Equine Atypical Myopathy Caused By Sycamore Seedlings, Researchers Say

Sycamore seedlings have been determined to be the cause of equine atypical myopathy in horses in Europe, according to a recent study. Also called “sycamore poisoning,” the winged fruits (commonly called “helicopters”) contain hypoglycin A (HGA), which is poisonous to equines.

Although the poisonous nature of the “helicopters” was originally identified during the fall months, scientists have since determined horses are also susceptible in spring. There were 73 cases of atypical myopathy reported in April 2019 in Belgium, the Czech Republic, England, France and the Netherlands.

Dr. Dominique Votion created a study to help understand how horses became poisoned with HGA. Votion and her team collected fallen helicopters and seedlings from sycamores, field maples and Norway maples every two weeks during the spring of 2016. After a spring rain, they also collected the rainwater from the seedlings.

In mid-May, the team collected helicopters from the ash tree and box elders; they also collected flowers from the sycamore maples. Hypoglycin A was found in all the sycamore samples, but not in the Norway or field maples. The team also determined that the toxins are found in the sycamore seedlings despite spraying with herbicide, mowing or storing in hay.

The research team recommends that pastures that have sycamores not be used for hay production; they also recommend that fields that have sycamores in them can mowed and then the sycamores can picked up and removed from the fields to prevent HGA toxicity.

Read more at Equine Science Update.

The post Equine Atypical Myopathy Caused By Sycamore Seedlings, Researchers Say appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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