Everybody who has knowledge of shivers, please help!

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Everybody who has knowledge of shivers, please help!

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  • Shivers in percherons
  • What is equine shivers

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    07-21-2011, 05:28 AM
Exclamation Everybody who has knowledge of shivers, please help!

When I got my horse about a year and a half ago, his previous owner said he had stringhalt. After someone at my barn told me it was actually shivers...
Anyway.. He used to be very difficult when I tried to pick up his back feet, and I just taught myself a way so I don't leg go of his foot during his spasm and it gets better and it is fine to pick out. Recently.. I was picking my horse's foot on the wash-rack when he suddenly seemed to lose his balance bringing it down and just slid down to the ground with his front legs underneath him. After about a minute of him trying and me pulling him up, he was fine, got worked and had his normal routine. Then just the other day I was bringing my horse out of his stall tacked up when he had a spasm and fell down halfway in and out of his stall. His front legs were in front of him though this time, and it seemed easier for him to get his balance back and after me pulling him slightly he got right back up. He was a little nervous at first but then calmed down back to himself. Recently, his spasms have been a little more frequent and worse! Some websites say that falling down is in severe cases, but I'm not sure what I can do? He's 18 yrs old and is still jumping 3ft and can show competitively. He acts like he's 8 instead of 18 and positively loves his work. I'm not sure if he needs consistent work like he has, or to lay off it like some websites say.... Anyone with knowledge of shivers please help me!
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    07-21-2011, 09:02 AM
I don't know anything about shivers, but if your horse is falling, I wouldn't recommend riding him at all. Please contact your vet ASAP for a full evaluation, including a neurological workup. A horse that falls is a danger to himself and others - especially if there is a rider involved.

Please, for both your sakes, contact a vet!
    07-21-2011, 10:29 AM
What you're describing does not sound like shivers at all. Classic shivers is easy to spot. Ask the horse to back. If he hesitates, lifts his tail slightly, trembles and has trouble backing, than that would indicate a need to investigate that diagnosis farther. There's also hindend muscle atrophy. I've never seen or heard of front end problems and horses going down while walking forward in shivers.

What it does sound like is a rather advanced case of EPSM. I would start with evaluating his diet as the severity can be somewhat controlled with a strict diet. Eliminate all grains (RBs are fine) and concentrate on a hay and oil/fat only diet with the equivalent of 2 C or more oil per day for an average horse (dietary goal of 20% or more of his calories must come from fat). Get the horse out of a stall. 24/7 turnout is best so he's not accumulating glycogen in the muscles. The diagnosis of EPSM is rather straightforward with a muscle biopsy.

I'll second that a horse that falls should never be ridden. It is way to dangerous for both the rider and horse.
    07-21-2011, 11:08 AM
I've looked up EPSM he only has that "shivers" symptom. My vet has already said that it sounds like something to do with his stifle, but we'll be calling the vet out soon. He has fallen down when you tighten his girth to fast because he is cold backed and this is exactly like that. Thanks for the help.

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