EPSM, aka PSSM, aka Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy – If Your Horse Ties Up or Has Other Muscular Problems It Could Be PSSM

Unfortunately, I think my Quarter Horse mare, Corazon, has this disease. And yes, it is classified as a disease and in some cases can be fatal. It afflicts mainly draft horses, warmbloods, Arabians, and, alas, the American Quarter Horse. I’ve had Corazon less than two years, and she has always had body problems, stiffness, and a resistance to moving out–even to the point of bucking when asked to canter. Her muscles also “waste”, or atrophy, quickly if she’s undernourished or can’t move enough. I’ve been doing all sorts of things to help her (including body work), and not asking too much when riding her, but when her right rear leg recently developed a pronounced “hitch,” I sought the advice of my dear friend and holistic equine veterinarian in Texas, Dr. Madalyn Ward, and she said it sounded like EPSM. (Sob!) Dr. Ward has a Quarter Horse who she suspects may also have EPSM, so she has been paying a lot of attention to this disease lately. Her horse “ties up,” which Corazon does not, but there are many other symptoms of EPSM. The following is a guest post from Dr. Ward on how to recognize the signs of and treat this insidious, often-unrecognized disease. So far the only way a definitive diagnosis can be obtained is from a muscle biopsy. Treatment is mainly through diet. If you have a horse exhibiting any of these problems, who just can’t seem to get through them, I hope this guest article from Dr. Ward will be helpful. Although this article focuses mainly on the symptom of “tying up,” treatment is the same for all EPSM symptoms. My thanks to Dr. Ward for sharing this information.

Corazon, after a recent body work treatment that we hope is making her more comfortable.

“Tying up” is one of the most common muscular problems in performance horses, although this condition can also occur in lightly-worked horses.

Signs of acute tying up are very obvious and include:
– anxiety
– refusal to move
– swelling in muscles of the hindquarters

Chronic symptoms include:
– abnormal hind leg gaits
– exercise intolerance
– muscle wasting
– back soreness
– difficulty lifting hind legs
– behavior problems under saddle
– spasmodic type colic
– elusive lameness or behavior problems

EPSM and Horses Tying Up:
Equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (EPSM) is by far the most common cause of tying up in horses. EPSM has been around for years but now it is being recognized earlier and diagnosed much more frequently. For years I have attempted to treat frustrating cases of tying up. I now realize how many of those horses probably had EPSM, and wish I had known more about it sooner.

EPSM is a genetic disorder that affects a horse’s carbohydrate metabolism. Affected horses store too much glycogen in their muscles, which they cannot break down to produce carbohydrates. Without these carbohydrates as energy sources, these muscles lack the necessary fuel during exercise. As a result the muscles must use energy from less efficient energy pathways, which produces damaging byproducts, such as lactic acid.

Conventional Treatment of Tying Up:
Conventional treatment of acute episodes of tying up includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, sedatives, and fluids if muscle damage is severe. Signs of severe damage would include muscle swelling, heat, and pain on palpation. The horse’s urine might also turn dark since the pigment from damaged muscles passes through the bloodstream.

Holistic Treatment of Tying Up:
Holistic support for acute episodes of tying up includes giving the homeopathic remedy Arnica every 5 to 10 minutes until the horse is relaxed and able to move. Gentle body work such as TTEAM, Bowen, or Equine Touch can bring more circulation to the tight muscles. Rescue Remedy can be used to help the horse relax.

Early Recognition of EPSM:
Early recognition of the symptoms of EPSM will allow you to take steps to manage the horse so that tying up never happens. Arabians, Quarter Horses and Warmbloods are the most commonly-affected breeds, but any horse with chronic back soreness or unexplained hind limb lameness should be considered for EPSM. A muscle biopsy can confirm the condition, but often a horse’s response to diet and management changes will provide a good indicator. Horses with EPSM should not be confined to a stall. Movement is very important. A low starch, high fat and fiber diet is also critical for controlling the symptoms. Some mildly affected horses will respond to a formulated low starch feed and mixed alfalfa/grass hay. Others will need much higher fat levels–up to 20% of the overall diet.
Conventional wisdom suggests vegetable oil as the best source of fat for horses that require higher levels of this nutrient. I do not like vegetable oil because it is almost always highly processed and refined. Vegetable oil is also lacking in vitamins or minerals, so these must then also be supplemented to meet the needs of the horse. I prefer a low starch feed and a grass/alfalfa hay mix that is supplemented with high fat seeds such as flax, chia and/or sunflower. The seeds are much more natural to the horse’s diet and include other nutrients to meet the horses overall needs. Extruded rice bran that has added minerals can also be used as a fat source. If none of these diet plans bring the fat content high enough to control symptoms, then vegetable oil can be used up to 2 cups a day. Additional antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and selenium can help the horse more readily heal the damage to his muscles.

