Primary hypoparathyroidism in two horses

N P Hudson, D B Church, J Trevena, I L Nielsen, D Major, D R Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two Thoroughbred horses were presented with various clinical signs which included sweating, agitation, muscle twitching and synchronous diaphragmatic flutter. These signs were associated with profound hypocalcaemia. A diagnosis of primary hypoparathyroidism was made on the basis of low serum ionised calcium concentration, hyperphosphataemia and markedly reduced serum immunoreactive parathyroid hormone concentrations in the presence of normal renal function. Treatment with a combination of intravenous calcium and subsequently oral calcium, magnesium and a vitamin D analogue (dihydrotachysterol) for up to 65 days resulted in complete remission of clinical signs. Horse 1 was euthanased 12 months after the initial recognition of signs. Results of necropsy were unremarkable apart from an absence of detectable parathyroid tissue. Horse 2 returned to athletic activities while receiving only maintenance doses of oral calcium carbonate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-8
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian veterinary journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Horse Diseases
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Male

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