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Stringhalt Is a sudden flexion of one or both hind legs in the horse. Most easily seen while horse is walking, or trotting. Best while backing up slowly, turning on affected leg, or suddenly frightened. It involves one, or both hind limbs of the horse. It is a spasmatic contraction of the lateral extensor tendons of the hind legs.

There are 4 forms of stringhalt:[1] Butler[2]

  1. Australian stringhalt: a false dandelion (catsear) is the suspected cause
  1. Pseudostringhalt: the apparent result of a painful condition in the affected leg
  1. Unilateral stringhalt: cause unknown, but often relieved by section of the lateral extensor tendon
  1. Bilateral stringhalt: in two out of two affected horses necropsied, abnormal thalamus

Treatment varies.


  1. Stringhalt James Rooney DVM online (accessed July 2007)
  2. Stringhalt Dr Doug Butler PhD, CjF,FWCF

See also

  • Scotty cramp a condition in dogs that may resemble stringhalt in horses


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