Vaquero-arthritis causing wobbler?

Vaquero is now back at Rood and Riddle ( and Monday morning he will be undergoing more testing. He has already be tested for the following:

  • Blood work clean-ruling out poisons, toxic plants, toxic bugs, bites, etc
  • Spinal tap clean-ruling out EPM (he was never treated for it as someone asked)
  • Tested for viruses-tests came back clean

The current though based on my first trip down is that the arthritis is causing a pinching of the spinal cord. This would make him a wobbler of sorts. It fits that the steroids, when they are used, reduce the swelling which reduces the symptoms. When I was down the first time his symptoms were much less severe and it was decided to start with rest for a month as he had done nothing but improve (and wasn’t nearly this bad). The next step if he didn’t get better, or if he got worse, was to perform a myelogram where they inject dye into his spinal column and then can see more clearly what is happening, if it is pinching, how much it is pinching and how much damage it has caused. (they do this test in people, anyone out there had one?

It is also the info they need to decide if he is a candidate for surgery. If they do surgery he will likely have a ‘Seattle Slew’ implant named after the famous race horse that also had the surgery.

Although some tests, like Lyme, are not back yet we will likely proceed with the myelogram to get a better picture of what is going on in the suspicious part of his neck. Please pray we get accurate results and that it is treatable.


  1. […] “Vaquero-arthritis causing wobbler?” […]

  2. Katie b on May 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    So sorry to hear of your loss…… Saying prayers for peace in your heart as you deal with this loss

  3. Joanne Walton on May 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Very sorry to hear this, my horse also had this, altho his problem was in the back so only the hind legs affected. I first noticed a problem in July 2011, he got slowly worse, the steroids really didn’t help and I was afraid of the side effects so I kept him on Bute, which seemed to work just as well. For some reason he took a dramatic turn for the worse one day in Jan (very similar to what you are seeing), I waited 4 days hoping it was just a bad spell but he kept getting worse, so I put my buddy of 20 yrs down. 🙁 I had researched the surgery and thought that the results were pretty short term and it wasn’t worth the pain, extensive post-op care, and expense. Even Seattle Slew needed 2 of these surgeries in 2 yrs, then died shortly after #2. You definitely have age on your side, I wish you all well.

  4. Jennifer J. Martin (Gran Jen) on May 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for the update! So many people are praying! Y’all are much loved among horse people.

  5. Sandy Carr on May 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Lots of prayers coming from New Mexico! Thank goodness you have the resources (medical and financial) to explore causes and remedies for your buddy. Hope the test today shows a path to follow. Hugs…

  6. Chelsey on May 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Sorry to hear all of this, Stacey. I went through everything you are currently going through now with my dog around christmas. We also thought he has “wobblers” and after many tests (much like the ones you are going through, including the spinal tap) he had an MRI and there was a lesion on his brain. We treated him with steroids as well and fortunately the problems have since resolved and we concluded it was a “vestibular” problem or an infarct (meaning he probably threw a clot). I hope that everyone resolves for you and for Vaquero as I know exactly how you must be feeling. Thoughts and prayers, Stacey.

  7. Robin Comer on May 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    My heart goes out to you. No one knows exactly how you feel right now but I can sympathize….. I know Brent has already left today but please don’t hesitate to get a hold of him if he can do anything.

    • Stacy on May 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      tell him thanks for everything

  8. mel jerusalem on May 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Stacy, thank you for taking the time to update us on Vaquero.

  9. Jessica on May 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

    A few years back I was at Rood and Riddle going through the same thing with my horse. Dr Reed was our vet as well, all I can say is you’re in great hands. Dr Reed is the best! Sending prayers your way!

  10. Kim Cronenwett on May 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Stacy, we had a “wobbler” TB colt, and Dr. Reed, previously of Ohio State and now of R&R, did the surgery (2 levels with implants). While “Rebar” (yes, I admit to a somewhat twisted sense of humor) never got sound enough to race, he was comfortable, functional and useful outside of the racing scene. My daughter was an ambulatory intern at R&R for 2 years; it’s the best equine hospital (sort of the Mayo Clinic for horses) and your horse could not be in better hands. If an answer is to be found, they can do it. Prayers to you and yours.

  11. Melisa Knight on May 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

    All the best healing energy and positive thoughts sent Vaquero’s way! Wishing for strength for both of you in this terrible time of uncertainty.

  12. ralf schulz on May 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Ralf Schulz

    maybe vestibular syndrome?Pray for your Vaquero,regards simone

  13. Paige macfarland on May 7, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Thankgoodness you are heading in a direction now and not as much in the dark on info. Knowledge is gold. I just know he’s going to end up ok. Paige

  14. Lila S. on May 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and Vaquero! I hope all of the treatments will go well!
    All my love and best wishes,

  15. Susan Kanary on May 7, 2012 at 7:26 am

    We are so glad to hear Vaquero is doing better and has such great people taking care of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Vaquero, hoping for a complete recovery. Give him a treat from us.

  16. Rusty, Susan & Nicole Kanary on May 7, 2012 at 7:07 am

    We are so glad to hear he is doing better and has such great people taking care of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Vaquero, hoping for a total recovery.

  17. Beth Kane on May 7, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Thoughts and prayers for all!
    Marty King said it just perfect!
    It’s amazing this media has so many praying!

  18. Marty King on May 7, 2012 at 6:15 am

    My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with your horse. I pray the problem will be detected very soon and is treatable. Your horse is so lucky to have wonderful owners like you an Jesse to see it through all of this.

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