Friday, April 01, 2011

I finally talked to my vet today. I wasn't expecting the test for food sensitivities/allergies to come up with anything, but it did. Tonka can't have corn, rice, or beet. I don't purposefully feed him anything with corn in it, but I find it is in his vitamins. There is rice in his probiotic. I have been feeding rice bran for the last few weeks, trying to make his food palatable for him. And he's been eating beet pulp (which he's only marginally sensitive to) for years.

So I have hope! If I cut all of these things out of his diet maybe he'll feel better. I guess it could take a couple months before it makes a difference though. It's comparable to a person with a gluten intolerance or celiac's disease, which causes cramping, diarrhea, and nausea. (I wonder if horses can't get nausea since they can't throw up?)

I also started a new treatment for the EPSM today. Instead of feeding huge amounts of fat to try to make his body burn fat, while cutting way back on starches and carbs, he will be given no extra fat (just some flax seed meal) and I have added acetyl L-carnitine. It's supposed to keep the starch burning "switch" turned on, so that he doesn't store the starches as glycogen, which is what causes his muscle trouble. I have high hopes. This particular regimen has been known to cause marked improvement in just 3 days. I also need to add a couple other things, one of which is in the mail and the other I've had to email to find out if there are any fillers that Tonka can't have. I need change his vitamin/mineral supplement too, because of the corn in HorseGuard. I don't know if I'll be able to find something without corn or rice. I wonder how much a custom supplement would cost. (cringe)

The weather is quite nice today - no moisture falling from the sky - so I'm going to go saddle Scout up and ride.


Lea and her Mustangs said...

Well it could be way worse. Hope he comes around with his new diet. Sure was good to see you yesterday.

Linda said...

It was raining here, but now it's not. Maybe I can get for a while, too. Hope all this info helps to fix Tonka boy!

froglander said...

Cool! Good to hear you've gotten some news you can do something about.

Have you considered any of the SmartPak vitamins? I don't /think/ I saw corn or rice on the ingredient list here

I hope he's feeling better :)

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Lea, It was good to see you too! I really enjoy our meetings.

Linda, I hope you got some nice weather and got to ride!

Kristi, It looks like their site is down right now but I'll check your link again later. I've been browsing SmartPak for the vitamin e and magnesium supplements he needs, but they all have corn or rice. I haven't checked for an all-around supplement yet.

Keechy said...

Wow, who'd have thought he'd be allergic to the very things most people turn to if their horse has problems with sugars or grains? What a quandary!

At least it explains the tummy aches, and means surgery will hopefully not be needed, so that makes it good news as long as you can find a way to manage his needs.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I wonder if he developed the sensitivity to beet pulp because he's been eating it for so long. Other than that, I could totally live without corn or rice, if only they didn't use it as a filler in so many things.

Tonight he happily ate his vitamin E and acetyl L-carnitine with just soaked alfalfa pellets and some ground flax. Which is really nice after he's been refusing to eat his oil-laden feed. So I have high hopes we won't miss the beet pulp at all. I'm pretty sure I could add some plain old oats if I had to, but hopefully he'll continue to be happy with just alfalfa pellets (and hopefully there's no hidden corn in there).