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Stringhalt

This is a discussion on Stringhalt within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Care For Horses With Stringhalt
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    06-14-2012, 09:34 AM
  #1
Foal
Question Stringhalt

I have been reading up about stringhalt, my horse has been having some issues that sound kinda like stringhalt. They say the horse can have laryngeal paralysis, causing 'roaring'. My horse doesnt 'roar', but he has started choking, even on his soaked feed. My question is, Could stringhalt cause choking?
     
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    06-14-2012, 09:48 AM
  #2
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by dressagegirl77    
i have been reading up about stringhalt, my horse has been having some issues that sound kinda like stringhalt. They say the horse can have laryngeal paralysis, causing 'roaring'. My horse doesnt 'roar', but he has started choking, even on his soaked feed. My question is, Could stringhalt cause choking?
I'm not clear on the relationship you are suggesting between stringhalt (fixation of the patella in the hind limb) and equine laryngeal function.

Do you understand what stringhalt is?

Cheers,
Mark
     
    06-14-2012, 01:09 PM
  #3
Foal
Everything that I have been reading says that they think it has to do with toxins, and that it damages nerves, and that in some cases it causes laryngeal paralysis
     
    06-14-2012, 03:52 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
I don't think that in your case that would be the issue. How bad was that first choke episode?

My horse choked last summer, it was the first time I had ever actually seen a choke. It was a bad one, he swallowed an alfalfa cube whole. The vet came out and tubed him and pumped water down until she finally got it to break apart. There was blood everywhere (from his nose). We put him on heavy antibiotics for a while after that and soaked all of his feed.

She said that it is not uncommon for a horse to have multiple episodes of choke once it has happened the first time.

Do you remember what actually caused the first incident?
     
    06-14-2012, 09:25 PM
  #5
Foal
He was eating soaked alfalfa cubes, because alfalfa is the only thing that helps him keep weight. The times after that, his feed was soaked when he choked, last one was the worst, vet came and had to put a tube down to get it out. A choking horse is very hard to watch, and I had to hold the tube to his nose while he spewed all over, I felt so bad for him
He had two rounds of antibiotics after that
     
    06-15-2012, 09:19 AM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56    
I'm not clear on the relationship you are suggesting between stringhalt (fixation of the patella in the hind limb) and equine laryngeal function.

Do you understand what stringhalt is?

Cheers,
Mark
Mark and OP, stringhalt is a myoclonic spasm. This means a jerking spasm of the muscles. It is not upward fixation of the patella, which is another affliction that is often mistaken for stringhalt. They look similar but have different causes, treatments and outcomes.

To the OP: you are right, no one is completely sure what causes stringhalt. The theory is that it is a type of peripheral neuropathy or myopathy meaning there is something wrong with either nerves or muscles. It is usually limited to the hindquarters and you are right, there are some theories that a toxin can be to blame. Roaring on the otherhand is caused by damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve which lives in the throat (and passes around the heart) and when damaged it fails to appropriately open the larynx causing the roaring noise. Choke is due to a blockage of the esophagus. So these three are not really related at all except to say that if you have a toxin affecting nerves it could cause choking and a strange gait that could be mistaken for either stringhalt or upward fixation of the patella (but again, these two are different things which can sometimes be mistaken for one another)
     
    06-15-2012, 09:22 AM
  #7
Yearling
Also, one episode of choke can lead to what is called a stricture, or narrowing of the esophagus. This can cause them to have future episodes of choke. The good news is that choke is rarely life threatening (though it seems like it is!) and most cases resolve on their own. Once your horse chokes it is essential that you are vigilant about soaking feed and even then they can choke again. It sounds like your guy is going to be prone to this because of the first choke being so bad. The antibiotics are to prevent pneumonia because as you saw, there is a huge risk of them inhaling water and feed material during the event and treatment.
     

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