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Potential new sources of hypoglycin A poisoning for equids kept at pasture in spring: a field pilot study

Abstract

Equine atypical myopathy in Europe results from hypoglycin A (HGA) exposure through the ingestion of samaras or seedlings of the sycamore maple tree. This pilot study aimed at better defining sources of HGA intoxication in spring. Samaras fallen on the ground and then seedlings were collected at two-week intervals from sycamore, Norway, and field maple trees over the spring 2016. In early April, rainwater from wet seedlings collected after a rainy night was harvested to be analysed. Mid-May, samaras of the box elder, common ash, and inflorescences of sycamore maples were collected on the tree. Quantification of HGA in samples was performed using high performance thin layer chromatography. Hypoglycin A was detected in all samples from sycamore including rainwater but tested negative for Norway, field maples. The samaras of the box elder found in the present study area did not contain a seed within their husk and thus tested negative. From the maximum HGA concentrations found, it may be extrapolated that at some periods and locations, about 20 g of samaras, 50 seedlings, 150 g of inforescences or 2 liters of water that has been in contact with seedlings would contain the maximum tolerated dose per day for a horse.

  • atypical myopathy
  • equine
  • Acer pseudoplatanus
  • hypoglycin A
  • environmental toxicity
  • muscle disorders
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