‘He ate some sy­camore seeds’

Your Horse (UK) - - Vet Notes -

WHEN PEP­PER­CORN was killed by atyp­i­cal myopathy, it left Jenny with lots of ques­tions. Why and how — plus how to pre­vent her other ponies graz­ing the same pad­dock suf­fer­ing in the same way. “We know so much more about atyp­i­cal myopathy now, but at the time there were sim­ply no an­swers — not even the vets knew,” she says. Less than a year later, in the spring of 2010, Jenny spot­ted one of her fil­lies stand­ing with the same stance. “I phoned the vet to say we were on our way and, af­ter a two-week stay in hos­pi­tal, she sur­vived and is still with us now,” says Jenny, who set up the Face­book page Equine Atyp­i­cal Myopathy as a place to share science pa­pers about the dis­ease with other own­ers and vets. It now has over 4,000 fol­low­ers. “Pep­per­corn was a good doer, car­ry­ing more weight than ideal. He was fit and in a pas­ture of long grass — the op­po­site of the poor pas­ture, poor equines high­risk fac­tors — and he still ate some sy­camore seeds. “If any af­fected plant mat­ter is on the field where horses have ac­cess to it, then there is a risk of atyp­i­cal myopathy. Long grass, feed­ing hay, part sta­bling horses all goes a long way to re­duc­ing the risk, but it doesn’t to­tally re­move it. “Ul­ti­mately it is whether your horse chooses to eat any seeds, leaves or seedlings on the pas­ture. You can only elim­i­nate that risk by re­mov­ing them all.”

H C U O R C Y N N E J : O T O H P

Pep­per­corn was fi­tand healthy, but still suc­cumbed to sy­camore poi­sion­ing

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