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 Post subject: Wobbler syndrome
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:37 pm 
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Starters Handicap

Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:35 am
Posts: 679
Does anyone have any experience with Wobbler? Some specific questions would be

- do some horses just grow out of it...in other words is there are recovery rate or likelihood of racing for a weanling or a yearling?

-are there any surefire corrective procedures -or is it that different cases require different solutions?

- what are the chances that subsequent foals out of a mare will also be afflicted?

Thanks in advance - asking for a friend...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:25 pm 
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3rd Year Sire

Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:23 pm
Posts: 3306
I had one with Wobblers that didn't present until age three. She slipped and fell. Shortly thereafter she lost it behind. To make a long story short, I tried several protocols-none worked and had her put down after it was determined she wouldn't be capable living safely in a pasture. She was a Matty G and I've been told that the Capote line is genetically predisposed to Wobblers.

My research indicated that very few Wobblers overcome the affliction so I would say racing is a longshot with one already presenting. As I said, this filly never presented until age three and that was after two starts at the track. I only turned her out because she was constantly coming down with coughing related respiratory problems and thought some time off would help her immune system. Unfortunately she slipped and fell triggering the spinal pressure that caused the atrophy in her hind end.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:06 am 
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Starters Handicap

Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:09 pm
Posts: 608
Location: Texas
I had a Northern Baby colt yrs. ago that developed it as a yearling and had to be put down. Recently, I had a two yr. old Tactical Cat filly develop it while at a training center and had to be put down. Her mare has produced eight foals to run so I have her in foal again. Good luck to your friends.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Starters Handicap

Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:09 pm
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Location: Texas
Just read an interesting article on ataxia at thehorse.com newsletter. You might want to pass it on to your friends.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Starters Handicap

Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:35 am
Posts: 679
Thanks folks for your help and information. It is a pretty sad affliction and the people are really bummed. I will pass along the info.
Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:58 pm 
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Eclipse Champion

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 6:57 am
Posts: 2388
Location: Kentucky
We had a filly who became a wobbler midway through her 2YO year. No one else in her family was afflicted that we knew of, and there was no precipitating cause. We ended up putting her down.

One horse who famously went from being a wobbler to a stakes winner and now a sire is Shamardahl. If you google him, I'm sure you can find articles about it. The man who worked with the colt said that he had a cure for wobbler syndrome but I was, and remain, skeptical.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Maiden Special Weight

Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 106
My filly was never diagnosed a wobbler, but she developed very, very severe ataxia as a weanling. She remained bright and alert the whole time and was very easy to work with, so I couldn't bring myself to put her down. She was on stall rest for a very long time, and then turned out 24/7 with one other buddy for a very long time, and now runs/bucks/rolls/plays like all the others. She is now 2 and I will be starting her in the spring (she has already been broken to tack.)

She was always a bit abnormal. Supplementing liquid vitamin E and selenium helped. Basically, my vet knew that funds were extremely limited so he said to throw that at her and see what happened. I don't know that she'll ever be a racehorse but I'm certain she CAN be ridden.

She was the only foal I got from the mare, but neither the sire nor dam or any horses I know of in the dam's family were wobblers.

Have you tested for EPM?

I also know of a young TB who was given away to a little girl due to being a wobbler. He became a very good showhorse/breeding stallion/jack of all trades, though he did not race.

Good luck, and keep us posted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:29 pm 
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2yo Maiden

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:17 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Fargo, ND
I attended South Dakota State University and the equine unit owned a working QH stallion for many year that consistently produced about 1/3 Wobblers from foals (how's that for a sire's statistic!). The reason he got enough foals on the ground to get those stats was that the Wobbler's didn't surface until age 4 or 5 (they were big, late maturing horses)...and at that age, it came on suddenly and severely. Most of the horses were put down within 2 years of presenting. Their coordination was so poor that the quality of life for them was not justifiable.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:30 pm 
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2yo Maiden

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:17 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Fargo, ND
I attended South Dakota State University and the equine unit owned a working QH stallion for many year that consistently produced about 1/3 Wobblers from foals (how's that for a sire's statistic!). The reason he got enough foals on the ground to get those stats was that the Wobbler's didn't surface until age 4 or 5 (they were big, late maturing horses)...and at that age, it came on suddenly and severely. Most of the horses were put down within 2 years of presenting. Their coordination was so poor that the quality of life for them was not justifiable.

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C'mon out for a "thrill a minute"!
www.hrnd.org


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Grade I Winner

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:12 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: Knightsen, CA
I have a 2yo going through it right now. He was fine as a weanling and suddenly developed ataxia one day, before I owned him. He may have had a traumatic injury like falling over in the pasture, or it may have just been genetic, who knows.

At first, they didn't know what was wrong with him. They went through all of the EPM tests, etc., and finally concluded that he was a wobbler. One thing you can do is turn them in a tight circle. A wobbler cannot cross over his hind legs and disengage the hindquarters. He will always scoot the near leg next to the far leg, then move the far leg out, etc. Also, if you grab his tail, he cannot lift it normally. It will usually curl up and fall over to one side. If you have someone walk him off, and you walk next to his tail and pull it toward you, he will not be able to stabilize himself, but rather will sort of collapse toward you. These are definitive tests for the wobbler.

So the people that bred my foal kept him at a farm that had heard of a protocol for young wobblers, less than one year of age. When researching this later, I specifically read that it will not work on horses over one year of age. It involved trying to keep the horse from growing. The idea is that if you keep him from growing, the vertebral space for the spinal cord might expand enough to stop pinching the spinal cord. He was sequestered in a confined area. They purposefully fed him the poorest quality grass hay only, absolutely no alfalfa. He had supplements of Vitamin B and selenium, and gave him OCD pellets. They had him on this protocol for months. Apparently his condition stabilized from God-awful, but he never recovered. They decided to give up on him, and offered him to me as a pet because he was out of a mare I raced that I had bought back from them. I agreed to take him, and he was shipped up on a van.

