Our knowledge of rhabdomyolysis has increased greatly in the past 10 years. Detailed clinical and molecular investigations are starting to uncover and identify more diverse disorders that lead to a clinical end-point that represents signs of muscle disease. In equine practice, despite the fact that cases of acute sporadic rhabdomyolysis (ie, ‘tying up’) are quite common, the pathophysiology of this disease is still poorly understood. The astute clinician can, however, recognise chronic cases that may have an underlying metabolic defect that predisposes to muscle disease even when management practices are optimal. This article describes the most commonly seen types of rhabdomyolysis in horses, discusses the approach to diagnosis and highlights the options for treatment in affected cases.
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