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.