Wednesday, January 07, 2009

False Colic in QH w/DSLD - ESPA

The quote below comes from the a post in this thread on Horsetopia. Interesting observation from the vet (last sentence). Note that the vet didn't associate the colic/internal organs dying off as part of DSLD-ESPA.
my gelding (quarter horse) who I put down almost exactly one year ago. He was diagnosed with DSLD about 7 months before he died. Notice his low rear fetlocks. He had been having hard to identify hind end lameness, and back pain when the vet diagnosed him. We stopped ridding, put on corrective shoes and made him comfortable. He started laying down a lot and had a hard time keeping on weight. Just 4 week after I bought a new horse to ride, my gelding presented with colic. No impaction, no gas bubble, but it sure looked like colic. After 48hrs 4 vet calls (two tubings), fluids, blood work and no improvement it was obvious he was dying. The vet said they suspected it was some sort of organ failure, not colic.
Obviously, we need more education regarding DSLD-ESPA. False colic is but one of the myriad of symptoms we see as the horse breaks down. It bears repeating. DSLD-ESPA is a systemic connective tissue disease that can affect the legs, but it is NOT a leg disease. Breakdown of the suspensory ligaments is an outward symptom of the chaos that starts in many parts of the animal's connective tissues and progresses through acute degeneration and phases of relative stability. Necropsy results have shown that horses are affected in tendons, ligaments, eyes, aorta, internal organs, and skin.

Although we see nothing wrong on the outside, the horse is being attacked through many areas of it's system. For example, when a horse's skin hurts because the fascia is in an acute phase and they pull away from touch, we may think they're just cranky, when their lungs are in crisis, we think it's allergies, when their gut hurts from acute phase of the organ linings, we think they have colic, etc., etc.