I have a horse with mild stringhalt symptoms. do you know if any supplements that could help him. I feed good timothy/alfalfa hay, a 10% pellet grain and give biotin and a vitamin/mineral supplement from Buckeye that has Vit E and selenium. the horse has had this problem before but a few days off usually gets it to go away. he is a 19 year old quarter horse. I think it usually has occurred in the cold weather. RC, Florida
Just so everyone is clear, stringhalt is a neuromuscular condition of the hindquarters where the horse rapidly flexes or “snaps” a hind leg towards the belly. While some cases may be due to the ingestion of a certain pasture weed, most of the time a cause is never found. Because it can be difficult to distinguish stringhalt from other disorders of the hindquarters like shivers and PSSM, I recommend a veterinarian examine your horse so you know for sure what you’re dealing with.
If stringhalt is the diagnosis, unfortunately there is no treatment or cure for the condition. Some owners report improvement with the prescription medication Phenytoin—an anticonvulsant used for epilepsy—or the supplement ingredient Thiamine, or B1. Important in the transmission of impulses along nerves, Thiamine has a number of functions within nerve tissue and this may be why it helps some horses with stringhalt.
I like that you’re feeding a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement and that it contains Vitamin E and its antioxidant partner Se. Vitamin E seems to help many conditions that involve either the muscular system or the nervous system or both. Since experts aren’t really sure what the primary problem with stringhalt is, you’re covered either way!