“Atypical myopathy (AM) or sycamore myopathy, is a severe and often fatal muscle disorder of horses caused by ingesting sycamore seeds, leaves or seedlings. These seeds and seedlings contain the toxin hypoglycin A (HGA). It is this toxin that slows or stops energy production in muscle cells. HGA is an unusual amino acid that is found in certain trees but not others. To find out if your property has plants that contain the toxin known to cause AM – you now can send plant samples directly to the RVC Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory.”
There are sycamore seeds all over around us at the moment. We are removing any we find that have blown towards the horses paddocks, and we’re feeding extra hay, but the possibility of Atypical Myopathy is still very worrying. We share something about this every year, but just in case it saves even one horse it’s worth sharing again. The AM factfile from the RVS contains some really useful information, and it was also news to us about the test mentioned. Certainly worth looking into.
To view the RVS factfile see here: AM Factfile from the RVS