All tied up and no place to go

By Connie Orcutt • Published: June 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves

“Tying up” is a syndrome that can stop an equine athlete cold. So just what causes this dreaded disorder — and can it be prevented?

Tying up refers to painful muscle cramps induced by exercise. Some of the causes include excessive training; inadequate dietary levels of electrolytes, vitamin and minerals; and exercise during hot weather or respiratory infections.

While there’s no surefire way to prevent tying up, veterinarians have some suggestions. Maintain your horse on a balanced exercise regimen and feed it a well-rounded diet. That may require vitamin, mineral and/or electrolyte supplementation. Always have fresh water available, and avoid exercising your horse in hot weather or during respiratory infections.

If your horse ties up, consult your veterinarian. Some horses inherit the syndrome and need medical treatment.