Wobbler disease is characterised by poor coordination and weakness particularly of the hindquarters.
- Poor co-ordination
- Unusual wear of front toes or sores to the front heels from over-reaching
- Reluctance to lie down
- May progress to exaggerated/drunken movements and crashing into objects or obstacles eg: doorways
Compression of the spinal cord causes injury to the nerves which are responsible for sensing the position of the limbs. The compression can be caused by:
- Trauma to the cervical vertebrae (often from a fall)
- Virus (herpes or rhinopneumonitis)
- Incorrect or excessive bone growth
- Hypertrophy of the ligaments of the spinal canal
- Malformed or misaligned vertebrae
- Soft tissue inflammation around the vertebrae
- Inflammation of the spinal cord
- Inflammation in the joint capsule
The vet will do a neurological exam. They can also take radiographs of the neck to pinpoint any problem areas. This can be followed by a myelogram which is when dye is injected into the spinal canal before further radiographs are taken. Unfortunately the horse will need to have a general anaesthetic for this.
Surgery is often the only option. However, in cases of young horses a change in diet can help.
Preventing trauma. Feeding youngsters appropriately.
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