Myotonia Congenita


What is myotonia congenita exactly? – to answer that question, let’s take a look at goats. Goats can protect a flock of sheep by fainting; this goat is known as a myotonic goat. Usually, they are eaten by wolves, allowing the rest of the herd to flee. They take one for the team, as it were. Older, more experienced fainting goats faint against walls to prevent falling over completely.

Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over. Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled, and sometimes even manage to limp away half asleep in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.