What to Expect:

Response to the low starch, high fat diet will take about 4 months, so you must be patient even if symptoms don’t appear immediately better. Signs of improvement include re-bulking of atrophied muscles, comfort when hind legs are raised, and freer movement of the hind end in general. Many EPSM horses will appear to have much higher energy on the new diet and this is mainly due to freedom from chronic muscle spasm.

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Overcoming Fear and Pain in a Horse

This is something that is definitely easier said than done. And often people, even horse people, mistake fear or pain for defiance and meanness.



When I talked to this little girl a few days ago, it was hard to even get her to open up at first. She was very mistrusting and fearful, so having someone start talking to her who she couldn’t see was a pretty scary thing. She never did reveal her true, underlying personality because she was “flat” emotionally from her past experiences and dealings with humans. But she did show me lots of mental pictures and convey lots of feelings and ideas about why she behaves as she does.

I was called in to talk to this four-year-old filly because she spooked, shied, bolted, and bit—to the extreme. She had been bought from two “horse traders” not too many months ago, as a three-year-old who had been started at two, and nothing more was known about her background. Her new owner was very badly injured in an accident soon after getting her, when the filly spooked and bolted out from under her. She’d been hand-walked ever since (2-1/2 hours a day), but exhibited the same behavior even then, plus was now biting at her owner while they walked.

Not a pretty picture. Her owner was understandably afraid to ride her again, and was getting shoved and knocked around considerably by the filly during their walks. Both owner and horse were now afraid, so the filly had no strong leader to trust—a must in a horse’s natural life.

A four-year-old is still basically a baby horse, and if they’ve had a rough start like this girl, that young age is doubly stacked against them. This filly did show me that she had once been a normal, happy, frolicking foal, which gave me hope that that basic personality could still be resurrected. She showed me a traumatic weaning, very rough handling, and that she had extreme pain and restriction in her neck, which seemed to cut off neurological and circulatory function to the extent that her peripheral vision was restricted. So things coming into her vision “from the wrong place,” suddenly and unexpectedly, caused much of her spooking. Horses, being prey animals, can see peripherally almost all the way behind them, and that’s where predators come from. So it’s no wonder she freaked out all the time. And she said she was biting because her head was being jerked on, and it hurt!

Her owner, who had never consulted with an animal communicator before, and who was a novice horse-person, wanted me to explain things to the filly and simply tell her how she needed to behave. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, though many people think it must be. It is assumed that if you can talk to an animal, you can just tell them what to do, how to be, not to be afraid, etc. No. You can’t override fear or pain via intellectual explanation. I have a bad back, and if someone told me to simply ignore the pain and carry on normally when I’m in the middle of an extreme episode, I would think they were both nuts and lacking compassion. I think it’s the same with animals. They might hear us tell them “everything is okay,” but until we can provide concrete help that engenders trust and relief, no change will occur.

For this baby I recommended much shorter walks in-hand, a non-invasive technique of body work called Ortho-Bionomy, and trainer Carolyn Resnick’s at-liberty approach designed to appeal to a horse in the horse’s own “language,” thereby building trust and confidence in both horse and owner.

When I have a session like this, no matter how detached and emotionally clear I try to stay, it always pains me to have to sign off, knowing that things could go either way. Sometimes I get feedback later; sometimes I don’t. And horses like this filly, who are in a state of pain and mistrust, are dangerous animals who often end up being passed around and suffering more and more abuse due to lack of understanding.

I hope and pray in this case that this little girl gets the help she needs, and that her human companions won’t continue to write off her behavior as intentional aggression.

