Panel Discussion – Management of Muscle Conditions in Competition Horses

Panel Discussion
Venue: On-Demand Panel Discussion
Contact Hours: 3 Hours
Course Language: English
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Panel Discussion – Management of Muscle Conditions in Competition Horses (Recorded 15 June 2021)

Moderator:Erica McKenzie BSc, BVMS, PhD, DACVIM, DACVSMR –Oregon State
University, USA

Panelists:Heli Hyytiäinen PT, MSc (VetPhysio), PhD - University of Helsinki, Finland
Cathy McGowan  DipVetClinStud, MACVSc, PhD, DEIM, DECEIM, FHEA, MRCVS – University of
Liverpool, UK
Stephanie Valberg  DVM, PHD, DACVIM, DACVSMR  –  Michigan State
University, USA



Muscular disorders are a common causes of performance problems in equine athletes. They can be challenging to diagnose and devising effective management strategies while maintaining optimal performance in competing athletes is not always easy. The international panel of world-renowned equine specialists and researchers will present and discuss the current understanding of the impact of training on equine muscles, and the most up to date information regarding the pathophysiology and diagnosis of a range of muscle disorders in horses. Furthermore, management of the muscular system in healthy and diseased horses using a range of strategies including nutrition, adjunct therapies and physiotherapy will be discussed.


Panel Discussion Registration Process:  Once you have registered and upon payment, you will receive the link to access the on-demand recording for a period of 8 weeks. If you wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance after having viewed the webinar, please get in touch with us and we will send it to you electronically.

  • VetPD

    Erica McKenzie
    BSc, BVMS, PhD, Dipl.ACVIM, Dipl.ACVSMR

    United States

    American Specialist in Large Animal Internal Medicine Surgery & American Specialist in Equine Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation
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    Dr. McKenzie graduated veterinary school in Western Australia in 1996, before continuing her training in Canada and the USA. She completed her internal medicine residency concurrent with a PhD investigating equine exertional rhabdomyolysis with Dr. Stephanie Valberg. She is a Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine at Oregon State University where she has been located since 2005.  Dr. McKenzie is a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and the author of more than 30 research manuscripts relevant to exercising horses and dogs. She is also the current chair for the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology, a global group that meets every four years to review the most current advances in equine exercise. Her special interests include characterization and prevention of myopathies in horses, the factors relevant to successful athletic performance, and features of nutrition and disease relevant to long distance exercise in horses, dogs and humans. 


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    Heli Hyytiäinen
    PT, MSc (VetPhysio), PhD


    Veterinary Physiotherapist
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    Heli graduated as a physiotherapist in January 2000 and did her Finnish specialization studies in Animal Physiotherapy in 2003, after which she has worked only with animal clients. She graduated as a Master of Science in Veterinary Physiotherapy from the Royal Veterinary College in 2012, and finalized her PhD in 2015. 13 years ago she started, and has since further developed, the physiotherapy department at the Helsinki University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, working with both, small animals and horses. She is also the consulting physiotherapist for two private equine clinics. She divides her time between clinical work and research, does international lecturing on animal physiotherapy, teaches at the Finnish Animal Physiotherapy specialization studies, and is also a honorary lecturer for the Liverpool University Master of Science in Veterinary Physiotherapy programme.

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    Cathy McGowan
    BVSc, DipVetClinStud, MACVSc, PhD, DEIM, Dipl.ECEIM, FHEA, MRCVS

    United Kingdom

    European Specialist in Veterinary Internal Medicine
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    Cathy graduated from the University of Sydney in 1991 where she then went on to complete an Equine Internship followed by a PhD in Equine Exercise Physiology. After 3 years working in predominantly equine practice in Australia, Cathy was appointed a Lecturer in Equine Medicine at the Royal Veterinary College, UK. She then worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland and Clinical Teacher at the University of Helsinki before being appointed as Director of Professional Studies at the University of Liverpool in 2008. Cathy holds the RCVS and European Diplomas in Equine Internal Medicine and is an RCVS Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine.

    In 2013 Cathy was appointed to a personal chair at the University, and in 2014 she was appointed as the Head of the Equine Division of the Veterinary School.

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    Stephanie Valberg

    United States

    American Specialist in Veterinary Internal Medicine, American Specialist in Veterinary Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
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    Stephanie Valberg, the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine, is professor and director of the Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory. She received her DVM from the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College and her PhD in equine exercise physiology from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She is board certified in large animal internal medicine and veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation. Valberg is an international leader in understanding and managing equine neuromuscular disorders.

    The overarching goal of Valberg’s research and clinical work is to define the basis for neuromuscular disorders in horses, develop accurate, minimally invasive diagnostic tests, and produce optimal methods for preventing or managing performance limiting diseases. Valberg’s work in equine muscle disease has transformed equine clinical practice. Her research has led to the discovery of previously unknown muscle disorders, identification of their genetic basis, and development of nutritional strategies to minimize muscle pain.

    Valberg is widely published, and has mentored graduate students, interns, residents, and post-doctoral students and is a recipient of numerous awards such as the 2014 Richard Hartley Clinical Award from the British Equine Veterinary Association for her research linking seasonal pasture myopathy to box elder tree seeds. In 2012, Valberg became the first woman to be inducted into the Equine Research Hall of Fame. She has twice received the Pfizer Research Excellence Award, and in 1998 received the EquiSci International Award, an honor presented every four years to the individual whose work most significantly impacts equine exercise physiology research.

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"Nice in depth information on the topic with some practical tips"

Sue Devereux, Equine Acupuncture & Chiropractic Referrals, UK

Panel Discussion - Management of Muscle Conditions in Competition Horses , 2020