Some of you may have seen my other thread about my mare tying up and being diagnosed with PSSM type 1 (P/N)
I have been doing a lot of research about what to feed, how to exercise. etc - lots of info out there... too much, its overwhelming!
I started her out on a simple low carb, high fat diet with added supplements... I had her on meadow grass hay, grass hay pellets, corn oil, vitamin E, and a product called Tie-by which has other important ingredients like Selenium, magnesium, DMG, etc. My vet only said I only needed to feed her the hay, grass or alfalfa pellets and corn oil (he has 2 PSSM horses and rides endurance).
Well this diet didn't seem to do anything for her - she was sluggish, grumpy and overall just not her normal happy self.
So, I talked to a friend who knows a good deal about horses tying up but not necessarily about feeding a PSSM horse... so I took the parts of his suggested diet that made sense for my mare and did further research.
What I feel has made the most dramatic improvement in my horse is decreasing the oil (and changing it to Flax instead of corn oil) and adding in Acetyl-L-Carnitine. The very first day I gave her the Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCar) she was more herself, had more energy, looked bright and alert! She has been on the new diet with the ALCar for about a week and a half now and she seems to be doing really well.
Has anyone else here used ALCar with their horse? What results did or didn't you see?
I have been walking her for about 10 minutes per day this week (after I saw her feeling more normal) and have started walking her over ground poles now as well. We went for a little 10 minute ride yesterday and even did a couple minutes of gaiting. I plan to take her on our first trail ride (maybe 20 minutes long depending on how the ride starts) tomorrow - will be the first trail ride in over 2 months!
Here is a blurb from one of the many articles I have read on ALCar: (from: http://austhorse.com/epsm-alternative-approach/)
Dr Eleanor Kellon VMD, an equine nutrition specialist recommends a different approach ďIíve lost track of how many horses suspected to have PSSM/EPSM and put on high fat diets end up with me because they get insulin resistance and laminitic. We donít know the safe dose of fat for an insulin resistant horse, but we sure donít want to be feeding as much fat as is already known to induce insulin resistance in a normal horse!Ē
Her approach is to limit carbohydrates and supplement with L-carnitine to assist in getting fat from body stores into the mitochondria, in conjunction with regular exercise and a mineral balanced diet. L-carnitine is a type of amino acid, necessary for moving long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria to be burned. Studies have shown that availability of free carnitine in the muscle cell influences the relative rate of burning of fat or carbohydrate. Even normal horses in training benefit from L-carnitine supplementation, showing higher metabolic efficiency during exercise. With L-carnitine supplementation, itís been possible to greatly reduce or eliminate high fat feeding, with better results. Inside the body, L-carnitine exists either in the free, L-carnitine, form or as acetyl-L-carnitine. More recently, Dr. Kellon has been using the acetyl-L-carnitine form because a laboratory study has found acetyl-L-carnitine can turn on a pivotal enzyme which directs glucose into the mitochondria to be burned rather than into pathways that produce glycogen.
Dr. Kellon says, ďUntil we know more details of the biochemistry of EPSM/PSSM, itís important to treat each case as an individual. How a horse responds to treatment depends both on the disorder and other underlying features of their metabolism. Some horses respond quite well to the high fat diet, others relapse or have a partial response. Some have complications. The L-carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine has helped many horses improve further.Ē