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Biopsy for shivers?

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  • Biopsy for shivers?

    Anybody had that done, or were you satisfied with vet's diagnosis?
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

  • #2
    I think you are thinking of EPSM - they do a muscle biopsy for that.

    Dr. John Baird of the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph was doing a study on shivers. (He's also mentioned on Dr. Vallberg's webpage at the University of Minnesota.) But Dr. Baird's study was only in conjunction with tracing bloodlines, I believe.

    As far as I'm aware, the diagnosis for shivers is done by observation. (I was supposed to send a video of my horse to Dr. Baird so that they could determine if he had shivers and take a DNA sample for tracking purposes. This was several years ago and I never got around to it as I'm more interested in treatment than bloodlines! And I know my horse definitely has shivers!)

    But you could try contacting him at Guelph. He could probably confirm the diagnosis if you just send a video - but there are specific requirements they want you to show in the video, so it's best to contact him first.
    "Facts or opinions which are to pass through the hands of so many, to be misconceived by folly in one, and ignorance in another, can hardly have much truth left." - Jane Austen: "Persuasion"

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I rather think the same way - diagnosis by observation from a competent vet.
      Was wondering who thought it was valuable or necessary.

      The bloodline study would be interesting.
      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

      Comment


      • #4
        A muscle biopsy can confirm a diagnosis of EPSM/PPSM.
        Shivers can be a symptom of the disorder.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FEI1Day View Post
          Shivers can be a symptom of the disorder.
          No!

          Please see the bottom left of page 362 under "Myopathetic Cause":
          http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaep...0106000359.pdf

          And Item No. 5 here:
          http://www.cvm.umn.edu/umec/lab/shivers/home.html#pssm
          "Facts or opinions which are to pass through the hands of so many, to be misconceived by folly in one, and ignorance in another, can hardly have much truth left." - Jane Austen: "Persuasion"

          Comment


          • #6
            I would like to see the study conducted beyond just the Belgian horses. I do find that my shivers/EPSM guy has a lot less "shivering" going on while on the EPSM diet...

            If I see a horse with shivers, I would look at EPSM/PSSM as a possibility for sure. The studies so far are too limited to say "no!" and FWIW it is difficult to find vets with an "eye" for both shivers and EPSM since there are no pharmaceuticals that can "cure" it. My vet had her own horse whose symptoms were super mild and had been with both top dressage and hunter trainers for years wind up being diagnosed late in life with moderate muscle changes via biopsy.

            Comment


            • #7
              I honestly think that EPSM/PSSM is trotted out with far too much frequency these days for any horse that seems NQR. I'm not syaing that it doesn't affect a lot of horses but that it is used far too often, especially without a biopsy.

              My shivers horse definitely was not helped by any dietary changes. Shivers and EPSM can occur in the same horse, but I'm of the opinion that they are not related. EPSM seems to be a metabolic problem at the cellular level, while shivers has all the hallmarks of being neurological in origin.
              "Facts or opinions which are to pass through the hands of so many, to be misconceived by folly in one, and ignorance in another, can hardly have much truth left." - Jane Austen: "Persuasion"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kimstar View Post
                I think you are thinking of EPSM - they do a muscle biopsy for that.

                Dr. John Baird of the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph was doing a study on shivers. (He's also mentioned on Dr. Vallberg's webpage at the University of Minnesota.) But Dr. Baird's study was only in conjunction with tracing bloodlines, I believe.

                As far as I'm aware, the diagnosis for shivers is done by observation. (I was supposed to send a video of my horse to Dr. Baird so that they could determine if he had shivers and take a DNA sample for tracking purposes. This was several years ago and I never got around to it as I'm more interested in treatment than bloodlines! And I know my horse definitely has shivers!)

                But you could try contacting him at Guelph. He could probably confirm the diagnosis if you just send a video - but there are specific requirements they want you to show in the video, so it's best to contact him first.
                Although I was away with a broken ankle at the, I have been told that a researcher from U of G came to see one Belgian we had who showed symptoms. He was quite interested because my BO at the time had the dam and other Belgians. That was in Jan. 09 and the horse was put down. I was told later that the horse had shivers which runs in Belgians.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kimstar, notice how I worded my response...I said it CAN be a symptom. I never said anything to indicate that all cases of shivers are due to EPSM. Perhaps someday the specific differences between non-related EPSM shivers and the muscle tremors seen in some EPSM horses will be identified.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And the article pretty much recommends the same diet parameters for shivers horses as PSSM horses and acknowledges that feeding the low NSC diet, higher fat has helped decrease symptoms in some shivers horses.

                    My guy does do the hind leg lift and tremble when you try to pick up that foot, when he initially reaches down for something on the ground, or as water runs down that leg... When I tried to decrease the fat - because he was fat - he literally could not keep his hind legs down and could barely move himself around the stall. He literally looked crippled and I would have considered euthanizing him, but thankfully all it took was upping the oil and he was back to his version of normal. FWIW, he can back like a champ whether he is warmed up or not, while many shivers horses have trouble backing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kimstar View Post
                      As far as I'm aware, the diagnosis for shivers is done by observation. (I was supposed to send a video of my horse to Dr. Baird so that they could determine if he had shivers and take a DNA sample for tracking purposes. This was several years ago and I never got around to it as I'm more interested in treatment than bloodlines! And I know my horse definitely has shivers!)
                      There is a now DNA test for EPSM in certain breeds, which probably what they were developing and were interested in your horses hair for.
                      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kimstar View Post
                        As far as I'm aware, the diagnosis for shivers is done by observation. (I was supposed to send a video of my horse to Dr. Baird so that they could determine if he had shivers and take a DNA sample for tracking purposes. This was several years ago and I never got around to it as I'm more interested in treatment than bloodlines! And I know my horse definitely has shivers!)
                        There is a now DNA test for EPSM in certain breeds, which may be what they were developing and were interested in your horses hair for. It is very helpful information to have.
                        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                        Comment

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