Exertional Rhabdomyolysis: Not Just Tying-Up Anymore

Researchers have worked tirelessly to better understand the disorder, its causes, and how to best manage it.
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Exertional Rhabdomyolysis: Not Just Tying-Up Anymore
Different ER types require different treatment approaches, so it's important to get a clear diagnosis before heading down a treatment path, Valberg said. | Photo Stephanie Valberg

Few things are scarier than watching a horse sweating, trembling, and twisting in pain during an episode of tying-up. Researchers have worked tirelessly to better understand this disorder and its cause, and they’re continually uncovering ways to manage it.

Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, professor at and director of the University of Minnesota (UM) Equine Center in St. Paul, chronicled her work in unraveling the causes of tying-up, or exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER), during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Anaheim, Calif. In doing so, she also became the first female to deliver this prestigious lecture.

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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