Below is a video taken of a warmblood gelding who has been diagnosed by vets to be suffering from Shivers.


Shivers is not a common condition in horses.  In the past it was mainly linked to heavy horses, however other breeds such as warmbloods, standardbreds and thoroughbreds have been known to have Shivers.

Shivers in the early stages may be difficult to notice.  The horse in the above video, raised questions when he had difficulty lifting his hind legs for the farrier.  Typically, Shivers is characterized by tremors and exaggerated flexion of the hind limbs, most noticeably when backed or in this case when the hind legs are picked up.  As seen in the video, the horse will also raise it’s tail during an episode.  Pony breeds do not generally develop Shivers.

Science is still out as to the exact cause of Shivers.  Some research believes that it is caused by an abnormal response in the nerves that sense position and tension in muscles and joints.  Another field of thought is that it there is a genetic component.

Shivers can be misdiagnosed as EPM and PSSM.  EPM and PSSM horses respond well to diets high in fats and low in carbohydrates.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for Shivers.  Shivers is a progressive and debilitating condition with no happy endings at the present time.







On July 6th, 2011, posted in: Portfolio of Case Studies by
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