The farm had warned me several times that he would not look good because of the protocol he was on. I was still pretty unprepared for how awful he would be. The now-yearling unloaded out of that van looking utterly wasted. As a long yearling, he looked like the size of a weanling. His neck was thin and reedy, his stomach bulged with a hay belly but his ribs showed, and he had a tremendous case of rain rot all over him because of his poor skin condition. I suppose that this is how you would expect a juvenile horse to look after a year on a zero protein diet, but there seemed little excuse for the rainrot to me. No matter what condition his coat was in, they could have used a little Fungisan on him.

I brought him home and looked him over. He could walk fairly well, but definitely swung his hind legs out in an arc as he walked. His ears were always flopped down as if he didn't feel good. He failed all of the above wobbler tests.

I felt so sorry for this poor little guy. I know that it was a medical protocol for his own good, but I decided that it was no way to live. If he had to look like that to live, better to feed him up and euthanize him when he de-stabilizes. so I just started feeding him. He got two flakes of alfalfa and two flakes of oat hay a day. I started out giving him the OCD pellets, but discontinued those after a couple of weeks. I gave him regular Farnam Vita-Plus vitamins and a little grain, nothing else. I treated his rain rot. He filled out pretty quickly. I segregated him from the other horses but gave him a 36x60 paddock to roam.

He started looking better, and I was relieved that the wobbling got no worse. I figured he could just be a pet. About six months went by, and one day I noticed that his ears weren't flopped down any more. He looked alert and happy. I noticed him walk away from me, and he wasn't swinging his hind legs out in an arc anymore. I went over and forced him to turn in a tight circle, and sure enough, he could cross over just a little bit. Only one step, and then he was awkward on the second step, but man, it was progress! His tail still flopped over when I raised it.

Since then, he seems to be improving quite a lot. His ears are always up, he can cross over all the time, but a little awkwardly. He doesn't drag his hind legs when he trots. I can pull on his tail and he can stabilize himself. He has always been asexual, no colt behavior at all. Now he is starting to drop out and get a little more interested in nearby mares. He was a May foal, and is not yet a full two. I'm starting to consider that he might be able to go at least for saddle training, and then who knows?

I'm not sure whether I would recommend this protocol. It was no way to live. But if you have a weanling still and could harden your heart and do it for a while, perhaps what is needed is to do what I did: take him off of it before you see his wobbles get better. My own vet didn't believe in it, and I've read several pieces of literature that said it absolutely won't work over 1 year of age. So I think that's why my colt was ripe to get off of it.

There is a surgery that you can do. My vet has had three clients do it, and all three clients were cured. It is the same surgery Seattle Slew had, the Bagby basket surgery. It would be expensive, but I've read literature that said that horses could be "athletic" after it. Still, I think the prognosis for racing would be very poor.

Good luck!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Allowance Winner

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 7:34 pm
Posts: 445
Location: Sandy Spring, MD
I had a colt that broke his maiden MSW as a grade 1 wobbler, but shortly after took a bad step training and ended up with a condylar fracture. We at the time didn't know he was a wobbler, so we went ahead with the surgery. By the time he recovered and the screws/bone had healed completely, we discovered he had progressed to a grade 3 or 4 wobbler. The xrays on his spinal cord determined he was not a "basket" surgery candidate. He wasn't safe to be lead out of his stall, because as a 4 y/o colt he was quite rambunctious, yet couldn't control where he went. He was put down.

Sorry, I just don't know many wobblers with a great future.
Do check for EPM though- it presents with the same symptoms.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:28 am 
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Suckling

Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:23 pm
Posts: 24
Location: MANILA PHILIPPINES
wobbler can be corrected by giving the affected horse with a supplementation of a combination of vitamin b1 (good for the nerves) and vitamin e (good for the muscles). im not so sure of the brand name but the drug is manufactured in ireland. massaging daily every morning and evening with the use of mentholated solutions like absorbine can also be of great help. here in our country im using 1 bottle 70% isopropyl alcohol mix with 1 bottle of omega pain killer + 1 bottle of salycilic acid. after competition or heavy exercise i bathe the horse with 1 cup of the solution mix in 1 pail of water the horse showed sign of relief. hope it will help you fellow horselovers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:32 am 
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Grade II Winner

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:14 am
Posts: 1277
franchino pamintuan wrote:
wobbler can be corrected by giving the affected horse with a supplementation of a combination of vitamin b1 (good for the nerves) and vitamin e (good for the muscles). im not so sure of the brand name but the drug is manufactured in ireland. massaging daily every morning and evening with the use of mentholated solutions like absorbine can also be of great help. here in our country im using 1 bottle 70% isopropyl alcohol mix with 1 bottle of omega pain killer + 1 bottle of salycilic acid. after competition or heavy exercise i bathe the horse with 1 cup of the solution mix in 1 pail of water the horse showed sign of relief. hope it will help you fellow horselovers.


Not even holy water rubbed topically on a horse is going to fix spinal compression.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Suckling

Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:23 pm
Posts: 24
Location: MANILA PHILIPPINES
hey are you a pagan or an ordinary horselover without any medical background??? if you dont have any nice words to say you better keep your mouth shut. if you want to be respected be respectful to others specially those who are sharing their experiences in horsemanship!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:18 am 
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Moderator
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Location: Louisville, KY
franchino, you may not threaten other posters here.

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