Living with shiv­ers

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

“The Mys­tery of Shiv­ers” (EQUUS 448) hit home with me, and I would like to thank Kati John­ston for the tough de­ci­sion to do­nate her horse Stan­ley to the re­search project. My horse Devon was di­ag­nosed a few years back. At the time I had never heard of shiv­ers, but I did some re­search, and when I found that the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota was con­duct­ing re­search, I sub­mit­ted a video.

Be­cause Devon also has kiss­ing spines and two small masses on his kid­neys, I opted to re­tire him. He is now 15 and lives out with his buddy 24-7. Devon can still back up but will hold his left hind in a shiv­er­ing way when he does. Trim­ming is done only when needed, and he is tran­quil­ized to do so.

Devon seems to be af­fected only on the left hind, and with all of his other is­sues I still ques­tion if it’s truly shiv­ers. Be­fore re­tire­ment, Devon was an awe­some ride. His only fault was oc­ca­sional ex­plo­sive be­hav­ior, which I now know was caused by the pain of the kiss­ing spines. I con­sid­ered do­ing surgery to cor­rect them, but with the masses and the pos­si­bil­ity that he truly has shiv­ers, I felt Devon owed me noth­ing more. He did his best with the pain he must have been in, and he earned his re­tire­ment. Vic­to­ria Campo Jack­son, New Jer­sey

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