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Category: Other Animals

Seasonal Pasture Myopathy in Horses
October 21, 2011 (published)
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Study Start Date: 09/01/2011
Study End Date: 09/01/2013

Study Title.
The University of Minnesota is asking veterinarians for help in studying a growing disease in the United States and Canada, seasonal pasture myopathy (SPM). A horse with SPM will be found on pasture with profuse sweating, muscle fasciculation, weakness, myoglobinuria and reluctance to move. This can progress to dyspnea, recumbency, and ultimately death after 12-72 hours in about 90% of cases. Our goal is to work with veterinarians and horse owners to identify which horses are at risk and to find the best diagnostic test for this condition. We are offering free diagnostic testing for suspect cases of SPM and detailed information on SPM at our website ( Dr. Valberg will work with veterinarians to select cases likely to have SPM and for these cases serum, urine and/or fresh muscle samples will be analyzed for indicators of SPM. Diagnostic results will be available within 14 days. Owners of horses affected by SPM will be required to complete an online survey that describes their pastures. No one knows yet what causes SPM which closely resembles atypical myopathy (AM) in Europe. Owners of European horses with possible AM are directed to contact the European research team ( We welcome participation of North American cases and are very grateful for your help to determine how best to diagnose and prevent this highly fatal disease.

Study Design:
Owners will identify a farm near their farm where horses are unaffected

Study Endpoints:
Not applicable

Serum and/or urine kept refrigerated or frozen
Fresh muscle wrapped in damp (with saline) gauze and kept refrigerated or on icepacks

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Full Disclosure information:

  • The study is funded by an intramural grant.
  • The investigator does not have a conflict of interest.
  • The study will be published if results are negative

Date published: 10/19/2011

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