Ares is Greatly Improved, King Not So Much

Ares is vastly improved after his allergic reaction. When I checked him again last night, his head looked normal. He has a little swelling remaining under his chin, and also between his hind legs. But that seems to be it. He’ll be on antihistamines for another day. I have both Ares and Zamaluck in the round pen for now, so I can keep a close eye on Ares.

He was very funny when I got home from work. Linda came to see him too, and he was a sap. Lapping up the sympathy, resting his head on my shoulder, begging for face rubs. He moved back and forth between Linda and I, working his audience perfectly. Looking appropriately big-eyed and sad when we said “Poor Ares!” It’s taken this horse a while to settle in, but he’s turning into quite a pet. He’s going to need to go to someone who really likes to spend time with a horse, because he’s going to be just like a friendly dog with the right person.

King and I went out for a short ride in the evening. Nothing taxing. He felt reasonably good when he was moving, but he did stop a couple of times. His latest selenium levels are back up in the mid-normal range. So that’s been dealt with. But he’s still not right.

So we are trying him on the EPSM (aka PSSM) diet. Equine Polysaccharide Myopathy is a muscle disorder that mostly occurs in draft breeds and Quarter Horses. But it can occasionally crop up in Arabs. The correct way to diagnose it is with a muscle biopsy. But given my vet bills this year, I’m putting off the biopsy and just trying the diet. EPSM horses sometimes have a fairly dramatic improvement on the diet so it should be a fairly good diagnostic tool in itself.

The down side is that the diet consists of 20% of the total diet coming from fat. So King’s hay and pasture have been cut back to control the calorie intake. He is getting a meal in the morning and the evening (you would not believe the drama involved – King is beside himself with joy at getting meals) of beet pulp, roughage cubes, and a cup of oil. Then he is staying in the stall all night with one measly flake of hay. He doesn’t care though, he loves his stall. And he gets MEALS! He actually pushes the beet pulp aside so he can suck up the water and oil directly. It’s absolutely revolting to watch him eat. Ugh.

He is going to have to stay in work though. No matter whether he gets muscle cramps or not. I’m terrified that he’s going turn into a great giant marshmallow of a horse on this much oil.