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HORSE PEOPLE, please help!!!

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I just got in from the barn. My horse's muscles in his shoulders and hind quarters are twitching. When he lifted his front leg to eat, as he always does, that front muscle stopped twitching but the other three continued.


It is raining out but not cold (I was in a t-shirt and cotton pj bottoms) and he was normal-to-the-touch body temp.


What could this be? I'm so worried. I checked for EEE but his symptoms don't present as such. I AM worried if my NASTY OLD HAG neighbor could have fed him something in an apple. I hope she's not that sick.

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Wow, sounds scary!! I've never run across that one, but a bit of internet research had disturbing results. :(


As a preliminary measure, I would take the horses temperature and start testing various things, (make sure to mark down specific symptoms in a log!):



-when twitches started (day/time) and what you were doing with the horse during the day leading up to that

-what makes them stop

-how on-going they are

-if there is any reluctance of the horse to moving around or picking feet up

-if there are any noticeable swellings or discomfort

-anything else that jumps out at you as you go!


Make sure the horse is separated from other horses and monitor the water intake (if he is on an automatic waterer, shut it off for now and hand fill). Clear out any manure in his area so you can monitor that.

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I just spent about 45 minutes with him. When I got back out to the barn, the tremors or spasms had stopped but he was highly aggitated and kept going after my hands. He IS treat aggressive but I had no treats! He also kept looking out the window with a VERY wide eye. He was pacing in circles so I closed him in for the night, got as much water off his fur that I could (I really don't think he's shivering as it's not cold out and he goes through New England winters without issue). He is definitely acting strange but I got him mostly calmed down, though not entirely.


In that time, the front muscles twitched off and on, the back muscles did nly once. I noticed no weakness at all.


My horse is 26 and I've had him for 10 years. I have never seen his muscles like this before. Could it be HYPP? we did some bloodwork a few years back because his muscles appear to be wasting away but his labs were fine.


I am glad that his muscles seem better but I sure wish he could tell me why he is so worked up. :sad:



Thanks for your input!!!

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We had this happen once a few years back and it ended up being West Nile Virus. The mare recovered (not all do), but she wasn't the same (some recover fully). We ended up selling her very inexpensively.


I hope your reason is something different, but if you live in an infected area, it could be a possibility.


We had blood drawn and tested at Penn St to get our diagnosis.

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I wouldn't count out other, more serious issues, but it really does sound like shivering to me, especially because he was wet. Some of mine do this the first few chilly/wet days/nights as we are coming into autumn. Even if it's in the 50s, a wet coat is enough to cause some shivering. Just because he handles cold winters fine doesn't mean his body (and you said he's an older guy, right) wasn't surprised by getting wet and subsequently cool. And mine always get aggitated when they get a little cold and shivery.

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Our gelding did this once. like you, it scared me and i immediatley looked on the internet. i thought for sure he had shivers. PTL he didn't. He stopped twitiching and i chalked it up to him being nervous about something. This is a horse that is a worrier. he is bossy and rude but he is the biggest baby you'll ever meet. Literally he worries. I really wouldn't be too concerned about it right now and like someone else said, he could be cold. The weather change here in the NE is drastic. Yesterday was nice, today I am under 3 blankets right now. It's a tough time of year because i want to put their sheets on them because i think they're cold but i also want them to grow their winter coats (or at least as much as they can get which is not much). We have Thoroughbreds, I'm not sure what kind you have, but again, I wouldn't stress too much right now, just watch his behavior and if he starts acting weird call the vet. You can feel his hooves and if they feel overly warm, you can have him checked for lamimitis.

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