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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Stringhalt: signs, symptoms, answers

What are your signs and symptoms and holistic, nutritional answers for Stringhalt?

Where are you from? Canada

How did you locate this forum? I know of it

Re: Stringhalt: signs, symptoms, answers

Hi Karen,

Horses affected by Stringhalt exhibit a type of gait where they will lift their hind legs higher and faster then usual. It can be a mild muscle spasm or severe enough that they kick their bellies with their hind legs. This type of lameness is evidently not painful, but nonetheless, it makes it nearly impossible to ride such a horse.

We really do not know the cause. It appears to be due to nerve degeneration that affects the lateral digital extensor muscle. Some studies suggest that it develops from a pasture weed toxicity where horses have eaten Cats Ear or Dandelions. So, if your pasture has these weeds, your horse may benefit by moving him to a different area.

I am aware of treating the disorder with Dilantin or with surgery. And, there are claims that certain herbs may help, but I am skeptical about that.

I would suggest that you consult with a veterinarian that specializes in leg issues to see if he/she has had good results with medications or surgery.

To aid in healing and boost the immune system, your horse should have a nutritious diet from high quality forages and extra Vitamin E, B vitamins, and a regular probiotic.

All the best,

Dr. Getty