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EQ1300: Equine Neurology, Muscle Physiology & Pathologies

Date: Ongoing (Distance Learning)
Cost: $335
Duration: 10 weeks


Health begins with knowledge, and this is an excellent course for bodyworkers, owners, riders or trainers.

The ability to move freely and comfortably is one of the horse’s greatest joys, and obviously essential to performing their jobs. Disorders of the muscular and nervous systems are both under and over diagnosed. This is particularly true with respect to whatever the “disease du jour” may be.

Disorders of movement may be a primary muscular problem, primary neurological, or a combination of both. They may be infectious, genetic/biochemical, toxic or dietary. Symptoms of muscular and neurological disease can, and often do, overlap. Any given set of symptoms may have multiple root causes. This makes the use of a thorough and systematic evaluation of  any movement disorder essential to avoid misdiagnosis or jumping to conclusions.

This course will take you through some very basic structure and function of the muscular and nervous systems, as well as diagnostic tests and their interpretation. Finally, specific disease states will be discussed. Actual case histories will be used to illustrate many points.

A private Yahoo group will be set up for course participants, for the purpose of questions and discussions. The material for each section of the course will be posted on the internet weekly as a pdf file. This is a no pressure learning situation. There is no “mandatory attendance” at any time, no grades. The review questions are for the students’ use only. Dr. Kellon assumes that anyone taking the course is doing so because they want to learn more about their horses. Students have the luxury to read when it is convenient for them to do so.


Week One – Normal Function

  1. Organization of the nervous system
  2. The Neuron
  3. Organization of skeletal muscles
  4. The muscle cell

Week Two – Diagnostics

  1. Physical examination
  2. Gait examination
  3. The neurological exam
  4. Blood tests
  5. Spinal tap
  6. Biopsies
  7. Genetic tests

Week Three – Acute Neurological Diseases

  1. Viral encephalitis/myelitis
  2. Botulism
  3. Rabies
  4. Tetanus

Week Four – EPM – Equine Protozoal [Encephalo] Myelitis

  1. Organisms
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment
  5. Lyme myopathy

Week Five – Equine Motor Neuron Disease (EMND)

  1. Symptoms
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Causes
  4. Treatment

Week Six – Tying-Up

  1. Symptoms
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Sporadic versus recurrent
  4. Causes of sporadic TU
  5. Causes of recurrent TU
  6. Treatment and prevention

Week Seven – Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis and Hormonal Myopathies

  1. HYPP
  2. Cortisol related
  3. Role of the thyroid

Week Eight – Dietary Factors in Neuromuscular Disease

  1. Electrolytes and dehydration
  2. Calcium and magnesium
  3. B vitamins and other micronutrients
  4. Energy supplies

Week Nine – Fasciculations and Gait Disorders

  1. Review of disorders with fasciculations
  2. Myotonia
  3. Stringhalt
  4. Shivers
  5. Ossifying myopathy

Week Ten – Miscellaneous Conditions

  1. Viral, bacterial and parasitic myopathies
  2. Atypical myopathy
  3. Glycogen branching enzyme disease
  4. Toxic plants


This course is appropriate for all skill levels to be taken at any time.

Although there is a time limit in which to complete this course, students are not required to sit in front of a computer at a designated time.

Required Materials

If you are using this course as part of the Equinology EEBWIII certification, you must also pay the Equinology Externship Fee of $125. Once the student completes the course, notify Dr. Kellon’s office, and they will send you the exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, you can begin the externship (case studies and extra learning activities).


Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Dr. Kellon is one of a handful of experts in the field of applications of nutraceuticals for horses. She is an authority in the field of equine nutrition as well as conditions affecting performance horses. An Honors Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School, Dr. Kellon completed her internship and residency in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the renowned University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center. She is currently a Staff Veterinarian for Uckele Health and Nutrition, Inc.

Dr. Kellon is the co-owner of the almost 10,000 members Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance yahoo group. She is the owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a nutritional consulting firm which also hosts 16 online courses on nutrition and horse care. Her work has led to unique nutraceutical approaches for horses with skin and respiratory allergies, degenerative as well as injury-related tendon and ligament problems, chronic laminitis and performance issues.

A prolific writer, Dr. Kellon has written 8 books and her articles have appeared in magazines such as The Chronicle of The Horse, Hoofbeats, Practical Horseman, Equus, Horse Journal, and John Lyons Perfect Horse. She has written over 1500 articles on animal nutrition, care and health issues. Dr. Kellon has also contributed to professional publications and professional meetings on topics including muscle disorders, thyroid disorders, and nutrition.


Registration for this course is done directly on Dr. Kellon’s website and can be accessed here.

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