Acceuil 9 Physiology 9 How to prevent myositis in horses thanks to data?

Myositis in horses (also called tying-up, Monday disease or exertional rhabdomyolysis) is used to describe the destruction of muscle fibers following an effort that was not adapted to the horse’s physical condition. It is a disturbance in the balance of the muscle cell, and results in inflammation of the horse’s muscles.

How can data help to prevent myositis in racehorses?

In this article, we share the story of Arion, whose training data analysis helped prevent myositis.

➡️ If you’re not familiar with myositis, we advise you to read this article before.  

Context

– Arion is a 5yo gelding.

– He has a history of Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis.

– He showed poor recovery from strenuous exercise shortly after performing a gallop on grass.

    The parameters that we will use for the analysis are the following:

    • Time to 120 BPM – This parameter measures the time in minutes it takes for a horse’s heart to drop below 120 beats per minute.
    • Time to 100 BPM – This parameter measures the time in minutes it takes for a horse’s heart to drop below 100 beats per minute.
    • Effort distance – This parameter allows us to compare the intensity of the efforts.

    Arion’s training data analysis

    On the 23rd of February, Arion did a training of about 2 755m, on grass, with an average speed of 36.5km/h. Three days later, the horse performed a workout of about 900m on sand with an average speed of 36.8km/h. This work was therefore supposed to be less intense.

    données issues de la plateforme Equimetre

    Training data from the Equimetre Platform

    Comparison

    We can see from the time to get back down to 120 BPM that the recovery was bad on 23/03, after the training on grass. However, we notice that the recovery was even worse after the training on 26/02, even though the intensity was lower.

    Interpretation

    Thanks to the data collected, we can notice that the recovery values are different from average. After analyzing this poor recovery and knowing the history of this horse, the trainer decides to take a blood sample to explain this sudden abnormality. It is possible that the two jobs were perhaps too close together for the horse’s body.

    The results of the blood test show a muscle dysfunction. Indeed, we can observe that an old muscular problem has come back.

    résultat d'analyse de prise de sang du cheval en question

    Arion’s blood results

    We notice that the AST level is above normal. If the blood test had been taken earlier, the CK level would probably have been high. The CK level rises a few hours after muscle cell breakdown, but is not detectable in the blood for long periods of time, unlike the AST level, which can remain high for several days.

    Following the blood test and analysis of the Equimetre data, the horse was stopped.

    Result

    After examination, the veterinarian reports that the horse would have developed myositis if he had train again. Myositis is an inflammation of the muscles that usually occurs after physical effort. It is related to the breakdown of muscle cells. The monitoring of Arion’s training allowed him to avoid a myositis crisis.

    Conclusion

    Training data analysis can help to prevent myositis in horses. Regular monitoring of the horse’s heart rate and locomotion is a powerful prevention tool. Poor recovery or a shortened stride during exercise may be an indication of an underlying problem. By detecting the problem early, it is possible to adjust training, or to perform additional tests to prevent the development of a more serious problem.

    Keywords : myositis, tying-up, racehorse, prevention, equimetre