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Learn About PSSM

Learn About PSSM

Learn About PSSM

Visual Symptoms
  •        fr-FR            English (UK)

We are currently working on software updates and it will be going on for the months of September and October.  Hopefully when we are done the site will be better, faster and give more info in a clearer manner.  If you notice anything not working please contact me and give me detailed info of the problems you are having.


We have had IMM listed in our list of Genetic Issues under "Other Genetic Issues" for a while now but thought since the recent release of a readily available "For Purchase" test has brought a lot more notice to this disease we would publish an article on it.

Have you ever had a horse that lost a drastic amount of weight in a very short time?  Was it just after you vaccinated it or it came down with Strangles?  Good chance the horse had a mutated gene which caused that issue.

IMM stands for Immune-mediated myositis - it is a dominant disease and you can have a genetic test done on your horse to see if it carries a copy of the mutated gene.  Even though it is dominant (meaning it only needs one copy to show symptoms) many horses that have this mutation never show any signs.  That is because it seems to need a trigger.  Right now known triggers are Strangles and certain vaccines.

An IMM  horse having an attack will rapidly lose muscle along the backbone - to the pont where you can see the skeleton.   This happens within 2 days to 2 weeks,  It is treatable with Corticosteroids - and should be treated ASAP.  Once treated, horses can usually come back to their original weight within a few months.  

So far, the IMM MYH1-E321G variant has only been found in Quarter Horses, but it seem to be fairly widespread in the cutting and reining lines.

IF you own a horse that fits the description above (rapid muscle loss after an infection or vaccination, especially over the back and hind end muscles) seek help from a veterinarian.

BRIDGEquine would also be interested in your horses pedigree so please contact us.  If you have questions you can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Just put IMM somewhere in the Subject line.

Our Previous Policy was to not publish any PSSM positive horses younger than 20 years of age unless we had the owners permission - this has changed. 

As of April 1st, 2019 we are transitioning into Publishing all PSSM results on all Quarter horses in the Members online database as AQHA has now made those results accessible to the public anyway.  We will also be publishing all PSSM 2 results that are on the equiseq website under public horses.  Our Policy does remain the same that if you do not want your horses information in the Members online database you just need to send us a polite message requesting your results remain private.  Since the inception of our database we have been dealt with the issue of trying to make sure no horses were published that the owners wanted to remain private but in doing so there are thousands of horses that the owners really dont care if their info is published, we just cant contact everyone.  So in light of the fact that the information is available anyway we will now be releasing many more horses into the online database.  Again, if you do not want your horse there, just let us know.  All previous horses who's owners have requested privacy for will not be released.

With the info readily available from AQHA we now have a lot more 5 panel stats on a lot more stallions in the database making it easier to try to track where PSSM has come from on horses who were never tested, and also making it easier for those who want to use nn stallions to check their status.

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BRIDGEquine is offering some incentives for purchasing Memberships this year!

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Use the code FORLIFE to get 15% off when you purchase a LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP between now and December 24th, 2018


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Purchase a One Year Membership for yourself and get one for a friend for 1/2 Price until December 24th, 2018
Just Purchase a One Year Membership and then send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your wish to purchase a Membership for a friend.
We will get your details and send you a PayPal invoice to pay for your friend's Gift.
Regular Membership is $30/Year

This is a great gift for your horse friends for $15.00.

This offer is open to all who have purchased a One YEar Membership in 2018 - Just email us and you can purchase a $15.00 Membership for a friend.

Gina Gomez Kindscher·Thursday, June 14, 2018
    Over the last few years I have been helping lots of people sort through the enormous amount of information on diet and management of a PSSM horse. Normally when I am helping someone I take a complete history of the horse, its diet, history of tests performed, examine hooves, exercise and management. I have learned that there are some common mistakes being made and perhaps having a list of them might help some new people getting started. I made many of these mistakes myself and had to learn the hard way. Everyone wants to help their horse and we all do the best we can at any given time with the information we have available. There is no consistent information, many vets are not helpful as they continue to put horses on a type 1 diet or even worse recommend the most offensive feeds for any horse. The next time a vet recommends a feed, ask them what is in it and why they recommend it. If they can tell you the ingredients and why it will help your horse then maybe he/she might of actually done some research on that feed, but most could not tell you.

