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The Diagnosis of Neurological Disease in Horses
  by Robert N. Oglesby DVM


Introduction » Functional Areas of the Nervous System » Examining the Nervous System » Dementia » Cranial Nerve Diseases » Ataxia (Incoordination) with or without Weakness » Weakness without Ataxia » Multiple Neurological Symptoms » More Info 

The nervous system is integrated with the normal function of every one of the horse's organs. In turn proper function of the nervous system depends on the proper functioning of each of the body's organs. Diseases of the nervous system are usually first exhibited as a change in the horse's alertness, behavior, gait, and/or ability to sense the world around them. The horse may just have one of these changes or a combination of different symptoms. Primary neurologic disease in horses is a common problem and can be a diagnostic challenge because:
  • The central nervous system is not easily observed and directly examined.
  • Large number of similar diseases effecting the nervous system.
  • No matter what the cause of the disease, the symptoms seen depend on the location of the disease. Different diseases will have similar symptoms if they effect the same location of the nervous system.
On the helpful side is that certain diseases tend to have a specific history, a predilection for localization to certain areas of the nervous system, and to have a certain signalment. Signalment is the circumstances, history, sex, age, breed, etc... under which the disease occurs. Combining the history, signalment, and localization of the lesions often provides a working diagnosis. Localizing neurological diseases to certain areas requires a understanding of the functional regions of the nervous system.

This article will help equestrians accurately label the symptoms which is the first step to localizing the disease. Once the symptoms are accurately labeled links are provided to articles that will further help them differentiate the diseases that effect that area and ways to differentiate them. Once a list of differential diagnoses is generated an appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic regime can be planned.
      ~Word Count: 2304 words (The average magazine page contains about 600 words);
      ~Last Updated: July 10, 2015;
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Discussions on Diagnosing Diseases of the Nervous System
  Titles Subtopics Posts Updated
icon"sidewinder" syndromeMay 11, 14
iconRecurrent episodes of trembling and lack of stability (strokes?)...Mar 14, 12
iconMare with stroke?12 Apr 20, 14
iconHorse with balance problemsSep 21, 09
iconWeakness and lying down a lot Jul 22, 09
iconDo I have a horse with a neurological problem53 Jun 17, 09
iconWhat is wrong with my horse?19 Jan 21, 09
iconEPM or possibly something else?Oct 21, 08
icon27 year old mare in big Trouble81 Aug 27, 07
iconHind end weeknessSep 23, 09
iconEpisodic neurological conditions (long)Apr 3, 07
iconStroke, brain hemorrhageFeb 28, 07
iconCross cantering could it be EPM??Jan 23, 07
iconI have 16 years old mare22 Jan 21, 07
iconAtaxia from EHV 4/1 booster shot?35 Dec 16, 06
iconPossible Isciatic Damage?Dec 11, 06
iconEating on 3 legs15 Oct 12, 06
iconSudden Onset Ataxia Feb 25, 09
iconQuestion on dragging hind feet15 Aug 28, 06
iconEPM??32 Dec 26, 06
iconOld mare with facial paralysis11 May 1, 06
iconDarnit a to epm?Nov 15, 05
iconCure for EPM--accupunture???Oct 1, 05
iconWhat are the sign of EPM?25 Feb 3, 06
iconPossible nerve damage12 Jul 8, 05
iconEPM Western Blot TestJun 1, 05
iconLoss of balance and urination problems , Linked ?Apr 21, 05
iconTesting feces for EPM??Mar 29, 05
iconDiagnosis by scintography?Sep 29, 04
iconCNS Rxn to Ivermectin/Praziquantal?18 Jul 31, 04
iconBloody nose and droopy lipJan 27, 04
iconAcetylcholinesterace inhibitorsJan 12, 04
iconWe lost our mare13 Jan 7, 04
iconLegs giving outSep 8, 03
iconProprioceptic deficit/SLD in 2-year-old?Sep 1, 03
iconStringhalt vs. EPSMJul 7, 04
iconCharlie Horses/Tremors/SpasmsApr 26, 03
iconEPM Question20 Aug 15, 06
iconRecovery for Tying-UpJul 25, 02
iconArchived DiscussionsClick link to access data.
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