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Enhance Your Mental Faculties… and Maybe Your Psychic Powers Too!

The secret is the blood-brain barrier. Sounds like something out of a horror movie, but it’s really a great thing, as you will read below. But first, here’s my personal story about how my own mental faculties and psychic powers were enhanced–within about half an hour. Seriously.

Twenty years ago a friend introduced me to a form of blue-green algae called Aphanizomenon flosaquae (aka “AFA”) by giving me one single capsule of what’s called Omega Sun. Within 30 minutes my whole being responded. I felt like my vibratory frequency (yes, we all have one) had been raised about 100 notches, and my physical energy and mood had been enhanced equally. I felt indescribably happy, almost euphoric. It was also easier than I had ever experienced to “tune in” to the animals I talked to for clients, and to feel and receive other types of information psychically as well. Needless to say, I bought a bottle of Omega Sun and immediately signed up with Simplexity Health (then called Cell Tech) so that I could order more algae any time I wanted, wholesale, and share it with others as well.

So here’s why this amazing substance, especially in the form of Omega Sun, works so well in achieving this effect. And if you don’t want to read all the technical stuff, you can just skip to the last paragraph or two.

The blood-brain barrier is a protective network of blood vessels and cells that filters blood flowing to the brain, thereby shielding the central nervous system from contaminants. So it’s a good thing.

That said, this barrier can also have the effect of keeping out quite a few other things that might be beneficial to the brain, like nutrients in the form of less-than-perfect foods we all consume nowadays, to give just one example. Being the hungriest organ in the body, the brain voraciously desires the nutrients, but unfortunately the fillers or refined aspects of many foods prevent the good stuff from ever reaching it.

Enter Omega Sun.  Omega Sun is a form of blue-green algae known as Aphanizomenon flosaquae, acknowledged to be the oldest complete food on the planet. This particular form, Omega Sun, has had its cell wall removed so that its inner goodness can pass through the blood-brain barrier unimpeded.

I could go on and on about the properties and benefits of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, and how it provides just about every nutrient your body needs, in the form of a living, single-cell, raw food that is highly assimilablebut, in a nutshell:  it used to grow in many fresh water lakes on earth but now flourishes in only one remaining place in Oregon, Upper Klamath Lake, where it is fed by nothing but the sun and 35 feet of volcanic deposits on the bottom of the lake. Simplexity Health Inc., a 25+ year-old company, is dedicated to nothing more than safely harvesting and preserving this amazing food, and is responsible for making it available in several different forms.

Omega Sun is just one of Simplexity’s brainchildren, and is the one that can so easily pass the blood-brain barrier and feed your brain.

This is serious brain food, folks. Really.

So if you are feeling mentally foggy, like your head is stuffed with cotton, or you want to amp up your psychic reception, try Omega Sun. You can order it right HERE, right now. Oh, and also, it may help improve your spirits dramatically if you suffer from depression. I can’t swear to this because depression isn’t one of my monsters. (But hmmm, come to think of it, maybe that’s because I’ve been taking algae for 20 years now.) Anyway, sure is worth a try.

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Here are several more blogs about other forms of this wonderful algae and how it is suited to many other bodily needs, like digestion or arthritis…… and those of your animals as well:

Help for Those Winter Blahs, or… How to Stop Being a Couch Potato

Can Blue-Green Algae Make an Animal Smarter?

How to Get Health Insurance for $40 a Month– When You Can’t Get, Don’t Have, or Can’t Afford Health Insurance

Pound Puppies = Problem Poops

Blue-Green Algae: The Proof is in the Pudding… I Mean the Old Horse

How to Keep Your Chihuahuas & Chiweenies Happy, Healthy, & Wise

 

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Learn How to Talk to Animals – A Practical Guide for a Magical Journey

Yes! My book by that same name is finally up on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007BSOLWW! It should be in print on Amazon soon. AND, if you have a Kindle e-reader you can “borrow” it for free through Kindle’s new ADP Select program.

