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Home:Equine Diseases: Equine Set-fast

Equine Diseases

Equine Diseases - Set-fast



Equine Set-Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome

The very puzzling and complicated equine disease Set-Fast is known not only as Equine Set-Fast but also as

  • Equine Tying-Up Syndrome 
  • Transient Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (ER)
  • Polymyositis
  • Azoturia
  • Monday morning disease

Set-Fast or Tying-Up Syndrome will most likely be a permanent fixture of your horse’s life and can be very painful. In some instances, the horse is almost unable to move. Set-Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome is obvious when the horse’s limbs stiffen up during exercise and soon afterwards.
Set-Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome can be mild or harsh with symptoms varying from temporary cramp to serious muscle deterioration.

Symptoms of Equine Set-Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome



  • Stiffness and rear muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Unwillingness to move
  • Laminitis
  • Stomach pain
  • Shakiness
  • Accelerated pulse rate
  • Thirst


Possible Causes of Equine Set Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome
Set Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome has many possible causes, some of which combine and act together but have exercise as a common denominator. Some causes are unproven.

  • Imbalance between diet and workload feed consumption
  • Over Stimulation
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Build up of lactic acid
  • Lack of oxygen to the muscles
  • Selenium/Vitamin E shortage
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Poor Conditioning
  • Sudden intensified workload
  • Inclement weather conditions such as wind and rain
  • Heredity




Diagnosis and Treatment of Equine Set Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome
A combination of treatments and procedures will be necessary to treat Set-Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome.  Ensure you call your veterinarian who will diagnose Set-Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome through blood testing to isolate any of the possible causes.   Some of the following forms of treatment will be recommended.   
For mild cases of the disease, in-hand walking may be recommended but for the more serious forms of Set Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome the recommendations may well be not to move the horse at all.  Pain killers such as Bute, correction of imbalances through fluids via IV, Corticosteroids and Muscle relaxants form the backbone of current Set-Fast/Tying-Up Syndrome treatment.