We interrupt our set of Mark Rashid clinic posts for a Pie update. It's almost two weeks since his muscle soreness/foot soreness/tying up episode. He was negative for the most common version of PSSM, and his thyroid and insulin levels look just fine. He clearly did have some sensitivity to our lush grass - it's been a perfect storm of lots of rain, cool nighttime temperatures and warm days - and he may also have had some heat stress on the day he tied up. He's now walking well on all surfaces, even gravel, and his feet are cool and the digital pulses are gone. The last area where he was a bit tense and sore - the long muscles next to his spine - are now relaxed and soft. He appears to be completely back to normal.
We're going to continue him on the magnesium/chromium supplement twice a day, and he will continue to get electrolytes once a day. He's going to stay off the pastures until we get enough heat to dry up the grass a bit and slow its growth - mid summer sometime - and then we'll reintroduce him to the grass very slowly. Until then, he'll get his nighttime dry lot turnout and will gradually be exposed to the small amount of grass in the Drift paddock - starting with about 1/2 hour and slowly adding time until he can be in there 24/7. I'm also hoping that Drift can join him in there at night. I'll give Drift a couple more days to eat down the growth that occurred while we were at the clinic. During that interval, Pie will gradually go back to work - we took a short hand walk today and then I'll start riding him, gradually increasing his work but watching very closely for any signs of trouble - Pie is such a stoic that I'll really have to pay attention. His digital pulses will be checked frequently. I'm also planning to have a truckload of pea gravel delivered for the lower end of the paddock - it's very good for hoof health for a horse to move on surfaces with different textures.
I'm very happy that he's doing so well - I was glad to see my Pie when I got back from the clinic. If he ever has another episode of tying up - and he might well never have another - we'll do a muscle biopsy to check for the possible causes of his problem. But for now, Pie's back in action!
And here's a lovely picture of Maisie enjoying retirement down at Paradigm Farms in Tennessee - thanks, Melissa!