EPM - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-15-2007, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: MN
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A friend of mine has 3 horses, 1 of which is her sisters but her sister moved away and now my friend kinda got left with this horse. Anyway she went to go do her morning chores one morning last week and her sisters horse Rusty was sitting down! Of course this really isnt a natural postion to find a horse in so she quickly got in there to see what was up, Rusty had NO control over the muscles in his hind end, none. It was as if over night all of his muscles had detearerated (sp?). She called her vet and they did tests as they tried to get Rusty just to be able to stand on all 4s and not fall over onto himself.
They found out it was EPM. There is little done researxh on EPM so theres not alot to tell you guys that havent heard of it but heres a link http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/drfenger/ for those of you guys who might have heard of it please let me know what you know.
My friend is now having to physically clean Rusty out acouple times a day as he has lost all function of his back end, no muscle or bodily functions. The vet put him on the meds that are "supposed" to cure this but there hasnt been promising results with any other victims of this disease. The meds havent made any visible difference yet but my friend is holdig out for Rusty to recover, i hate to say but i dont think she should put him though anymore.

What do yall think?
ilovestitch is offline  
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-19-2007, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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EPM is very stressful to any horse. If he really seems to be suffering and your friend can't afford further treatments, then it would be most humane to put him down. Personally, though, if I had the money to do the treatment, then I'd give the horse a chance.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-20-2007, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: MN
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She can get the money, she is working out payments and is thinking of taking out a small loan to pay for all of his needs. He is s great horse but you look into his eyes and he just isnt that same anymore. I dont know i guess if EPM had a better survival and recovery rate i would be more optimistic but i guess im not, im helping her anyway i can and being there for her but i dont know how much I would be willing to put him through. Is that wrong?
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-20-2007, 07:59 AM
Green Broke
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I dont think that's wrong. I think your friend is lucky to have a friend like you.
Its such a shame, but to be truthful, I know there are treatments but it is not always a success.
I know we all long and hope to hold onto our dear equine friends for as long as possible, but at the end of the day we love them and should we make them suffer unnecessarily?
Its a tough one, especially if you dont know there is a good chance of a positive result.
Tell your friend, my thoughts and feelings are with her, and let us know how he goes. ((((BIG HUG)))) x
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-20-2007, 02:10 PM
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my friends horse had EPM and its not nice, i think its hard, but she should put rusty at ease.
bolly is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 03-28-2007, 04:39 AM
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Location: Australia
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I understand that EPM is similar to stringhalt, which is called a disease, but it is actually a toxin overload. and can take up to 18 months to get over.

Would like to know where you live, I live in Australia, Victoria, near Ballarat, we have a bad case of stringhalt going around,
What we give to these horses is Vitamin B and Magnesium (epson salts) and a couple of handfuls of wheat, and don't give lucerne to them ( this has the toxins in it) normally it is not a prob. keep of grass, lock up in dirt paddock, and as much work as the horse can cope with, and yes it can be fatal, Have heard of over 50 horses put down, and thats not the ones that have gone to the doggers or shot on private property.

I am in touch with a gentleman who is saving alot of these horses.
THought you might like to see what sign are in EPM and EPSM

Ataxia (incoordination), Spasticity (stiff, stilted movements), abnormal gait or lameness -.

1.) Incoordination and weakness which worsens when going up or down slopes or when head is elevated -
2.) Muscle atrophy, most noticeable along the topline or in the large muscles of the hindquarters, but can sometimes involve the muscles of the face or front limbs.
3.) Paralysis of muscles of the eyes, face or mouth, evident by drooping eyes, ears or lips
4.) Difficulty swallowing .
5.) Seizures or collapse -
6.) Abnormal sweating -
7.) Loss of sensation along the face, neck or body
8.) Head tilt with poor balance; horse may assume a splay-footed stance or lean against stall walls for support.


1.) Gait abnormality (including stiff gait, difficulty cantering, odd hind limb action, stifle problems, but not including shivers):
2.) Tying up:
3.) Lack of energy and/or poor performance:
4.) Muscle loss or poor muscling:
5.) Severe generalized weakness (these horses had difficulty standing up after lying down).
6.) Shivers:
7.) Behavior problems in harness or under saddle:
8.) Back pain or total body pain:
9.) Difficulty with trimming hooves or shoeing:
10.)Weakness in the hind limbs:
11.) Episodic colic:

You could try supplementation with vitamin E, probiotics and corn oil, and a high in fat diet.

hope this can help you.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-29-2007, 03:19 PM
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Vitamin E is very important in horses with EPM. I can't remember if it helps prevent it or helps cure it but I do remember the vet making a big deal about it in the horse I knew that had it.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-30-2007, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Bayer Animal Products has a great product called Marquis. It is expensive but it works, we had a 6 month old colt come down with EPM used the Marquis and he was on his feet in a couple of days and has fully recovered.
darqdreamer is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 03-30-2007, 08:02 PM
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EPM is a protozoal disease that attacks the nervous system of horses. That's why the horse gets neurologic (aka wobbly) there is a paste that you give to horses to terat EPM called "Marquis" it's expensive though!! it costs like $400 for a month's treatment...and the horse you described may need more than 1 month's treatment. There is also another cheaper product which the name has escaped me now, but it's also effective in treating EPM (Equine Protozoal Myopathy) but it's NOT as good as the marquis. Talk to your vet about it. I think the disease begins when a horse ingests possum poop (which contains the protozoa) and it gets into the nervous system.and makes the horse not be able to control thier hind end. Anyways, it is treatable if acknowledged soon enough, so I'd definitely get a vet out there and see what's going on. Good luck to you and let me know how it goes.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-24-2007, 04:32 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston Texas
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This may be too late, I hope not.
My horse came down with EPM 2 years ago this summer. He is still with us but he is just pasture art now. He was treated with 2 rounds of Marque. He is now as good as he will get. Very week in the left hind quarter but get around well. I have also learned there is a natural product out there called Sefacon. You should be able to google it. The man swears that it will bring your horse back. It aslo will cost as much as the Marqui which for me was 750.00 each round. There is also some vitamins that will help but I dont remember what they were. Sefacon will be able to tell you more about it. Because I have 4 horses to feed and Cash is able to get around I opted not to try it. I will also add that the Horse Journal does not indorse it at all. Says only Marqui works.

ps how is the horse doing?
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