Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Behavior: self-mutilation

Contributor(s): Bonnie Beaver, Caroline Hahn, Paul McGreevy, Natalie Waran

Introduction

  • Self-mutilation syndrome usually seen in stallions.
  • Biting and nipping at body   Skin: trauma 02 - self-mutilation  .

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Onset usually after environmental or husbandry changes.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Stallion.
  • Heavy grain ration.
  • Minimal contact with conspecifics.
  • Change in environment or management.
  • Reactive disposition.
  • Lightweight breeds.

Pathophysiology

  • Stallion with nervous disposition; triggered by environmental or management changes   →   self-mutilation.
  • Fustration at isolation and confinement   →   triggers self-mutilation, with biting, chewing and licking at skin   →   it is possible that the damage to the skin results in an itchy healing area that attracts subsequent damage   →   alopecia, leukotrichia and localized scarring.

Timecourse

  • Recurrent behavior.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Dodman N H, Normile J A, Shuster L & Rand W (1994) Equine self-mutilation syndrome (57 cases). JAVMA 204 (8), 1219-1223 PubMed.
  • McClure S R, Chaffin M K & Beaver B V (1992) Nonpharmacologic management of stereotypic self-mutilative behavior in a stallion. JAVMA 200 (12), 1975-1977 PubMed.


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