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Tying-Up In The Equine

Updated: May 8, 2023

Rhabdomyolysis, also known as tying-up syndrome, is a condition that can affect horses, particularly those involved in strenuous exercise. It occurs when muscle cells break down and release myoglobin, which can cause kidney damage and other complications if not addressed promptly. Prevention:

  1. Proper exercise routine: It is important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise to prevent overexertion and muscle damage.

  2. Adequate hydration: Ensure the horse has access to clean, fresh water and electrolytes before, during, and after exercise.

  3. Proper nutrition: A balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals can help prevent muscle damage.

  4. Environmental conditions: Avoid exercising horses in extreme heat or humidity, as this can increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis.

  5. Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect any underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis.


  1. Rest: Rest is essential to allow the affected muscles to recover and heal.

  2. Fluid therapy: Administering intravenous fluids can help flush out the myoglobin from the bloodstream and prevent kidney damage.

  3. Pain relief: Pain relief medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be administered to alleviate discomfort.

  4. Nutritional support: Providing a balanced diet with adequate electrolytes and nutrients can aid in the recovery process.

  5. Physical therapy: Gentle massage, stretching, and range-of-motion exercises can help improve circulation and speed up recovery.


  1. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce muscle damage caused by free radicals.

  2. Selenium: Selenium is a mineral that works with vitamin E to protect cells from damage and promote muscle health.

  3. Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in muscle relaxation and may help prevent muscle cramping and spasms.

  4. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce muscle damage and inflammation.

It is important to note that supplements should not replace proper nutrition and veterinary care. Consult with a veterinarian before administering any supplements to your horse.

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