22/09/2017 Sycamore Helicopter Seeds - Atypical Myopathy

Sycamore trees, a British favourite until the helicopter seeds drop and need clearing, unless you want lots of sycamore trees, but these little seeds present a real threat to horses. They can cause a disease so deadly that around three quarters of the horses affected will die, and most of those within the first two days of infection. 

Atypical Myopathy or Seasonal Pasture Myopathy affects the muscles, it causes tremors, stiffness and breathing difficulties and can leave a horse unable to walk or even stand and all it takes is for a horse to eat some seeds or a seedling, both contain a deadly toxin known as Hypoglycin A.

Seeds from a tree can be toxic one year but not the next!

With our support of new research the Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust has developed tests that establish if the seeds contain the toxin and whether a horse is at risk.

These tests are now available to horse owners and land owners at a subsidised cost of £60 direct from the laboratory for Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases. 

To find out if Sycamores on your property contain the toxin you can send samples directly to the laboratory.  Full details including blood and urine testing for a horse that may be at risk are available on the Royal Veterinary College website