We like to alert practitioners that there has been extremely high prevalence of equine atypical myopathy this autumn. During October an unusually high number of cases has been observed in southern England and throughout northern Europe. This condition affects individual and groups of horses at pasture and has a high mortality rate. Young horses in poor to normal bodily condition are particularly prone to the condition and risk factors include cold, damp, frost-free weather and pastures with poor natural drainage and vegetation of low nutritional value. Affected horses have discoloured brown urine and are stiff and weak progressing to recumbency. In its early stages, the condition can be confused with colic or laminitis. Serum activities of creatine kinase and aspartate transaminase and urine myoglobin concentrations are extremely increased. Intensive supportive care is indicated.
For more information on preventative measures, and to report suspected cases, please go to www.myopathieatypique.be.
Dominique Votion & Gaby van Galen
Atypical Myopathy Alert Group; Liege University, Belgium
Celia M Marr
Rossdales Equine Hospital, Newmarket, Suffolk.
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