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Vet J. 2009 Apr;180(1):77-87. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.01.016. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Atypical myopathy in grazing horses: a first exploratory data analysis.

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  • 1Equine Teaching Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium.


Over the last decade, atypical myopathy (AM) in grazing horses has emerged in several European countries. An exploratory analysis was conducted to determine horse- and pasture-level indicators or factors associated with AM in Belgium. Belgian cases of AM confirmed by histology (n=57) were compared to their healthy co-grazing horses (n=77) and to pastured horses not involved with AM as controls (n=386). The pastures where confirmed cases were grazing (42 pastures; 38 sites; 44 incidences of AM) were compared with those of the controls (216 pastures; 96 sites; no incidence of AM). Statistically significant (P< or =0.05) exploratory variables, identified by means of adjusted odds ratios, suggested that indicators or factors associated with individual horses (young age, inactivity, body condition poor to normal), management practices (permanent pasturing, spreading of manure) and pasture characteristics (humid, sloping pastures, accumulated dead leaves, presence of waterway) may increase the risk of AM. Specific interventions based on these factors might help to reduce the incidence of AM.

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