Equine neuroaxonal dystrophy

Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.

Equine Neuroaxonal Dystrophy

Equine neuroaxonal dystrophy (NAD) is a neurological condition in younger horses, frequently of the quarter horse breed. Symptoms include symmetrical ataxia, abnormal base-wide stance at rest, and proprioceptive deficits in the limbs. Vitamin E deficiency may contribute to disease severity.

NAD is very similar to equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy (EDM). The only different between the two conditions is the location of axonal degeneration within the central nervous system. Postmortem examination is currently the only method to definitely diagnosis NAD or EDM. NAD and EDM both appear to be caused by genetics.


Base-wide stance at rest
Altered level of consciousness
Decreased to absent menace response
Proprioceptive positioning deficits


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Radiographs
  • Postmortem examination



  • Supplementation of pregnant broodmares and foals with α tocopherol during the first two years of life
  • Ensure diet has sufficient vitamin E

Scientific Research References

Good Overviews

Age Range

Most commonly affects young horses 1 to 2 years of age