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Identifying the Cause of Muscle Disease in Arabian Horses

Exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER), a painful exercise-induced muscle disorder, can cause severe muscle damage and be life-threatening. Up to 18 percent of Arabian endurance horses experience clinical and subclinical ER, but a specific cause in Arabians has not been identified. The investigators will examine muscle biopsies from affected and healthy Arabian horses to determine the specific characteristics of this disease in the Arabian breed. In addition, they will evaluate how this disorder influences muscle function during exercise on a metabolic and genetic level. Identification of a major cause of ER in Arabian horses would lead to a diagnostic test to screen horses for disease susceptibility and would guide the development of effective measures for decreasing the incidence of dangerous episodes of muscle damage during training and endurance competition. 

Principal Investigator: Dr. Erica C.McKenzie, Oregon State University

Sponsor: 

Study ID: D14EQ-021