5 Panel Test for Horses, Including the PSSM1 Test; Testing for PSSM2, PSSM Study, and PSSM Info:
While most of my blog is dedicated to Jax’s management and caring for outlying PSSM issues rather than the PSSM tests and more basic info (and honestly, gets way too technical at times!), I want this page to be a resource of information from professionals for simplifying and getting down to the basics – including PSSM testing.
Here you’ll find videos from Dr. Molly McCue, a podcast from the founder and lead scientist at Equiseq, PSSM testing and so much more to help you build your informational foundation. There’s also links for the University of Minnesota’s huge muscle disease study, links to testing, and some other practical information for those just getting started on this journey. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them on this post as they may be a huge help to others!
PSSM Testing options:
US – PSSM Test for Type 1:
- Breed Association – if your horse is registered, testing through that breed association will make sure your horse’s test results follow him/her through new owners, etc. All stock breed associates provide help in getting the 5 panel test for horses, which includes PSSM testing (for Type 1).
- Animal Genetics: http://www.animalgenetics.us – this is the company I used to test Jax.
- Etalon: https://www.etalondx.com/
US – PSSM Test for Type 2:
- Equiseq: http://equiseq.com/buy_pssm2
- Via biopsy through your veterinarian
PSSM Testing Abroad (that I know about lol):
- Center For Animal Genetics in Germany (tests for both types of PSSM in Europe): https://www.centerforanimalgenetics.com/
- Practical Genetics (Tests for type 1 in Australia): https://www.practicalhorsegenetics.com.au/
Information on the New Type 2 Genetic Tests:
Podcast: Come Along For The Ride: Paul Szauter EquiSeq PSSM1 and PSSM2
University of Minnesota PSSM Study
“Purpose: The purpose of this study is to provide a deeper understanding of the genetic and management factors influencing muscle disease in horses. Your help is essential in making this unparalleled study happen and in advancing equine muscle disease research. Overall, the results of this study will help to support veterinarians, researchers, and horse owners in developing treatment strategies for muscle disease in individual horses.”
I’ve enrolled both Jax and my older “control” horse into this myopathy / PSSM study. The more horses we get into this study, the more answers we’ll have as owners trying to help our horses! The study is looking into the new PSSM variants and environmental factors, so this should be really helpful for both the new testing and for finding appropriate management practices.
UMN posted four very informative videos on PSSM and horse muscle myopathy recently (all on Facebook) that I’ll share here. If you wanted all of the known information on PSSM, this is the place to get it!
UNFORTUNATELY, THESE VIDEOS HAVE BEEN REMOVED, BUT I’M NOT SURE WHY!
My notes of interest from these videos:
Video 2, around minute 17 – back pain and different muscle fibers (glycolytic vs. oxidative muscles – glycolytic muscles are more affected than oxidative muscles). The reason this caught my attention: Jax’s most persistent symptom is lumbar pain, even though most of his other symptoms are well managed.
Video 3, around minute 15 – RER is polygenic with possibly 700-800 genes contributing! The reason this caught my attention: It’s going to take a LONG time to find this many genes, and it’s quite possible they won’t be found in my lifetime. If they are found, what does this mean for breeding clean horses? Does this mean that we need to focus more on managing and learning to keep these horses as healthy as possible than we do on breeding clean horses?
Video 3, around minute 40 – MFM needs exercise over diet?! Fat and protein recommended but protein not researched yet. The reason this caught my attention: PSSM2 seems to need a lot of healing time, and rest is recommended. Higher protein and other dietary management strategies are often used by people on PSSM groups. I was surprised to learn from this video that MFM responds more to exercise than to diet!
Hopefully this helps, and gives a bit of guidance into what these disorders are, how to test for PSSM, and how to manage PSSM! My tips/tricks are great for horses that are similar to mine, but sometimes my tips and tricks aren’t enough (or the right tricks) for other PSSM horses. As always, good luck with your horses!