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Discussion on Could this be wobbles?

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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 11
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 4, 2002 - 8:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Can there be such a thing as late onset Wobbles? We have a 10 year old Warmblood gelding that has been intermittantly lame for a year and a half. When we first bought him a year and a half ago he appeared fine...but did trip over his front feet alot. That was usually blamed on the rider though. Since going obviously off he has been through the ringer diagnostically having many radiographs, 2 scintigraphies, and ultrasounds done. Basically no one can find a concrete reason for the intermittant lameness. He goes from a grade 1 barely discernable not feeling quite right under saddle to a grade 4 lameness in the rear which can include dragging toes, lower back muscle soreness, hopping hitching gait(that doesn't block out from toe to hip). he doesn't respond to meds for the soreness either. He vaccilates back and forth between these degrees of lameness...more often a grade 1-2 than any other. When he is really off he acts like he has difficulty negotiating where to put his feet or more like he has difficulty rising his feet(rear)to take steps. He stumbles in the front fairly often, but doesn't seem lame there. He has had muscle wasting, but we are unsure if it is from not being ridden at all in the last year or if this is part of his "signs and symptoms".In hand neurological tests were done and he really doesn't present like a "neurological" horse, but could he be? He seems to know where his feet are, but when he's really off he seems to have a hard time getting his feet where they need to be. In all the radiographs and scintigraphies that were done no one has ever looked at his neck. Everything was examined from the withers back. Has has also tested negative to the EPM blood test. Someone recently mentioned to me that maybe he is a "Late Onset" Wobbler. What do you think?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7391
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Dec 5, 2002 - 4:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No if lameness is the presentation and not incoordination he is not a wobbler. Though some of your descriptions sound like incoordination it sound like these occur or worsen as the lameness worsens. Where do the nerve and intrarticular blocks localize the lameness to?
DrO
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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 12
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Friday, Dec 6, 2002 - 8:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

DrO

Nerve Blocks do not block out the lameness...and they have been done when the horse is a grade 4 lame. He spent the entire day at a reputable place in Wellington, Florida having every joint in his rear blocked(starting at the foot and going as high as the sacrum). He never blocked out.

This horse has always tripped a lot(in front). When my daughter would ride him(he was a 3'6" hunter)sometimes I would have this gut feeling that he was going to trip badly enough one day and go down on her(which never happened thankfully). He would appear clumsy at these times. One time he was being led at the walk(no rider up)and he tripped so badly over his front feet he went down to his knees. One might jump to the conclusion that he was being lazy or needed to be trimmed...but that's not what is was...trust me...I've been around horses a long time...this was weird.

He has been turned out for the last 6 months as there seemed nothing left to do. Most of the time you can't tell he is lame at all in hand. Then he'll come up a grade 4 lameness...barely able to get his feet to move him where he needs to go. When that happens he appears extremely muscle sore in the rear, stiff, has difficulty lifting his feet to walk, drags his toes, and has kind of a shuffling, mincy walk all the way around. He has difficulty holding his rear legs up for the farrier and when his rear feet are freed he kind of stabs them off to the side and then jams them down(looks kind of like he wants to kick...but he doesn't). He doesn't seem to have difficulty rising. He is ever so slightly positive to the tail pull...but you really have to stretch to say he is positive. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the differing degrees of lameness. He can be barely lame one day...the next he can be seriously lame. he can stay very badly off for a week or two and then one day he appears fine again. Most of the times he has minor signs and symptoms. In the pasture where he lives he has to come up a very small hill and climb up a very slight incline and go through a gate to be fed. He seems to have a hard time negotiating this(getting his hind feet in place to get him up and around). When you watch this you think maybe he is neurological...but when you do the in hand tests you think maybe not. So...any ideas?

Thanks again!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7395
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Dec 6, 2002 - 7:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Of course without any direction and the uncertainty of whether it is even muscoskeletal or neurological I cannot be of much help: my crystal ball is just not that good. Statistically after 18 months you have to wonder whatever the problem is the prognosis is likely to be quarded but if the horse is valuable I recommend a referral to a second institution possibly a university where a certified neurologist can look over the shoulder of experienced clinicians to evaluate the horse.
DrO
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Linda T. Threlkeld
Member
Username: Mtca

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, Dec 7, 2002 - 1:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi! Have you explored Equine herpis Virus, ataxia type?

Linda
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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 13
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Saturday, Dec 7, 2002 - 12:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Linda,

No, we haven't looked into the Equine Herpes Virus, Ataxia type. I did look it up though after you posted and it doesn't really sound like what is going on though. Thanks for offering an opinion though...Most of the Doc's have been looking at this from the orthopedic point of view(Orthopods that most are)...which is why I had asked about neurological things...such as Wobblers...as my own gut feeling for what it is worth is that this is something neurological. I will probably be taking our big guy to the University in Gainesville soon...as a last ditch effort. The horse is such a good guy...such a shame...for him.

