European outbreak of atypical myopathy in the autumn 2009

Gaby Van Galen, Helene Amory, Evita Busschers, Dominique Cassart, Marco De Bruijn, Vincent Gerber, John Keen, Laurence Lefere, Christel Marcillaud Pitel, Celia Marr, Jessica-M V Müller, Xavier Pineau, Claude Saegerman, Charlotte Sandersen, Didier Serteyn, Sara Torfs, Lucia Unger, Denis Verwilghen, Dominique-Marie Votion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atypical myopathy is an acute, severe rhabdomyolysis occurring in grazing horses. In the beginning of October 2009, a new outbreak occurred in several European countries. Geographic, demographic and clinical data of the reported cases in the month October 2009 are described.
Key Findings

The survival rate in this outbreak was 25%. The most frequently observed clinical signs were congested mucous membranes, dyspnea, tachycardia, depression, weakness, stiffness, recumbency, trembling, sweating, and myoglobinuria. Nonsurvivors were significantly more likely to be recumbent than survivors. Prognostic factors, symptomatic treatment, and preventive measures are discussed.


Differences were encountered during the described outbreak of atypical myopathy in October 2009 compared with previous outbreaks reported. Equine practitioners should be aware that previous epidemiological studies have shown that after a high prevalence in the autumn, new cases are likely to occur in the following spring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-32
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Animals
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Horse Diseases
  • Horses
  • Male
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Seasons
  • Time Factors


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