If you read it, will you please leave me a review? Here’s the book description:

Whether you aspire to be a professional animal communicator, want to talk to your own animals, or simply wish to understand animal communication better, this unique book is for you. Leta Worthington has distilled her 25 years of experience into an easy-to-read yet complete guide. Learn How to Talk to Animals answers commonly asked questions like: “What is animal communication?” and “How does it work?” You’ll find insights as to why opening the heart and learning to use the brain differently are important for ensuring success, and practical instruction for expanding your subtle awareness. Many other compelling topics, such as the dos and don’ts of animal communication, are covered as well, but if you’re eager to dive in you can skip to Part Two and start practicing with Leta’s step-by-step guidance. Verbatim case histories and fascinating true stories will spur your confidence and enthusiasm. This book is a one-stop-shop for anyone ready to experience the magical journey of talking to animals.

And stay tuned for my next book on animal afterlife and animal reincarnation. Thanks for visiting!

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How to Get Health Insurance for $40 a Month . . . When you Can’t Afford, Don’t Have, or Can’t Get Health Insurance!

“You have nothing if not your health.”

I don’t know who first said that, but you know just how true that is if you’ve ever had a chronic disease or ongoing pain. Quality of life is everything . . . and unfortunately having health insurance doesn’t ensure it. Only good health does.

If you could get health insurance for $40/mo., would you get it?

Of course you would. Even if it were a stretch, just cutting out a few cups of joe from your favorite gourmet coffee shop every month would cover this amount.

If you can’t get or can’t afford health insurance, you can ensure your good health by:

  • eating healthy food,
  • getting plenty of rest, and, of course,
  • never having any stress.

That’s the supposed formula. And maybe it used to work. But in present day circumstances, especially with the toxins in the environment and food we eat, this formula doesn’t really work any more.

What can you add to this picture that will ensure the best health possible and will improve your quality of life?

Super Blue-Green Algae. For $40 bucks a month. In a convenient one-month’s supply of one-a-day Simplexity “Essentials” packets.

Why Super Blue-Green Algae and not just a multi-vitamin? Because Super Blue-Green Algae is one of the few whole foods you can get these days that is wild-crafted, just as Nature created it, and is a complete organic nutrient in a highly digestible form.

The human body does a completely different thing with food in its natural state than with something man-made, even if from organic ingredients. It does not utilize a Vitamin C capsule like it does an orange. Period. So a vitamin pill is not going to change your health or your life. Super Blue-Green Algae can. Really!

You can read all about Super Blue-Green Algae Essentials HERE,  but the fastest way to get your $40/month health insurance is by going HERE and ordering a one-month supply, in convenient daily packets, of Super Blue-Green Algae, and seeing for yourself how this miraculous, natural food enhances your quality of life. Most people report a noticeable, positive increase in energy and well-being within the first thirty days, many much sooner.

There is a 90-day money-back guarantee on all Super Blue-Green products, so you have nothing to lose. $40 a month, really, can do far more for your health and for your quality of life than having an insurance policy.

Take the 90-day challenge and ensure your health! You’re worth it!

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Live abroad? Super Blue-Green Algae is available to some countries overseas now too. Go HERE for more information.

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Dry Eye Symptoms in Chihuahuas

Well . . . not pretty. Read:  eye infection.

That’s what happened to my precious Frida when I first got wind of the fact that she is a bit prone to the “dry-eye” symptoms that some Chihuahuas exhibit.

Frida - co-pilot of not only my car, but my heart.

Naturally, I was out of town. The first time ever since getting her as a pup, so it was my pet-sitters who had the dubious distinction of getting Frida through what was actually a pretty serious medical event. Three trips to the vet, three prescriptions, drops every two hours, and a week later, and Frida was doing okay and “out of the woods,” as they say, in terms of the safety of her right eye. On the other hand, having me leave her — she, who is glued to my right hip — plus being with new people, plus having to wear a Queen Anne’s collar so she couldn’t scratch her eye ………….. well, you can imagine. She was one sad little puppy.

Frida’s problem began with compications due to our high desert climate: namely wind and dust. Her eye became so dry and irritated that an infection was able to set in, and her eye quit producing tears.

But what I learned from this was that Chihuahuas are prone to dry-eye symptoms (or syndrome), so many of them may have this problem sooner or later. The message being:  Keep a close eye on your Chihuahua’s eyes!!

