Equine Rhabdomylosis
Vet, Horse First Aid

From: Equestrian and Horse | Horse Ailments

See also: Tack | Clipping | Rugs | Worming | Care

Horse Picture

Equine Rhabdomyolysis
This is also known as Azoturia, Monday Morning Sickness, Tying - Up and Set Fast and it affects the horses muscles causing them to harden and  cramp up, it can vary in its severity from mild cramps to the horse being unable to move.

Causes of  Equine Rhabdomyolysis
The most common cause of Azoturia is from a carbohydrate overload combined with time off. This used to be very common with draught horses who would have Sunday off and then have an episode of Azoturia on the Monday, hence the term Monday Morning Sickness. The glycogen in the hard feed builds up in the muscles and  produces an excess of lactic acid to be produced when the horse resumes work, the lactic acid in turn damages the muscle tissue and subsequent blood flow to the muscles. As the Lactic Acid cannot be dispersed quickly enough it causes  an episode of Azoturia to occur.

These can vary depending on the severity of the attack.

The use of  pain killers and anti inflammatory drugs are used initially to make the horse more comfortable Fluids are often administered to help flush out the toxins. The horse should then have  box rest followed by  gentle exercise and a new feeding program that is appropriate for the level of work.  If you are riding  when the horse develops symptoms then dismount immediately and place rugs over the horse to keep the horse warm

If you are able put them directly into a warm stable with plenty of bedding and water. If you are away from the yard then organize transport home as quickly as possible you do not want to ride them as this will only further damage muscles and cause more pain.