When a muscle problem is suspected (recurrent myositis, exercise intolerance without a cardiac or a respiratory explanation, increase of muscular enzymes on blood analysis..), sampling a small part of muscle tissue and analysis in a laboratory can help identify a specific muscle problem and adopt the right treatment.
How is this exam performed?
The horse is sedated and the skin above the muscle to sample is clipped and disinfected. Rump and tight muscles are most frequently sampled. After local anaesthesia, a 4 cm stab incision is made in the skin and a small part of muscle (1x1x1 cm) is cut out and put in formalin or frozen and sent to the lab. Muscle and skin are sutured and a protective dressing is left in place for a few days.