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PSSM1 is Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy - it is a dominant disease  Genetic Testing is Available

PSSM has many symptoms includung exercise intolerance, tying up, pain, stiffness, and tremors, and sweating profusely. Muscles are often damaged during episodes.  Some cannot stand after an episode and death can occur.  Many PSSM symptoms are confused for normal horse behavior - eg.s bucking, rolling, biting at the cinch, colic, stretching, camped out stance, Jekyll and Hyde personality.

Treatment starts with eliminating all sugar from the diet and progresses to adding other supplements, including fat. Regular exercise can help manage symptoms.

PSSM1 is seen in Quarter Horses, Paints, Appaloosas and crossbreds of these breeds, as well as Percherons, Belgian Drafts, Selle Francais, Trekpaard, Comtois, and Bretons

PSSM1 is one of the required tests in the 5 panel of tests required by all Quarter Horse breeding stallions.

Some horses that have been described as "hard to start", moody, grumpy, or "just need miles" suffer from PSSM.  Symptoms include weird things like flipping in cross ties, being "cinchy, rock hard tense muscles, mysterious lameness, hard to get on a certain lead, bucking when they lope, trouble standing for the farrier, and many other strange symptoms including the major one - tying up - that many horses experience at one time or another, but the PSSM horse is plagued by them. 

Genetic Testing is Available

  • How and Where can I test for it?     PSSM1 is very easy to test for and you can do it yourself.  It involves pulling hair (for detailed instructions click here) and sending the hair sample to a lab that tests for it.  If you have a reg AQHA or APHA horse you are intending to breed at some point it is recommended to test through those particular breed registries so that their results will be recorded in your horses file at the registry.  For Stallions AQHA requires a 5 panel test before any foals can be registered and they only recognize tests done through their preferred lab.

    You can test for PSSM1 through animalgenetics.com

    BRIDGE has a pretty good success rate with analysing PSSM1 in pedigrees.  There is still the odd horse that tests Positive and comes as a surprise but these are very few and hopefully get fewer the more info we get entered. 

BRIDGE is trying to shed light on these bloodlines by asking anyone with a PSSM positive horse to send their info to BRIDGE (email: foals@manitobahorse.com) or contact us through facebook so we can add the bloodlines to our database to help show a clear picture of which horses have the bloodlines which are carrying this.  If you prefer to have your info kept private you can still send it to us and we will keep it in our Private Database and use it for research otherwise it will go into the online database available to registered members.

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