Any EPM experience - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-16-2011, 11:11 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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Vitamin E is an important part of Equine nutrition, it is an essential vitamin and most horses are deficient in vitamin E because most horses don't have access to good pasture for 8+ hours daily and vitamin E in hay declines very quickly after drying (1-2 days).

Vitamin E in the ORGANIC form is better absorbed than in-organic. I give my horse Natural E Human capsules, the capsules also have soybean oil as a carrier which is GOOD because vitamin e is a fat soluable vitamin meaning it has to have a fat sourse to be absorbed fully. VERY CONVENIENT.

my horse who has no neuro issues that I know of gets 3-5 1000iu capsules daily. For a horse with EPM, he should be getting 12-20 1000 iu capsules daily.

Vitamin E deficiency has been shown to increase the chance of neurological disorders as EPM.

Good luck! :)

edited to add: my horse now eats the capsules right from my hand! which is even more convenient.

*Member of the Quality Free-Choice Hay/Pasture Feeders Society* *In Favor of Turning horses out as long as Possible*
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-18-2011, 12:53 PM
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EPM can be frustrating as all get out. I've had two horses with it. You are consulting with one of the best vets in the disease. Keep tabs on the titer. Thank you for sticking with it, trying to find answers, and not giving up on the horse.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but it may just take more time, (and drugs and money). All I can tell you, is that you are not alone in feeling frustrated, frazzled, and stressed. EPM has put many gray hairs on my head.

Cat posted above about Dr. Ellison's web site, which has a load of information, but is more techinical. I know you have been to this website, so it's an unabashed plug for Fudge: is a good starting point for the horse owner.

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post #13 of 15 Old 12-27-2011, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Virginia
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I have a horse that was just diagnosed with EPM in late October. He has had one full treatment of Marquis and there seems to be no change, if anything he has gotten worse. I have heard that some horses will get worse, before they get better, but I thought that was during treatment, not weeks after the treatment. He has been off the Marquis for about 3 weeks and still looks lethargic and just plain pitiful.

He still wobbles in the legs when turning and is very stiff in the hind end. He will not do anything other then walk, even when all the other horses come flying through the field at feeding time. Not matter how far behind he is, he will only walk to the barn. One strange thing that he does, especially if he needs to make a tight turn, is lift his hind leg out to the side. Like a male dog when it pees. He will do it on both sides depending on which way he is turning. This is on the ground, he is not being ridden. He also has lost feeling in his neck and hind end due to nerve damage. The vet believes that he has had this for quite a while, due to the amount of nerve loss. The horse had not been ridden for about 2 years and I had only begun to ride him this past summer. That is when I noticed that things were not right with him. After numerous vet visits, he was finally tested and diagnosed with EPM.

I have read everything that I can find and have been on all the websites. Thank you Pattilou for saying that the EPM Yahoo Group is hard to follow. I thought it was just me. Most of them talk about diagnosing and treatment, but not what comes after.

My biggest question is when do you know that the treatment has not worked? How long do you wait and allow the horse to be in pain? I do not want to put down a great horse, if we could know for sure that he has a chance of recovery, but I also am not one to let them suffer, because I am not ready to let go.

To make things more complicated, this is not my horse. I am taking care of him for a friend that is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. As cancer treatment is extremely costly, pouring tons of money into treatment of this horse is not an option. She is also often very sick, due to chemo, so I am housing, feeding and medicating this horse and helping my friend with the vet bills. A few of us pulled our money and were able to purchase the Marquis. Not cheap! $750 A second round of Marquis is just not an option. The horse is currently on bute and the vet is coming out again in about a week for a check up.

I don't want to give up on this horse, but I am really feeling kind of hopeless at this point. My fear is that he just has had this too long and there is no bouncing back. The vet is taking a wait and see attitude. Easy for him to say as he does not have to look at this horse everyday and see the lack of luster in his eyes.
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-27-2011, 01:22 PM
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Rather be Riding,
Please view the webinar that is available on the home page Pass the link to your vet. If the horse is not making progress, the Marquis did not help, and more Marquis is not going to help. If you have seen no improvement, 'wait and see' is giving the disease time to do more neurologic damage.

You know if the Marquis worked by testing the antibodies of the horse. What test was used to diagnose that he had EPM? I understand not wanting to put more money into the horse. However, your first step should be to test him again. I would recommend the Peptide ELISA; the submittal form is on the test page at EPMhorse. It is only $38, and does not require overnight shipping on ice. Have your vet talk to Dr. Ellison at Pathogenes.

It may be that the horse has a phenotype of EPM that is resistant to Marquis. It may be that the horse does not have EPM - false positives are a possibility with any positive test that uses Sn SAG2,3,4.

EPM is not generally painful, it causes a lack of sensation. If the horse is in pain, I'd look at other causes. What symptom of pain are you trying to alleviate with Bute? If the vet ordered the Bute for inflammation, that is good, but there are less expensive drugs that can be used.

I wish you well with the horse. EPM is certainly frustrating.

Last edited by EPMhorse; 12-27-2011 at 01:24 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-27-2011, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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EPMhorse - Thank you for your response. I do not know the name of the test that was use for the diagnosis, as the owner of the horse had that done. I do know that the titers were extremely high and that is when the vet prescribed the Marquis. We had questioned him on possibilities of this being Lyme, as the horse has been treated for lyme in the past, or ANY other disease, but he seemed quite certain in his diagnosis. The horse is on Bute for inflammation, not pain.

I am the one that feels that the horse is in pain due to his lack of wanting to do anything but walk and his overall demeanor in general. He is not uncoordinated, but will sometimes take a bad step and that will cause him to throw his head up. Reaction to pain, or trying to balance? I am just always second guessing myself now with everything this horse does. You can see some compensation in the way he places his feet under himself when walking and standing. On the very rare occasion that I have seen him trot, he is very stiff and lame in the hind end. I may be mistaking these symptoms for pain, when he is actually just compensating for the nerve damage or may be feeling more sickly then actually in pain. This will be on my growing list of questions for the vet when he comes back out, as well as asking for the Peptide ELISA.

Thanks again. It is just nice to feel like I am not alone in this. I keep trying to read and educate myself, but it gets overwhelming.
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