Alamo Pintado Suspensory Ligament Desmitis Report
LOL ..."cussed and discussed". Indeed it has. Unfortunately, it becomes highly irrelevant to the owner of an affected horse. I believe it's high time people quit looking at this as a breed problem and start looking at it as an equine problem!
Note that the article reproduced above is titled "Suspensory Ligament Desmitis" - which is not the same as the disease commonly known as "DSLD" (for *Degenerative* Suspensory Ligament Desmitis - more recently renamed ESPA for Equine Systemic Proteoglycan Accumulation).
DSLD/ESPA is a devastating disease. In my opinion all horse owners should be as informed as possible about it. There are very few breeds in which it has not been seen. Rates of incidence in any breed matters little when one's own beloved horse is suffering with this.
I urge everyone to recognize that the disease is the enemy. Let's spend our efforts in a positive way to defeat the disease itself, rather than to quibble about percentages and incidences in this breed or that.
In response to the above article, I would like to agree with Alamo Pintado that yes indeed there are some horses in the Peruvian Paso breed that suffer from suspensory injuries that have nothing to do with degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis and I also agree that there are many strong Peruvian Paso horses within the breed. However, it is a proven fact that DSLD does exist. It exists in a number of breeds such as Arabs, QH, Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and some warmblood breeds.
There have been papers properly presented before such institutions as the American Assn of Equine Practitioners and also published in Equus Magazine, a highly respected publication. At the present moment research is being conducted of a highly scientific nature to search for a possible genetic marker for DSLD. Dr Gus Cothran is working diligently at Texas A & M to search for such a marker that would help all breeders make conscious decisions to not breed affected animals. At the University of Georgia Dr Y. Halper is currently working on the systemic affects of DSLD. To say that no scientific work has been done in the field of DSLD is untrue. Dr J. Mero conducted a 20 horse study in the field with conclusive ultrasound work showing that in every horse in the study there were consistent tears and fluid filled holes in the suspensories as opposed to horses used in the study showing no such tears or fluid filled holes. This helped her to conclude that those horses showing there were such dramatic influences on their suspensories were indeed suffering from what we now know as DSLD. The protocol she developed from her findings helps verterinarians be able to diagnose (note I said 'diagnose") affected horses, not the why or how or what of DSLD, only that it exists at the time of ultrasound.
So, although there are many thoughts floating around about whether or not the Peruvian Paso horse is strong let us make one thing clear....it is most definitely a strong horse. However it tends to suffer from this mysterious degenerative disease, it does not make it good or bad or indifferent from other breeds, it simply means it suffers or appears to suffer more in proportion to other breeds this disabling disease. It is my opinion that DSLD is not brought on by hard or bad training, overwork, or overweight,..it is simply a disease that will or will not manifest itself due to reasons we do not yet understand. When one is confronted by something one does not have an answer for, one is inclined to clutch at the proverbial straw.
In conclusion, although Alamo Pintado may feel in the course of it's practice it has not come across this disease in the number of Peruvian Paso horses it has treated in relation to other breeds it does NOT mean that DSLD does not exist in the Peruvian Paso breed. It does. Therefore it would be indicative for all owners of horses no matter what the breed to educate themselves from every perspective and all material present to help them make a conclusive decision as to how they would breed affected animals.
If breeders would take the time to thoroughly study the bloodlines of animals they have known truely or falsely to be affected by DSLD, to know the signs and symptoms of DSLD and then not breed an affected animal to an affected animal, surely the breed would slowly rise above the scourge of DSLD. And as time progresses science will be able to put the definitive cap on this disease such as the QH breed did with HYPE and from that day onward the PP breed will be able to eliminate DSLD altogether.
Human beings were not born with the long neck of the ostrich and must not therefore, continually try to hide their heads in the sand, it will not work. The only way to understand and eliminate DSLD from all breeds is to face it head on, contribute to the research, be responsible in breeding non affected horses and keep a level head and an open mind in all things pertaining to DSLD. If all PP horse owners who love the breed would keep an open mind and realise that there is no shame connected to owning a horse that may or may not have this disease. It is not the horses fault, it is not the owners fault. It is a quirk of nature. Therefore, it would behoove us all to keep a calm head and realise that continually contradicting anyones oppinion or anyones knowledge is nothing but counterproductive.
These thoughts are my own, they are not meant to be disrespectful to anyone, nor to inflame passions one way or the other as to thoughts or feelings regarding this monumental problem that faces so many horse owners. Please respect the right to express one's opinion.
I wanted to reassure you that my own horse has DSLD. It has been noted and a sad state that my horse while after being diagnosied and while on stall rest was actually worse after 1 month of rest! I understand the sad affects of DSLD not only on the horse, but on the human. Although my horse has had PRP and is doing well, it is in the back of my mind to remember that this is a disease.
The reason for posting this article was because I have read numerous articles stating that PP's were "prone' to DSLD, etc. I was so tired of reading it, but when I found this article online, I wanted to share it with everyone! :) I wanted it to be known that PP's are still a very strong horse in many ways and that other horses are also subject to DSLD.
I love the input that eveyone has stated here because it all so true. Us DSLD horse owners must stick together, but to remember that our horses are strong beings and there are a variety of things we can do to help ease the pain and increase their chance of having a "normal" horse life.
I hope you all enjoy the artice and see it the way I have seen it as being hopeful. I do hope and pray that their is a cure for this horrible disease.