This past year my Hanovarian dressage horse, Dilarra (7.5 years old, by Don Principe out of Weltanna (Weltmeyer/Matcho)), was diagnosed with PSSM2/MFM, a genetic muscular condition where there are issues with an enzyme in the muscle that can cause discomfort, pain, itching, and muscle activity issues that in some horses (if untreated) can cause major mobility, behavior, pain, and health issues. This condition is believed to be genetic/heredity, although the specific gene markers are still being researched. It is believed by some that it could be found quite frequently though of varying impact and severity, perhaps up to 25-30% of some warmblood bloodlines.
The good news is that there are now enzyme replacement supplements available, and therapeutic diet recommendations that help horses stay healthy and perform to their true potential. I was fortunate to have figured this out very early in Dilarra’s life, and she is doing extremely well with those treatments. The ProSeries 3 in 1 therapy blanket has proven to be a valuable tool in addition to help keep her muscles in top shape and comfortable. While Dilarra did not have the muscle biopsy for a definitive diagnosis, trial & error with her diet and now receiving the MFM pellets from Kentucky Equine Research (KER) show dramatic improvement in her condition.
Dilarra’s half brother, Belletanno (sire Bugatti Hilltop out of the same mare, Weltanna) was definitely diagnosed with moderate MFM via a muscle biopsy taken at Michigan State University by Dr. Valberg.