Research breakthroughs

This is a sampling of discoveries made through research at the University of Minnesota's Leatherdale Equine Center.

Re-Leve the first high fat low starch feed produced made specifically to decrease symptoms of tying up was developed by U of M researchers. The Association of University Technology Managers 2007 Better World Project credited this as one of the top 100 academic innovations with real world applications

The genetic defect Overo Lethal White Syndrome in white foals born to Overo paint horses is fatal within 48 hours. Discovery of the genetic defect led to the development of a diagnostic test for breeding animals to prevent matings likely to produce an affected foal.

The genetic defect Glycogen Branching Enzyme Deficiency causes abortion and neonatal death in Quarter Horses. Discovery of the disease and development of a diagnostic test now prevents the heartache of a foal being born and succumbing from this disease.

The genetic defect and disease Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy causes the most common form of tying up in Quarter Horses and more than 20 other breeds. Discovery of the disease and development of a diagnostic test provides a painless means to diagnose this muscle disorder and test breeding animals.

A new treatment “Aldara” for a persistent skin tumor called sarcoids and for white plaques in horses ears. This topical cream decreases the need for surgical removal of tumors and provides a means to treat tumors in hard to reach places.

Ingestion of box elder seeds causes seasonal pasture myopathy. By discovering that hypoglycin A in the seeds of box elder and European Sycamore maple trees causes a fatal seasonal pasture-associated muscle disease hundreds of horses lives have been saved around the world.

Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory

Muscle biopsy service at the University of Minnesota ceased on December 21, 2015. Beginning January 4, 2016, equine muscle biopsies service is available through Dr. Valberg's laboratory at Michigan State University.

Genetic testing

The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory performs genetic testing for PSSM type 1 and malignant hyperthermia (MH) on hair or purple toped EDTA tubes.

Considerations for genetic testing - Modern Equine Vet