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Linda T. Threlkeld
Member
Username: Mtca

Post Number: 5
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 8, 2002 - 6:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Danny,
EHV-4 is spinal ataxia we had it happen to one of our horses. If you go to a university I would highly recommend you taking your veterinarian with you and your horse.

We lost our world champion horse in 1996 with some mess ups at a University (they are teaching hospitals). We were told later we should have had our vet there for sure.

Linda
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7409
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Dec 9, 2002 - 8:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Guys, guys, guys, slow down: before you start diagnosing and throwing out horror stories we need a clear vision of the clinical signs this horse is displaying.

Horses with permanant damage from EHV1/4 infection might fit some of the signs above but would be hard to diagnose at this time and it is a dead end: there would be nothing that could be done. I would put it way down the rule out list no matter what my physical findings are.
DrO
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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 14
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 17, 2002 - 5:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update you(all)on what is happening with my horse that no one can figure out what is wrong with. I went to visit him this weekend. He is turned out in a small pasture with some pony mares(I was told to turn him out by my vet). The first day I visited he seemed fine for him...which is far from normal...he moves very strange...kind of like he is stiff...and he trips...and drags his back toes...but he gets around. This is the horse that the vets feel presents as "normal" for an in-hand neurological exam. The next day we went out to see him. He was in the pasture. I called him to us and he didn't move. He normally comes whenever he is called. We went into the pasture to get him and he could barely move at all. It seemed that all four feet weren't working well(like they were stuck in place). With much encouragement we were finally able to get him into the barn. We left him in the stall for a few hours...checking on him. A few hours later we tried to turn him out and this time he was able to trot back out to his pature...his movement was funny looking...but he was able to move and get where he wanted to go. What is going on with this horse? He did not appear to be in pain while this was going on. The diagnostic picture is sooo confusing. It is so weird. He can't move one minute and is able to trot a few hours later. With that I have decided I have nothing to lose by taking him to the University/Vet School to be evaluated yet again. I think I will let them do whatever they want until all my insurance for the year is used up. I don't know what else to do. Is it is cruel to keep this horse alive? Most of the time he appears pasture sound. What happens if he can't move and needs to(for his safety) and no one is there when he needs help? Any other ideas with this recent report?

Thanks...Debbie
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Ann Cohrs
Member
Username: Apcohrs

Post Number: 47
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 17, 2002 - 5:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Have you ruled out EPSM?
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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 15
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 17, 2002 - 7:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Ann,

I have mentioned EPSM to the vets, and they basically uh huh'd me. When my horse goes to the University I will insist all these tests be done. I have to start trusting my own gut instincts, especially since no one seems able to figure this out.

Debbie
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joj
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 339
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 18, 2002 - 12:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know this might sound pendantic but what about chronic tying up?Rhabdomyolysis?.... or what about stringhalt?

Why don't your vets think its neurological?

Nothing else out of the ordinary? I hate these kinds of posts...

joj

don't panic about UF great place... Sent a friends horse up there...enteroliths the size of baseballs... came back better than ever... :-)
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7442
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 18, 2002 - 7:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes Danny I think this is a clearer picture. I agree with the others above, tying up is most likley as a cause for a horse to have recurrent short episodes of stiffness. Whether it is EPSM or some other form is hard to say but U of F should be able to figure that out.
DrO
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Debra S. Lawrence
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 16
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Friday, Jan 3, 2003 - 1:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well...here's the new installment...:-)

My horse has been at the vet school all week. He has been evaluated by the orthopods and the Neuro specialists there. He has been dubbed, "a most interesting case". It has been determined that he has mildly foundered and has some active absesses which account for the horse's reluctance to walk/move. I don't know why the regular vet could not figure that out but supposedly the horse had no bounding digital pulse, no heat, and no unusual reaction to the hoof testers. They also determined he is sore in his left rear, but are unable to evaluate that at this time due to the extreme soreness in his front.

Because of the history of stumbling they decided to pursue evaluating him for EPM, EPSM, and Wobbles. They X-rayed his neck which revealed a small lesion on the bottom of his neck. They did a stress test and two blood tests for EPSM yesterday which had negative results for EPSM. I asked about doing a muscle biopsy, but they feel that the negative bloodwork does not warrent the biopsy. Apparently there are two schools of thought on EPSM and testing for it. They do not ascribe to Beth Valentine's recommendation to do a muscle biopsy if the blood work/muscle enzyme test comes back negative after a stress test.

He had a milogram and despite the lesion on/in his lower neck they say it is not impinging on his spinal cord. That is a good thing. They took spinal fluid for the EPM test too while they were in there. The result will be back for that in a week. As far as the founder goes...

