Background: Trigeminal-mediated headshaking results from a low threshold for firing of the trigeminal nerve. A seasonal component has been implicated in onset of clinical signs, which occur during the spring and summer months. Geldings are overrepresented in the affected population and hormonal differences as compared to a healthy control population of geldings might contribute to headshaking. Objective/Hypothesis: To assess concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) over an 8-hour period in gelded healthy controls and horses affected with headshaking. Our hypothesis was that geldings with seasonal headshaking would have higher concentrations of LH over an 8-hour period compared to control horses during the summer when affected horses manifested headshaking. Animals: Twelve geldings (6 controls and 6 affected). Methods: Prospective controlled trial. Blood samples were drawn every 15 minutes over an 8-hour time period during summer from all horses to measure circulating LH concentrations by using a radioimmunoassay for equine LH. All affected horses were actively affected by headshaking at the time of sample collection. Results: No statistically significant differences in LH concentrations were found throughout the study period in headshakers as compared to control horses. Time had no significant effect, but a slight decrease in LH concentrations was observed for all horses. The main limitation of the study was the low number of horses. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Horses affected with headshaking did not have significant differences in circulating LH during the late summer as compared to control horses.
- luteinizing hormone
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