Your horse's neurologic examination is performed by your veterinarian to determine whether he or she is exhibiting clinical signs consistent with neurologic disease and to determine the origin or location of the lesion accounting for the signs seen. Neurologic abnormalities may be associated with brain involvement, spinal cord involvement, or both. In horses with subtle gait abnormalities, it can be difficult to discern whether the problem is stemming from a neurologic or lameness issue. You need an experienced clinician with the ability to perform a thorough systematic examination to make an accurate diagnosis.
Your horse may be neurologic if it has one or more of the following signs:
- It trips or stumbles intermittently at the walk, trot or while being ridden.
- It stands with its legs abnormally placed. Either its feet too wide apart or too close together.
- It has abnormal toe wear. Its toes may be rounded off from intermittent dragging of the toes.
- It has an exaggerated forelimb gait when walked with its head elevated.
- It has an uneven, spastic gait at the walk or trot.
- It knuckles over in the hind fetlocks when stopped suddenly.