Ataxia and ataxic lameness in a horse practice

Dr. med. vet. Ferdinand Denzinger, veterinarian, chönsee, Germany 
Regardless of the cause, lameness represents the most frequent condition preventing a mount from being ridden. Whenever constantly shifting lameness occurs, the head and spinal area should be considered as the possible cause.
1. Definition
What is ataxia: ataxia or lack of muscular coordination is a loss of ability to coordinate movement.
2. Causes
In the case of cerebral ataxia, the cause of the lack of muscular coordination lies in the area of the cerebrum, diencephalon or midbrain. It occurs in horses in connection with traumatic or infectious diseases of the central nervous system.
With cerebellar ataxia, the dysfunction originates in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the coordination centre enabling all movements such as controlling muscle tone, balance, motor performance, etc. to be executed correctly. Clinical relevance exists with Oldenburg and Arab horses and Gotland ponies. Cerebellar ataxia consists of a cong...

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