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Seasonal Pasture Myopathy

It's the kind of mystery no horse owner likes to encounter: a previously healthy horse out on pasture suddenly develops severe muscle weakness and distress, with no obvious cause. In Europe, this frequently fatal muscle disease has been named atypical myopathy, but it seems to be very closely related to - or even the same as - the North American disease called seasonal pasture myopathy (SPM). It's a frightening disease, but the good news is that recent research has discovered a probable cause for the syndrome, and that opens up the possibilities for new ways to prevent and treat the illness. Beware the box elder Dr. Katharina Lohmann of the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine says that the underlying biochemical defect seems to be the same in both atypical myopathy and SPM, and the symptoms match as well. 'There is, however, a possibility that there are different…

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