Largest-ever study on muscle disease in horses 

New innovative research on muscle disease in horses will lead to better therapeutic treatment strategies.

A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) recently launched a study investigating the genetic and management factors influencing muscle disease in horses. The scientists also want to determine if diet or exercise impact muscle disease expression.

Results from this study will help veterinarians, researchers, and horse caretakers develop treatment strategies to combat this widespread problem. Funded by Morris Animal Foundation, with support from private donors, this is the largest study to date on muscle disease in horses.

“Muscle diseases are some of the most common health issues horses face, with more than 250,000 horses in the US afflicted each year,” says Molly McCue, DVM, MS, PhD, principal investigator for the study. Horses with muscle disease often exhibit muscle pain, stiffness, and a reluctance to move.

The research team hopes to identify which specific genetic mutations predispose a horse to muscle disease, as well as advance therapy options. Updates will be posted at


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