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EQUINE DISEASE :
Myopathy

Myopathy Equine Disease

EQUINE DISEASE:  MYOPATHY
The name Myopathy is a combination  of ‘Myo’ = muscle and ‘Pathy’ = disease. 
Myopathy is a general disease which is not just associated with equines diseases.  Equine Myopathy occurs when muscle fibres fail to function correctly for any number of reasons.  Failure of the muscle fibres to work causes muscle weakness.  This indicates that the primary defect has originated in the muscle as opposed to the nerves in which case it would be Neuropathy for example. Muscle cramps, stiffness, and spasm can also be associated with equine Myopathy.  Therefore muscular disease can be classified as musculoskeletal or neuromuscular.

SYMPTOMS OF THE EQUINE DISEASE MYOPATHY

  • Muscle cramps
  • Stiffness
  • Spasm
  • Weakness 

CAUSES OF EQUINE MYOPATHY
There are a couple of different types of equine myopathy:
- PSSM Myopathy:  Polysaccharide storage myopathy is commonly seen in some horse breeds and is a very serious incurable disease. This form of the disease seems to affect different breeds in various ways with the Thoroughbred being least affected. Myopathy is an equine disease in which there is a large area of study.   To date, it has been revealed that the overproduction of glycogen (rather than a decrease in glycogen utilization or excessive glucose uptake by muscle cells) is considered to be the underlying cause of equine myopathy.
- Exertional Myopathy: (aka: Tying Up) is a common cause of poor performance in horses. These muscle disorders can range in severity from mild muscle cramping and strain to damaged muscles (Exertional Rhabdomyolysis).
Causes of Exertional Myopathy:

  • Excess carbohydrate
  • Low Vitamin E
  • Low Selenium

Symptoms of Exertional Myopathy:

  • Reluctance to move
  • Exhaustion
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dehydration
  • Collapse

Treatment of Exertional Myopathy:  Treatment of the disease can be drastically reduced, or even eliminated, by implementing a proper exercise and nutrition programme.

TREATMENT OF EQUINE MYOPATHY
Different myopathies are caused by different pathways, therefore it is not easy to pinpoint one single treatment.  There are a range of different treatments to treat the various types of myopathies.  The following are suggested treatments:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Drug therapy
  • Surgery
  • Acupuncture


 

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