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Tying Up

Are electrolyte imbalances to blame for tying up in horses?

Are electrolyte imbalances to blame for tying up in horses?

Question:

What is the best treatment for tying up, and does it have anything to do with electrolyte imbalance?

Answer:

Our friends at the American Association of Equine Practitioners helped with an answer.

Tying up has always been associated with an electrolyte imbalance but is

more likely due to varying levels of exercise and diet.

Potassium levels are important but difficult to measure. The best treatment is to prevent the condition before it occurs through a consistent feeding plan and a consistent exercise program. Once a horse ties up, it is important to decrease the ongoing damage by running fluids to keep the kidneys functional. Banamine and dexamethasone are two medications I reach for at this time. BC2A paste is a good preventative, and I recommend feeding KCL salt daily. Dantrium or acepromazine are medications that work to help prevent this condition.

Continued problems with tying up warrant more aggressive treatment and prevention.

Dr. Foster Northrop, Louisville, Kentucky, member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners

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