Equine Lyme Neuroborreliosis: What We Know, What We Don’t

There are some horse health conditions that remain difficult to treat. And diagnose. And study. One of those conditions is equine Lyme neuroborreliosis. Here’s what you need to know about this potentially deadly condition.
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Equine Lyme Neuroborreliosis: What We Know and What We Don
Lyme NB is a rare condition that occurs when Borrelia burgdorferi infects a horse's nervous system, and it can cause a variety of clinical signs ranging from mild to severe. | Photo: Thinkstock

Researchers might not know everything about horse health conditions, but they often know enough about ailments to render some type of treatment. However, there are some conditions that remain difficult to treat. And diagnose. And study. One of those conditions is equine Lyme neuroborreliosis (NB).

At the 2014 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held June 4-7 in Nashville, Tennessee, Amy Johnson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, reviewed Lyme NB, what researchers know about the condition, and what they’re still trying to decipher.

Lyme NB, a rare condition that occurs when Borrelia burgdorferi infects a horse’s nervous system, can cause a variety of clinical signs and is very challenging to diagnose, said Johnson, an assistant professor of large animal medicine and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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