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Spastic Syndrome (Progressive hindlimb paralysis) in Cattle and Sheep

Progressive spasticity and stiffness of the hind legs in cattle 4-years old and older is common. Usually noticed when an animal gets up in a stall, at which time the hind legs are stiffly extended and the animal seems unable to flex them for a few minutes. Progressive and probably inherited as an autosomal dominant with incomplete penetrance. This was also reported in a sheep.

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Episodic, involuntary muscle contractions or spasms involving the hindlimbs are associated with postural and locomotor disturbances as well as spasticity. The condition may progress to posterior paresis or hindlimb paralysis. It is seen most frequently in Holstein and Guernsey cattle 3-7 yr old. Spastic syndrome is regarded as a genetic disease, possibly due to an autosomal dominant gene with incomplete penetrance. The pathology and pathophysiology remain obscure.
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