Mistake #1- Feeding several supplements that have the same ingredients, for instance feeding two ration balancers. If you are feeding a complete feed then you cannot add a complete vitamin and mineral supplement. Or if you have a complete feed and it has 1,000 IU of E, make sure you count that toward the total E you plan on giving. I see a lot of people giving huge amounts of a certain nutrient with no knowledge that they are even feeding any. Please become a label reader!

Mistake #2-  If the diet you are feeding is completely wrong and causing your horse to tie up, remove immediately. There is no need to taper down on something that is causing illness in your horse. Many people have a hard time letting go of feeding grain, your horse might need weight, but they don’t need grains to accomplish that.

Mistake #3- When adding new things to the diet starting too fast and adding too many things. If the horse starts to do well or starts to get worse, there is no way of knowing what might have been the problem. Like for instance oil for a type 1, you might end up needing 2 cups per day, but don’t start with 2 cups, might only start with 1/4 cup. There are many triggers that will cause an episode in your horse, just because you started a new supplement 2 days ago and now they are in episode does not mean it’s the supplement. It could be weather change which is a huge trigger, stressful event such as new shoes put on, vaccinations, and dentistry. I recommend making changes during a time when they are at their best and you know there is nothing in the immediate future that could set them off. Of course this will not always be possible, but it’s a good idea if you can.

Mistake #4 – Moving too quickly through changes. Many people get excited if the horse has gone 1-2 weeks with no issues. I would consider a horse more stable after going 4-6 months with no issues. So being patient and letting the body adjust to one change. The waiting is agonizing and sometimes you might have to stop what you are trying. But I always tried at least 2 more times when I failed the first time because of all the other factors that I don’t get to control.

Mistake #5 – Believing manufacturers when they say a feed is low starch or low sugar. PSSM horses do best on a low NSC feed, (non structural carbohydrate) for type 1 around 10% and for type 2 can go a little higher. You have to add starch and sugar to get NSC values. So a feed Mfg. will say low starch which may be true but they did not add the sugar. If a feed is low NSC it will most the time be proud of that fact and list it on the label. A feed without guaranteed analysis is not a feed I would want to use. Again look at ingredients, if first things listed are oats, barley, wheat, rice brans then it’s a high sugar feed. Please note that almost all feeds these days have soy. I ask over and over again does your horse eat soy and I get the answer NO, but they tell me the feed and it’s a soy based feed.

Mistake #6 – Believing that all fats are created equal. Fat is fat when it comes to calories and the ability to be used for energy. But some like rice bran are high in sugars and that might not work for your horse. Then something like chia seeds have many health benefits which to me makes more sense to use then say corn oil. Please refer to the “Fats and Oils” article in the files section on the facebook group listed at the bottom of this article.

Mistake #7 – For a horse diagnosed with type 2 which would include P2,P3,P4, P5. Feeding too much protein when there is no muscle weakness or muscle loss. Type 2 is adult onset disease. If a diagnosis was made prior to the onset of any real symptoms then adding lots and lots of protein and amino acids is not necessarily the right answer. All horses need a balanced diet that would include the 3 limiting amino acids, however adding any more should be done slowly over time and only as needed. So if you were already feeding and alfalfa and grass hay diet and your horse is doing well, might not need to make any change whatsoever. But being aware that any trauma or illness might cause some muscle loss is very helpful.

Article Written by Gina Gomez Kindscher
If you need help with your PSSM horse please join Gina's facebook page:
Managing PSSM, RER and other muscle disease.
Become A BRIDGEquine Member today!    Click Here

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