Not Found
Locations
Brought to you by

Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

The Nervous System of Horses

By William B. Thomas, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), Professor, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee
Daniela Bedenice, DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC, Assistant Professor, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University
Kyle G. Braund, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, FRCVS, DACVIM (Neurology), Director, Veterinary Neurological Consulting Services
Cheryl L. Chrisman, DVM, MS, EDS, DACVIM (Neurology), Professor of Veterinary Neurology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Caroline N. Hahn, DVM, MSc, PhD, DECEIM, DECVN, MRCVS, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Neuroscience, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
Charles M. Hendrix, DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University
Maureen T. Long, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Associate Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Robert J. MacKay, BVSc, PhD, Professor, Large Animal Medicine, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida
Karen R. Munana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine,North Carolina State University
Charles E. Rupprecht, VMD, MS, PhD, Director, LYSSA LLC
Josie L. Traub-Dargatz, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Professor of Equine Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University
Susan L. White, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine, Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia

The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and several different kinds of nerves that are found throughout the body. These create complex circuits through which animals experience and respond to sensations.

A familiar type of nervous system circuit is a reflex. Reflexes are simple networks found in the nervous system of all animals. For example, when the eyelid is touched, it closes; when the toe is pinched, the foot pulls away “automatically.”

Many different types of diseases can affect the nervous system, including birth defects, infections, inflammatory conditions, poisoning, metabolic disorders, nutritional disorders, injuries, degenerative diseases, or cancer. Neurologic diseases are often more common in a particular breed or sex, or tend to occur at a certain age.