A new study, led by clinical academics from the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences, working alongside the neurology team at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, has revealed a potential new treatment for trigeminal nerve mediated head shaking in horses. Currently, there are no consistently safe and effective methods for the treatment of head shaking in horses. A neuropathic facial pain syndrome, head shaking causes a horse to toss or shake their head; often leaving the affected horse impossible to ride and difficult to handle, and can even result in euthanasia.
Wobbler’s Syndrome is the result of abnormalities in the cervical vertebrae (neck), which cause crushing of the spinal cord and resultant neurological signs. It is a complex condition which can result in a horse being permanently retired from riding or can even necessitate euthanasia.
Researchers at the Univeristy of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute have made an advancement in equine stem cell development, which may benefit horses suffering from neurological diseases like grass sickness. The stem cells may also pave the way from cell therapies that target conditions similar to motor neuron disease. Using skin cells from a young horse, the researchers successfully turned them into stem cells using a technique that was originally developed for human cells. The re-programmed cells are pluripotent, which means they can be induced to become any type of cell in the body.
A positive outcome of the media focus on Hendra virus, Murray Valley Encephalitis and Kunjin virus is that owners and veterinarians are becoming more diligent in observing horses for signs of disorders affecting the brain, spinal cord and nerves. In this article, Dr Natasha Hovanessian from the Canberra Equine Hospital explains what neurologic disease looks like in the horse and how your veterinarian may diagnose the cause, as well as discussing some of the more common neurologic problems seen in Australia.
Epilepsy is classed as a chronic neurological condition characterised by reoccurring seizures. Horses suffer from epilepsy much like humans do, but despite the fact that a great deal of research has gone into both human and small animal (cat and dog) cases, the research and information available in relation to horses is limited.