Wobbler diagnosis and surgery

Evaluation, assessment, CT myelography, wobbler surgery, medication of the neck and cervical joint arthroscopy.

Our specialist-led team are experienced in the evaluation and treatment of wobblers, and have been at the forefront of recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of cervical disorders.

Led by Jonathan Anderson (RCVS and American Specialist in Equine Surgery), our surgical team has been recognised as one of the only centres in the UK performing wobbler surgery.

From evaluation and diagnosis to treatment and aftercare, our highly experienced team is here to guide and help you and your vet understand what can be done and the outcome.

Evaluation and assessment

A full neurological exam is performed in conjunction with a lameness exam.

Sometimes neurological horses can present with gait abnormalities, and some gait abnormalities can make a horse look neurological. It is important to tease out those differences. 

A comprehensive neurological examination enables us to identify those sometimes subtle differences that point towards the horse’s neck as being the issue.

CT myelography

X-rays of the neck can help evaluate the pathology of the neck that leads to wobblers.

Our hospital has a powerful x-ray unit that maximises the quality of x-rays for detecting disease. To evaluate the spinal cord, a myelogram (in which the flow of radiographic contrast is injected around the spinal cord) can be used to image down the neck.

Wobbler surgery (cervical fusion)

Our surgical team has the expertise and experience to perform this complex but life-changing surgery.

We ensure that you and your vet are provided with the right advice specific to your patient’s needs, and with the full awareness of prognosis and outcomes from our own experience and from other experts in this field.

The surgery involves fusing the two vertebrae at each affected site of cord compression using a special Seattle slew basket.

Medication of the neck

For areas that have been identified as being inflamed and not resulting in spinal cord compression, ultrasound guided injection of affected neck joints can be performed.

Our orthopaedic team are experienced at performing the procedure, which can restore horses with performance-limiting neck issues back to full function.

Cervical Joint Arthroscopy

CT scanning of the neck allows us to identify bone fragments in the joint that can contribute to neck pain and poor performance. 

We can remove many of these fragments under arthroscopic (keyhole) guidance.