Increase in Atypical Myopathy Cases Prompts Warning

Atypical myopathy is a highly fatal muscle disease caused by hypoglycin A, a toxin found in sycamore maple seeds.
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The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has reported an increase in the number of diagnosed atypical myopathy cases.

"There has been a recent surge in cases of atypical myopathy, even in areas where the disease has not previously been reported," the organization said in a statement on its website.

Atypical myopathy is a highly fatal muscle disease in the United Kingdom and northern Europe. Researchers recently learned that horses develop the condition after ingesting hypoglycin A, a toxin found in sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) seeds.

"Recent high winds and heavy rain have resulted in large numbers of seeds falling from trees in a very short period of time, posing a risk to horses grazing on surrounding fields," the BEVA statement said

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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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