What’s Wobbler Syndrome?

Wobbler, also known as wobbles, takes its name from its primary sign–a wobbling or uncoordinated gait. In technical terms, the horse has a “proprioceptiveness deficit,” or a lack of physical awareness of his limbs and their placement.

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Illustration: Robin Peterson

One day you notice something amiss in your horse–a little clumsiness in his gaits, a subtle lack of coordination. He’s not lame, but something’s not right. You suspect equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), the leading diagnosed cause of neurologic problems in North American horses. Should you get a veterinarian out? Absolutely! But be prepared. You could be facing a case of wobbler syndrome rather than EPM.

Many diseases and disorders display signs similar to EPM, and, says Bill Bernard, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., “There are probably more horses out there with wobbler than EPM.”

In fact, according to some statistics, EPM is present in only 1% of the country’s equine population

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Written by:

Sushil Dulai Wenholz is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She’s written for a number of leading equine publications, and she has earned awards from the American Horse Publications and the Western Fairs Association.

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