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Wobblers - one leg more affected than the others?

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  • Wobblers - one leg more affected than the others?

    Having trouble finding the answer online here. Potential wobblers case, both hind limbs appear to be affected, but one more severely than the other. Horse lame/potentially ataxic on a straight line and in both directions, but trotting on a right circle is significantly worse than trotting on a left circle.

    Getting another specialist involved and that vet will see the horse in the next few days (waiting to hear when the appointment is still) but I'm trying to do my own research for my own edification (and piece of mind) in the meantime.

    Is it possible for wobblers to present unevenly? Or are we probably looking at a different issue or multiple issues?

    (X-rays of spine do show narrowing, but current vet is saying that there can't be a conclusive diagnosis without a myelogram.)

  • #2
    Oh no, not another big vet issue for you! FWIW, my brother's first horse was a confirmed wobbler from birth injury (we found out later of course, bought it knowing nothing about horses). He was much worse to the left than to the right. So it can happen unevenly. Best of luck that it isn't that way for yours, though!


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
      Oh no, not another big vet issue for you! FWIW, my brother's first horse was a confirmed wobbler from birth injury (we found out later of course, bought it knowing nothing about horses). He was much worse to the left than to the right. So it can happen unevenly. Best of luck that it isn't that way for yours, though!
      Thanks for the info! Fingers crossed... It is the same poor horse, too. He's been out for 15 months now. I'd expected/hoped to be getting the good news that he could go back into work, not faced with another problem. Whatever the result, will have to have a quality of life discussion with the vet, unless it ends up being something a quick and clear fix.


      • #4
        Wobblers (and most other kinds of neurological problems) can definitely be asymmetric. I would go so far as to say that the signs are *usually* asymmetric to some extent.


        • #5
          Originally posted by weixiao View Post

          Thanks for the info! Fingers crossed... It is the same poor horse, too. He's been out for 15 months now. I'd expected/hoped to be getting the good news that he could go back into work, not faced with another problem. Whatever the result, will have to have a quality of life discussion with the vet, unless it ends up being something a quick and clear fix.
          So sorry to hear that. If he is really ataxic and not fixable he is dangerous to himself and everyone around. Ours would eventually randomly just fall while trotting on good ground, for no discernible reason. It didn't happen often, but after a few of those enough was enough.

          He was sold to us as a "great kid's horse" -- from a person who knew about the issue. I guess if you don't like your kids much.....


          • Original Poster

            Thanks, Toblersmom. I didn't see anything one way or the other discussed much in the literature I read, just that it could affect all four legs or just the hind limbs, so I had just come to the conclusion that it "should" be symmetrical.

            Fordtraktor- that's terrible. It's unbelievable what people will try and pass off selling. I'm sorry about your experience and glad no one got hurt. I completely agree that if he is ataxic, and given the rate of progression (not long ago he was looking pretty decent on the lunge and I got my hopes up), I won't prolong things and take the risk of waiting one day too long and I also wouldn't really consider him long term pasture sound in his current state. But, I don't want to get ahead of myself until I've got a clearer diagnosis and a small part of me is still hoping the next vet is going to say "oh, no, it isn't that it is just X and we can treat it with Z..."

            Either way, just hoping for a clear answer for him soon.


            • #7
              ugh, what a bad run of luck for you i'm really sorry. jingling for some conclusive answers when the specialist comes. this isn't the handsome dude you picked up recently, i hope?

              wobbler's is not very specific a term since it's used to describe a few issues, but cervical arthritis usually comes to the forefront when someone says "wobblers" and CA definitely presents unevenly. narrowing can also present unevenly too, usually they have a weaker side. toblersmom is right that most neurological issues do present unevenly, typically.

              not sure if you remember the guy i put down last july -- he was PTS because of advanced CA and presented very unevenly. he never fell, but he presented like a sidewinder did. he would list to one side often, and had more trouble supporting himself on one hind leg (especially for shoeing) than the other, and really struggled to the point where we couldn't shoe him at all and a decision had to be made.
              AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


              • #8
                Yep. My neuro mare is also worse to one side.


                • #9
                  It depends on where in the cord you've got compression and what nerve roots are affected but yes, typical for it to affect certain limbs more than others. And add to that you may have bracing and compensating in one direction, and it can look like a lot of different things. So sorry you have this news


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                    this isn't the handsome dude you picked up recently, i hope?
                    No, *knock on wood* he is doing spectacularly, thank goodness. Got a bit of muscle soreness this winter when he decided to bring himself in to the barn via a Dutch canal and got a bit stuck temporarily, but thankfully that's all we've had to deal with so far.

                    Thanks for the input everyone. Sounds like wobblers/neuro is pretty likely then. Hoping to get a final answer soon, but at the same time dreading it because until it happens, anything could be true!


                    • #11
                      yes my wobbler was also worse one rein then the other


                      • Original Poster

                        Bit of an update, two more vet visits later.

                        This vet disagreed with the other vet's wobbler's diagnosis after the exam and taking more x-rays of what feels like every single bone in the horse. He felt the pelvis/SI is the problem (along with a minor suspensory issue, which I suspected had flared up again) so we did a pelvic ultrasound today at the clinic. Some findings, although he felt that it was only "moderate" rather than severe, so we decided to inject and see where that takes us. Plan is to check him briefly on the lunge in 2 weeks and then if he looks good, recheck again another 4-6 weeks after that to see how it's all holding.

                        Hoping for the best! We both deserve to have some luck go our way in this I think.


                        • #13
                          So xrays showed no signs of neck compression then? Thats excellent.
                          I know with my guy there was a period where it was unclear whether it was a SI issue (or at least thats what it looked to be) they really do act in a similar way.

                          Best of luck