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Equine Practice
The wobbly horse: differential diagnoses
  1. Caroline Hahn

    Caroline Hahn qualified at the University of Florida in 1991 and completed an internship in equine neurology and orthopaedic surgery at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket. After a year working as an interim large animal medicine resident at Purdue University in the USA, she moved to the University of Edinburgh to complete a residency and PhD in equine neurology. She subsequently spent a year at the University of Sydney training in small animal neurology before returning to the ‘Dick’ to direct the Neuromuscular Disease Laboratory. She is board certified by the European College of Equine Internal Medicine and the European College of Veterinary Neurology.


ATAXIA is relatively uncommon in horses in the UK. However, due to the significant safety issues involved, it is crucial that clinicians can recognise and interpret the clinical signs. Although the prognosis is often unfavourable, it should not be seen as acceptable or necessary to euthanase ataxic cases without first obtaining a reasonably specific diagnosis. This article presents a guide to the more common differential diagnoses for ataxia in British horses. It commences with a smidgen of indispensable neuroanatomy for any clinician presented with a ‘wobbly’ horse.

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