is so awesome to be able to bring a smile to your faces by doing something that is so much fun.

THANK YOU to the Google followers who I DON'T EVEN KNOW IN REAL LIFE! You guys are awesome! I never would have thought that other random horsepeople from the interwebs would be reading and enjoying my blog.

And last but not least, THANK YOU to everyone who has been there with me in the trenches of blood tests, feed changes, foot soaking, body clipping, more blood tests, expensive medication, and time off; and who will be there with me through future rehab I'm sure. Dr. Liz, my barn girls, Michael, you are all incredibly supportive and wonderful, and have bottomless hearts. I couldn't do it all without you!


  1. =) Thank you for writing and sharing it all, friend. I'm SO glad Dino is doing better and it was great meeting him the other day! I promise I will stop slacking soon and get you those pictures! <3

  2. I feed my TB mare a PSSM diet - we never had her tested but she was such a hard keeper and had so many training issues that echo Dino.

    Strategy Edge and rice bran have become my friends. (Soybean oil works too - I'm just leery of corn oil after hearing some negative things, but I know your vet won't steer you wrong!) It made a huge difference and I'm sure you'll notice a change soon too!

    Good luck!!

  3. Thanks Laine! He has been on the diet for about 2 weeks now so it will still be a while before we really start to see a change, but I've been keeping a close eye on him and noticing little improvements some days, so fingers crossed he will be back to Champion of the World status soon!


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