When your horse has Equine Azoturia or Ty-up it means his or her muscles have seized up. It is a bit like an athlete getting cramp because they have not warmed up enough except in horse it is usually a lot more serious as it can cause very serious muscle damage and even death. If you suspect the condition in your horse call your vet immediately
Signs of Azoturia
- Sweating more than normal,Stiffness and reluctance to move
- A rolling action of hindquarters from side to side if hind legs are affected
- A worried expression, pain and fast breathing
- Increased heart rate and sometimes body temperature
- Upon stopping exercise pawing of the ground and signs of mild colic
- Repeated attempts to urinate. Urine may be red with blood in bad cases
Causes of Azoturia
- Traditionally thought to be caused by sudden exercise after eating rich diet. This causes lactic acid to build up in muscles and cause damage (like cramp)
- Disturbance to blood supply to muscles because of diet, stress, climate etc.
- VitE, Selenium, Magnesium deficiency, electrolyte balance may be involved
- Excitability,Viral infections may be involved
Treatment of Azoturia by your vet
- Anti-inflammatory like Bute to reducepain.
- Anti-inflammatories to prevent further muscle damage
- Sedatives to reduce anxiety
- Fluids to help flush out toxins and help prevent kidney damage
- Blood tests are used to test how bad muscle damage has become.
What you can do about Azoturia
- The affected horse needs to be stabled in a warm well-ventilated box with a thick bed as even gentle exercise can make the muscle damage worse.
- Feeding should be reduced to good quality hay and water.
- Do not feed too much bran as this blocks calcium in the diet which is needed for good muscle function.
- As the condition improves horses that do not get too excited can be turned out for a couple of hours each day.
Prevention of Azoturia
A well balanced diet with high bio-availability mineral supplementation e.g. chelated is important. Feed should be reduced the night before a day off as well as on the day off. Avoid sudden change of feed and consider the use of antioxidant and immune support formulas to help with muscle function. Electrolyte supplements can help in high performance horses which are at risk.
In horses that are at risk do not suddenly increase the speed or duration of your work routine. Try to avoid quick bursts of fast work and try to use an exercise blanket to keep the horse warm in cold or wet conditions.
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