The neurologic examination begins with a complete history and general physical examination. The examiner should bear in mind that many suspected acute neurologic problems may, in fact, be of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, or other origin and these should always be considered initially. The purpose of the examination is to develop both a differential diagnosis list and to determine the neuroanatomic localization of any suspected abnormalities. The horse’s signalment and management, the geographic location, and the season all play a role in considering the possible differential diagnoses for a presumptive neurologic condition. General physical examination may reveal areas of asymmetry, muscle mass loss, or evidence of unexplained trauma. Abnormal wear of the hooves or shoes may indicate abnormal gait, either due to neurologic abnormality or musculoskeletal disease.
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