I started thinking back about things and remembered this. Last January(2002)when my farrier came to re-shoe my horse, he noticed a thickening in the white line of his front feet. My farrier asked me if I had noticed the horse being sore or having difficulty walking then. I told him no (I'm pretty observant too). He said that the look of his white line was suggestive of a horse in the process of foundering or one that would. I mentioned it to my vet, who looked at his feet and explained that the changes in his feet might be consistent with changes due to recovery from the surgery he had the October before(he had a small old OCD lesion removed from his right rear pastern). As he had not been sore in the front at all then or after we didn't and haven't given it another thought.

Then horse started having difficulty walking just this past November. He got better quickly though until middle of December. From then on it either stayed the same, got a little better, or got worse(his reluctance to walk). He tested fine to the hoof testers which is why no one suspected a problem with his front feet. All the past problems had been in the rear.

I mentioned this to the attending vet at UF. I discussed that I didn't see how it was possible for the horse to be foundering as he is not fat (in fact he is on the very thin side), we have trouble keeping weight on this horse, he is not in work, he is on Bahia grass (which is not rich at all...and has low nutritional value), he hasn't gotten into grain/pellets, he isn't being ridden and watered when he is hot, etc.

After careful listening, the Dr. said he might have Cushings. He explained Cushings can cause laminitis, muscle wasting, and loss of weight despite the fact his coat is in good condition and not long. He said that Cushings horses can have repeat episodes of Laminits...stating usually they don't occur yearly...but maybe he didn't suffer any pain with it last January (if that is what was going on then) and the episodic nature of it started in November. So just in case that is what is going on he is having the test for that in the morning. The results for that come back next week and will probably be negative too(haha).

Maybe he is sore in the left hind currently from compensating for the discomfort in the front (I hope so...it would make a lot of sense if that was it). Maybe the reason for the intermittant soreness in his back end all this time (on and off for more than a year) has been problems with his front feet.

For now they cannot evaluate his rear because he is too sore up front...so I don't know...what do you think about all this? By the way he has had no rotation, but his pedal bone has dropped a little though. The Dr. is saying the changes in his feet are minimal. Can a horse that has been having subtle changes in his feet for a long time until it became the acute problem it is now cause all the above(in my other posts) symptoms to happen I have written about?

Thanks...Debbie
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7528
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2003 - 7:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, I think this might make sense: founder in the background with recurring abscesses accounting for the episodic appearance. I would not have done any of the neuro/radiograph stuff until I cleared up the lameness, just to see if it was still warranted.
DrO
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Debra S. Lawrence
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 17
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Monday, Jan 13, 2003 - 3:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,

At this point I should probably be moving this discussion to the Founder and Laminitis section, but was unsure...so I will post one more time here and see what you say regarding this.

I have two questions:

1. What is the prognosis for a horse that has apparently suffered mild recurrent dropping of the pedal bone, but no rotation?

and

2. Can this kind of mild but chronic problem cause all the other symptoms mentioned earlier in my other posts pertaining to this horse? In other words...if I had sore feet(for whatever reason) and no one did anything to help my feet...could I end up getting twisted up(signs of subluxated sacrum) and sore all over the place compensating for the pain? I would imagine that if forced to walk on bad feet I could end up looking like the hunchback of notre dame or something. Oh...I know you will say something like the horse probably has concurrent disorders...and you will probably be right:-).

Thanks in advance...Debbie
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7581
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003 - 6:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Debra,
There is really no such thing as a mild dropping of the pedal bone: when the whole bone drops all of the laminae are effected and torn. This is always serious and in my opinion frequently misdiagnosed. What exactly do they see to make this dire observation.

No, the founder would not cause a subluxated sacrum. But when your feet are sore it is hard to see any other problems until you get them well.
DrO
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Barbara Cardin
Member
Username: Bcardin

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 26, 2003 - 11:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What did they ever find out about Danny's horse? The last post said he was going to take it to the univ and then another subject took over his post. I swear Danny was dealing with my horse, exact same symptoms and actions. Please see what you can find out. Thank You
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7885
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 1, 2003 - 10:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

You misread the above posts, Danny is Debra (look at the usernames).
DrO
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leonard t lyons
New Member
Username: Mrair

Post Number: 1
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2003 - 9:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

}i need some help in understanding wobblers what am i looking at for signs of this disease.i have a 2 year old large horse that has a hard time getting up ?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9135
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 - 8:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Leonard,
I see you are a new member and you may have gotten here through search not realizing we have an article that discusses this disease including appearance. Go to the top of this page and you will see the navigation bar which gives you a step wise map of where this discussion is located. It is in the article page on Wobblers. Click on Wobblers or Cervical Stenotic Myelopathy and it will take you to the article and other discussions on Wobblers, read the articles and the pertinent discussions and you should be able to get a clear idea of what Wobblers looks like.
DrO
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