PSSM Symptoms- Camping Out

Camping out a symptom that seems to be almost unique to horses with PSSM & MFM but what exactly is camping out, and what causes it?

What Is Camping Out?

Camping out is the action of the horse standing in the pee position for long periods of time, more often than not the horse won’t usually urinate.

What Does Camping Out Look Like?

Horses who camp out will stand with their legs spread far apart from each other, their backs will be dipped like an upside-down arch, they may also yawn, and have their ears back. Once the horse is stood in the camping out position they will stand like this for some time.

Draught horse with PSSM2 in the camping out position

Why Do PSSM Horses Camp Out?

It is not known why PSSM horses camp out, but we have a theory. Anyone who does yoga or pilates will know about 2 positions called the cat & the downward dog.

Both the cat and the downward dog are stretching positions, they offer some relief after doing tricky yoga moves and help to stretch out the muscles.

We think in PSSM horses it is exactly the same! The camping out position offers a similar effect to these two yoga positions, it stretches the muscles, dips the back, and provides horses with some sort of relief from soreness and tightness.

This theory would also explain why horses who camp out spend so long in this position.

Can a horse pee and camp out?

Yes, some horses will pee, and then camp out afterwards for long periods of time. But more often than not horses will camp out without actually peeing at all.

What Is The Difference Between Peeing And Camping Out?

If the horse is just peeing they won’t stay in the camping out position for any longer than 5 minutes

What Can We Do To Relieve Camping Out In PSSM Horses?

If your horse has tight muscles while camping out then Robaxin given by a vet can provide some short-term relief.

But the main way to relieve camping out in PSSM & MFM horses is to get the horse’s symptoms managed through correct diet, exercise, rugging, and routine.

For more information on PSSM symptoms & Camping Out check out our YouTube video with examples of affected PSSM horses by clicking this link