Exertional myopathy developed in three whooping cranes (Grus americana) secondary to routine capture, handling, and trauma. Presumptive diagnosis of exertional myopathy was based on history of recent capture or trauma, clinical signs, and elevation of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and serum potassium. Treatments were attempted in each case, but ultimately were not successful. Gross and microscopic lesions at necropsy confirmed the diagnosis in each case, with the leg musculature most severely affected. Guidelines for determining prognosis of exertional myopathy in cranes have been included based on the analysis of these cases and others in the literature. As treatment is largely unrewarding, prevention remains the key in controlling exertional myopathy. Identification of predisposing factors and proper handling, immobilization, and transportation techniques can help prevent development of exertional myopathy in cranes.
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Vol. 36 • No. 3