Equine Self-Mutilation Syndrome
Equine Self-Mutilation Syndrome (ESMS) is a type of stereotypy like cribbing, weaving, stall-walking or lip-flapping. Stereotypies are chronic, invariant, seemingly purposeless behaviours, generally associated with compromised welfare. In a typical self-mutilation episode lasting from a few seconds to several minutes, a horse may spin, bite at the flanks, shoulders, or chest while squealing, striking, or kicking. In more extreme cases horses may lunge into the wall, or even throw themselves to the ground. It is (thankfully) a rare disorder seen primarily in stallions, less so in geldings, and very infrequently in mares. Some researchers have likened the condition to Tourette’s Syndrome in humans – a brain-based neurological disorder where individuals engage in intermittent, unpredictable, purposeless and involuntary sounds or movements called tics. Dr. Sue McDonnell, director of the Equine Behaviour Lab at the New Bolton Centre, identifies three types of ESMS: Type I is an extreme behavioural response to physical…
Subscribers: enter the email and password connected to your subscription.
First time logging in?
Subscribe now and enjoy full access to Horse-Canada.com
Your All-Access Digital Subscription includes unlimited access to all Horse-Canada.com articles as well as a digital subscription to each issue of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, and Canadian Thoroughbred.
Get full access to Horse-Canada.com including all articles from Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.
Read the digital editions of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.
copyright © horse-canada.com 2014