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Can horses live with wobblers?

Today, thanks to new and continuing research, many wobblers can be managed and some can even go on to become safe riding horses. A horse with wobbler syndrome (also called cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy) suffers from narrowing of the spinal canal that pinches/compresses his spinal cord as he grows.

What are signs of wobblers in horses?

Symptoms. Horses with wobblers syndrome will trip often and be stiff and uncoordinated when they move. They may appear to lurch as they canter, have difficulty halting smoothly and collide the hind with the front feet. Walking up and down hills may be difficult.

How quickly does wobblers progress in horses?

The onset of clinical signs is typically between six months to three years, although mature horses may also become affected.

What causes wobbles in horses?

The exact cause of wobbler syndrome in horses is unknown. It is believed that the syndrome is caused by genetic predisposition, feeding excessive amounts of energy and other nutrients, rapid growth, physical trauma, decreased copper/ increased zinc levels, or a combination of these factors.

Does equine wobblers get worse with age?

Affected horses grow rapidly and are large for their age. Onset of the clinical signs can be gradual or come on all at once. Hind limb deficits are typically one grade worse than fore limbs. Circling, raising the head, and walking over obstacles or inclines make the condition worse.

What is horse EMND?

Equine motor neuron disease (EMND) typically occurs in older horses that have been vitamin E deficient for >18 months. EMND affects lower motor neurons, interfering with neurological input into muscles. Affected horses display muscle atrophy, weakness, and weight loss.

Are horses with wobblers in pain?

A normal horse will not react but a “Wobbler” will withdraw by depressing the spine in a squatting position. This is not a sign of pain but a sign of weakness as a result of nerve damage.

How do you treat wobblers?

The two main treatments for wobbler disease are medical management and surgery. Medical management typically involves activity restriction and treatment, with a course of corticosteroids to reduce spinal cord swelling associated with compression.

Is there a cure for wobblers disease?

It’s most common in Great Danes and Dobermans, with 4-5% of those breeds being affected. There is no cure for Wobblers, and depending on how advanced the symptoms become, sometimes treatment isn’t effective.

What causes vitamin E deficiency in horses?

If horses are only turned out in a poor pasture or subsist on a diet of mostly dried hay, however, they can become vitamin E deficient. After hay and grasses are cut any vitamin E in the plants will degrade, and older hay has less of this critical vitamin than freshly cut hay.

How are wobblers diagnosed?

How is wobbler syndrome diagnosed? Plain X-Rays of the cervical spine may show abnormal bony proliferation in the bones of the neck suggestive of cervical stenotic myelopathy. Advanced imaging, such as myelogram/CT or MRI, is required to image the spinal cord and characterize the degree of spinal cord compression.