Muscle spasms associated with ear tick (Otobius megnini) infestations in five horses.

J. E. Madigan, Stephanie J Valberg, C. Ragle, J. L. Moody

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35 Scopus citations


Severe muscle cramping not associated with exercise was observed in 5 horses. Focal muscle groups in various regions underwent intermittent visible contraction. Intermittent prolapse of the third eyelid, sweating, pawing, muscle tremors, and muscle fasciculations also were observed. Clinical signs often were misconstrued as signs of colic. Percussion of muscle induced contraction of muscle groups. Concentrations of serum electrolytes and the acid-base balance were within reference limits, but activities of creatine kinase and aspartate transaminase were moderately high. Muscle biopsy revealed no abnormalities except for a few necrotic muscle fibers undergoing phagocytosis. Electromyography of 1 horse was suggestive of increased motor unit activity. All horses had Otobius megnini (ear tick) infestations and had recurrence of signs until treatment was initiated for ear ticks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-76
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995


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