All muscular contraction creates heat, be it walking around the field grazing, or running a race. Some of this heat is stored by the body for bodily functions and for keeping warm. However, it is vital that the excess body heat be lost or dissipated if the animal is to maintain or control its body temperature.
Exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER), also known as azotoria, tying-up or set fast, is a process whereby the striated muscles, which connect to the bone and allow movement, suffer breakdown following exercise. Incidences of tying-up can range from mild muscular stiffness to the muscles becoming locked and the horse unable to move.
Every horse owner appreciates the delicate nature of the horse’s gut. Gastric ulceration is a widespread condition which unfortunately seems to affect mainly adult horses in high performance work.
Recent studies have indicated that over 93% of racehorses and 63% of competition horses are affected. However, only 50% of those presenting with gastric ulceration may actually show clinical signs.