Equine Ailments - A to Z
Azoturia - sometimes referred to as "Tying Up" or "Monday morning disease” It is believed to be caused through excessively rapid conversion of muscle glycogen to lactic acid. Azoturia develops when the horse is exercised; the muscles over the loins and quarters harden resulting in cramps and muscular stiffness. The horse is reluctant to move forward, the stride of the horse becomes shorter, it staggers behind and then goes lame and may collapse if work is continued. The horse has a high temperature and sweating may be evident. Examination of the hindquarters will show stiffening. In severe cases the myogolobin released from the damaged muscles turns the urine dark red. Treatment may consist of a laxative diet, anti-inflammatory drugs, a sedative, muscle relaxers and massage of the affected muscles. A low energy diet should be fed and the horse may also require a few days rest. Some horses seem pre-disposed to the condition; mares coming into heat may be prone to Azoturia; it may also develop as a result of working a fit horse on a high protein diet, at too fast a pace from standing in the stable after a day or two of rest, hence the term "Monday morning disease". Veterinary treatment is essential.