Duke's Amazing StemEquine Story

DukeDuke is one of our Blue Star favorites, not that we like to really choose favorites. Having witnessed his struggle and subsequent recovery on the StemEquine supplement we are deeply gratified that we were able to help him along to his next chapter of his life. He is a happy horse with a loving happy family and 3 other adopted Blue Star Alums. Dukes story is wonderful and inspiring...especially for folks struggling with their horses hind end issues.

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Clinical Trials Summary - 6/11 - 8/11 - Duke

Blue Star Equiculture Horses Clinical Exam Results as of 8-26-11: By Dr Stephen Purdy
Gait Examination:
All horses were walked and trotted in hand in a straight line to observe for lameness, impulsion, and coordination. All horses were also evaluated turning in a tight circle in hand in both directions. Video of all loco motor testing was recorded and still pictures were taken of Huey’s feet, which had chronic infections of the sole and frog and canker in both at the start of the trial and of Peg’s left hind leg metatarsal bone which had chronic infection.

Duke- 8 years old, 2000# Belgian Gelding. Duke was used as a competitive pulling horse and was not as successful as the owners had hoped for. He has been diagnosed with Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy[1] or EPSM (never confirmed by diagnostic testing) which affects up to 2/3 of all draft and draft cross breeds of horses. It results in muscle wasting and locomotor abnormalities such as shivers. It is difficult for him to back up or turn on his haunches to the right. When trotted out he appeared normal but when walking his shivers is apparent in his right hind. When circled to the left he is normal. Duke has had severe shivers in his right hind leg. It was noted after 4 weeks that he does not show these abnormal signs in the right hind leg when circled to the right and he had done that for many months. He continued to improve over the two-month study period. He had an old scar on his dorsal aspect of his right hind leg, which during the third week increased in size under the scar. It was firm and not painful. The swelling decreased over two weeks and it is back to just having a skin scar. This was most likely a traumatic injury. We would like to continue him in trail and would work him one hour after treatment as you suggested, to see if more StemEquine would help with the chronic lameness issues.

Duke's Story

Duke is a roan Belgian gelding. He belonged to some competitive horse pullers who found out that he really wasn't cut out for the task. He would become nervous and upset in a pulling situation. It was felt that he would be better off doing something less stressful, so he was sold to an Amish farmer as a work horse.

Duke's "problem," though, seems to have been that he was sensitive and didn't understand everything that was being asked of him. His worrying caused him to suffer greatly, and he lost lots of weight, which didn't make things any easier on him. Only a few months later, his former owner stopped by to see how he was doing. She was shocked at Duke's condition and offered to buy him back. The Amish farmer, convinced that Duke would never be a good farm horse either, gladly accepted.

The only problem was that there really wasn't room for Duke at his owner's farm. Other horses had moved in when he had left. He regained his weight, but his trust was gone. That's when his owner turned to Blue Star for help. She had read about how we had helped another competitive pulling horse, Tom Too, and wondered if we could help Duke, as we clearly had the patience to take as long as Duke needed.

When Duke arrived, he was as big and beautiful as Pepper or Tom Too or any of our Belgians, but it was clear that he was emotionally withdrawn. He was sometimes hard to catch, and whereas the other horses' reaction is to come to any person who approaches them, Duke remained very wary. Soon, though, with regular handling and attention (all Blue Star horses are handled AT LEAST twice a day), Duke began to relax around people. With friendly scratching and grooming, he REALLY began to come around - Duke LOVES having the inside of his back legs scratched! (This is probably because of his shivers and string halt... his hind legs are often very tight and he enjoys massages on his back end.


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