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This is a discussion on Stringhalt... within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    11-15-2012, 07:42 PM
Question Stringhalt...

There is a gelding at the barn I board at who has stringhalt. He's about 22, but he's had it since he was 9. I know what it looks like and that he isn't in pain, but I'm curious about it. I've tried Google and stuff, but I can't find anything too conclusive.

What causes it? Is there something that makes a horse vulnerable to it, like genetics?
How quickly can it develop, and do you see symptoms before the condition completely develops?
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    11-15-2012, 07:46 PM
I have seen it before and it was caused by an injury..( I believe a severed tendon) I don't know about the genectics side about it, but I'm curious too:)
    11-15-2012, 07:54 PM
Usually overuse of the back end....I have seen it in horses who have been aggressively jumped and free jumped. There is also a dietary factor to it also, but cannot remember off the top of my head what it is!!!
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    11-15-2012, 08:03 PM
Super Moderator
I've only seen instances where a tendon injury has been involved. I'm sure other factors can contribute but I have a feeling that is the most common.
    11-15-2012, 08:14 PM
Ok, just looked through some stuff, there are four kinds of stringhalt, one is caused by ingestion of certain pasture weeds, specifically false dandelion (Australia I believe) . Another cause is tendon injury, another is nerve damage, another is nerve damge in large flexor muscle on side of leg above hock.....I have seen the latter case....that was memorized so correct me if I got it wrong!
    11-15-2012, 08:50 PM
Green Broke
Stringhalt is caused by the deterioration of the Sciatic Nerve. This can happen because of an injury, mineral imbalance, and sometimes toxins.
    11-15-2012, 10:06 PM
The Merck Manual is always a good place to start a search. Here is some more info on stringhalt: Stringhalt in Horses: Lameness in Horses: Merck Veterinary Manual
    11-16-2012, 09:18 AM
My gelding had it when he was 6. Not sure what caused it, but it progressed quickly over the course of a few weeks. Took him to Kentucky and had his legs clipped and he is now a healthy 20 year old. I can't imagine a horse going untreated. Do they ride him?
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    11-16-2012, 12:17 PM
Originally Posted by OutOfTheLoop    
I can't imagine a horse going untreated. Do they ride him?
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They do, but not frequently. When he gets ridden more, I think it actually gets better. He does really well when it's warmer.
    11-16-2012, 12:57 PM
Well I'm glad he gets rode, it seems to help the muscles and ligaments and keeps the horse from having episodes.
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