Fortunately, in our case, Frida recovered beautifully and does not have a chronic syndrome requiring daily eyedrops. I do monitor her eyes for tear production regularly, however, and would recommend doing the same if you have a Chihuahua. Also, I think one reason Frida fared so well through her eye trauma was due to the excellent nutrition she gets, the key factor being Super Blue Green Algae. Every day Frida gets a little raw meat plus high-grade kibble, but also probiotics and micro-nutrients all wrapped up into one — go here to check it out:

  formula.http://www.herbsandanimals.com/simplexityhealth/acidophilus.html

(Order as a “PC” and get a 20% wholesale discount. And actually, in Frida’s case, she splits her capsule with her buddy, Tucker, because she only weighs 5 lbs. so doesnt even need a full capsule! So if you have a small dog, this added “health insurance” is super affordable!)

Having a good balance of healthy flora in the system is known to be the first line of defense in fighting infection, so Frida’s little eye invaders didn’t stand a chance!

BUT! Taking even greater precautions, I ordered these goggles  which Frida now wears on our daily walk/runs (I walk, she runs). These definitely help keep out the wind and dust in those little low-to-the-ground eyes she has! All she needs now is an aviator cap, don’t you think?!

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To Geld or Not to Geld – That is the Question

At least it is the question for many horse owners and lovers. Lots of people will want to shoot me for this, but I think there is a case to be made for leaving an animal in tact. But it depends on many things: the breed, the situation, the animal’s health and genetic make-up, and more. Don’t get me wrong. Being as involved with the local animal shelter as I am, and seeing the huge numbers of unwanted dogs, cats, and horses that meet sad ends, I’m all for rounding them up and getting them all “fixed” and then adopted out into perfect homes.

But still, I think there IS a case to be made for the occasional exception.

Tornado (A movie star if I ever saw one!)

Take Tornado, “Nado” for short, a 13-year-old stallion I talked to recently because his owner was in a terrible quandary about whether to geld him or not. Nado is exceptional in many ways: strongly bred, highly intelligent, and extremely skilled — he was a movie star in his younger years and in fact starred in The Legend of Zorro. So, as horses go, Nado is an outstanding example of his species. Yet Mary, Nado’s owner, felt he might have a happier life if gelded, because his management wouldn’t have to be so strict.

Nado talked to me about many things and was highly aware, on what I call a soul level. Our session was detailed and lengthy, and he showed me many past life scenes as well. On the question at hand – gelding – he was adamant in his opinion: ABSOLUTELY NOT! At least not any time soon. And he was very specific and eloquent in his reasoning. I include a part of that conversation here, exactly as it came across, with full permission from Nado and Mary. Nado’s actual words are in quotes, other impressions he sent me are in parentheses:

(He takes his time. He is reflecting and shows me that there are so many nuances to this question, he is simply sorting out the most important aspects and how to put them.) “Well first, I am well acquainted with this practice in the equine industry, and I do understand it.” (He shows me there has been much unreliable and irresponsible breeding of his kind, which is a horrible affront to the species, and for this reason alone gelding can be justified.) “Given that trend, it is of utmost importance that those among us who DO have the proper understanding and genetics to improve the ‘race’ be allowed to do so. It is the only way to preserve the better aspects of the species.” (He shows me then that he has so much to offer, and how this can continue down into time if he is allowed to continue siring offspring.)

This is just a short clip from our conversation, but I think it brings across the integrity and depth of thinking and feeling that many of our animal friends are capable of. As for the outcome with Nado, we worked on possible lifestyle options that would offer Nado more fulfillment, and Mary is going to take things one step at a time. For now, she is honoring Nado’s choice to stay in tact.

I concur. And I’m sure my friend Christina Savitsky, a therapeutic riding instructor, does too, as she recently took one of Nado’s offspring, a 2-year-old mare, to train as her personal ranch and teaching horse, and she reports almost daily how amazing this little filly is!

Christina & "Tiki," Nado's Little Girl

So, still, I do think there is a case to be made, now and again, for allowing certain individuals among ALL species to procreate, not just us humans . . . who often do so as irresponsibly as a puppy mill.

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