Sport Horse Focus
The recent AAEP Resort Symposium had practical advice for veterinarians and horse owners.
Have you ever contacted your veterinarian when your horse “just isn’t right” or has an acute onset of lameness? When the veterinarian arrives, he or she likely wants to do a full workup, which might include neurologic testing.
According to presenter Amy L. Johnson, DVM, DACVIM (in Large Animal and Neurology), an Assistant Professor of Large Animal Medicine and Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, veterinarians know that neurologic disease can mimic or be mistaken for an orthopedic problem. And some horses might have both lameness and a neurologic deficit. “Careful clinical examination and appropriate diagnostic testing and interpretation are the keys to accurate diagnosis,” said Johnson.
Knowing that equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) and Lyme disease are two potential causes of neurologic problems in horses, you might insist that your veterinarian immediately test for those problems. Johnson said testing without clinical reasons, especially for EPM, might be a waste of time and money.
“Using a systematic diagnostic approach to cases where neurologic problems could be present is time-intensive, but in the long run will reduce costs to the owner and improve diagnostic accuracy,” said Johnson.
She stressed to veterinarians during her presentation that, “The starting point should always be the clinical examination, not serologic testing