Is Muscle Disease Contributing to a Horse’s Poor Performance?
At the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 2-5 in San Francisco, California, Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at the Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in East Lansing, reviewed how she determines whether muscle disease is behind a horse’s poor performance.
“Optimal function of skeletal muscle is essential for successful athletic performance,” she said. “Even minor derangements in locomotor muscle function will impact power output, coordination, stamina, and desire to work during exercise.”
And, while many muscle disorders cause readily apparent clinical signs—such as sweating, muscle twitching and stiffness, and a reluctance to move—these low-grade and chronic signs can be much more subtle, Valberg said, and veterinarians face the challenge of
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