Atypical Myopathy

Atypical Myopathy disease is caused by the sycamore seed also known as ‘helicopters’ affecting horses. Ingestion of the seeds by horses causes muscle damage which includes the muscles controlling breathing and the heart.

Clinical signs can look like mild colic but also include muscle weakness, dark coloured urine, lethargy progressing into recumbency and breathing difficulties. The disease can be fatal with already one case diagnosed this year.

If you have sycamore trees in or near your fields then if possible avoid grazing in these fields is ideal. If this is not possible then remove and burn as many of these seeds and supplementing any poor grazing to prevent your horse eating any.

Please seek veterinary advice if you see any of these signs immediately.