What Causes Horses to Shiver?

Things to know about Tremor Syndrome

Trembling has been known for over 100 years neuromuscular disease, the reason for which has not yet been clearly clarified. About five to eight such horses come to Bilsen's equine clinic each year, “but they're usually brought in for completely different ailments,” reports Dr. Dirk Pfister, head of the equine veterinary clinic in Bilsen, near Hamburg.

What causes shivering syndrome?

It is assumed that Infections disrupt the transition from the nerve to the muscles. Potential pathogens can Herpes or flu viruses to be Also neurological disorders may cause convulsions in the central nervous system. “Diseases of the facet joints of the thoracic spine, lumbar spine, or sacroiliac joint are also possible causes,” says Dr. Dirk Fister.

The facet joints are the small vertebral arch joints between the vertebral processes that connect the individual vertebral bodies to each other in addition to the intervertebral discs and spinal ligaments. However, it has not yet been proven that the disease is genetic and inherited, as is often believed. A genetic test for that Shivering syndrome does not exist.

A link to polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) has also not been proven. Veterinarian Dr. Stephanie Walberg of the American University of Minnesota in collaboration with the Canadian Veterinary College of Ontario Shivering syndrome Research found no evidence of this in a study of 103 Belgian cold-blooded animals; 6 percent of the animals suffered from both diseases.

Symptoms of tremors

Affected horses suffer in Muscle spasm of hind legs and have particularly Difficulty giving hoofs and: Walking backwards. This leads to problems with daily handling, hoof care and general grooming. Animals remain convulsive with legs half bent or drawn under belly when rear hoof is raised for scratching or shoeing. At the same time, they often raise their tails. through convulsion Such horses often give their legs involuntarily, which requires a lot of patience from the owner of the horse.

In very rare cases they do too Front legs affected, which are drawn forward as they ascend, whereas The muscles over the elbow tremble. Unlike houndstooth, the horses their hooves don't come off suddenly, but slowly when Attack complete (which can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes). In the advanced stage, some animals are no longer able to hold their legs up for long periods of time. Then shoeing and often even hoof trimming becomes almost impossible. Muscle spasm can also occur in the head and neck region. Then the eyelids blink rapidly and the ears twitch. It Symptoms: generally worse when the horse is excited.

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Lisa Rudlane

Shivering horses often find it difficult to give their hooves.

the time Trip does it Illness less problems. Although many horses walk stiffly at first and sometimes stumble during their first strides, they usually break in quickly. Only the time Reverse direction Difficulties usually arise. “There are no symptoms under rider and stress unless the horse is running backwards. The skill Shivering horses “It's just bad,” says the vet. Horses can have problems with their balance when riding in a trailer.

The disease usually progresses very slowly but continuously. It Muscle spasm become more frequent and long-lasting, and later decrease The muscles in Rear parts. The horse's legs become stiff and the hindquarters become weak. The animal stands with its legs open. few horses cannot easily hold their feet for long periods of time. “Starting the first tremors until Muscle atrophy “But it usually takes years,” says Dr. Dirk Fister. He has never had a patient whose muscle weakness was so severe that the horse had to be euthanized.

Orthopedic problems and osteoarthritis of the spine, especially of the knee and ankle, can be mysterious consequences. Shivering disease to be From a medical point of view, Dr. Dirk Fister no restrictions in Use of sick horses example in sportas long as they give hooves only when squatting. Dressage horses However, it will limited reverse direction Value of points. “None of mine Trembling patients “I could no longer ride because of the disease,” says the vet.

Full article as PDF download

Causes, symptoms, treatment
Brown shivering horse looking back with hand at the racetrack
  • Things to know about Tremor Syndrome
  • the reasons
  • Symptoms:
  • Diagnose
  • Treatment
  • Proper prevention
  • With expert knowledge, Dr. Dirk Fister, Equine Vet and FEI Vet

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