My horse is showing symptoms of EPM - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy My horse is showing symptoms of EPM

Things arent going so well...I lost my 2yr old to colic in Oct, took in a mare with a tumor and paid to have that taken care of, now my gelding is showing signs of EPM.

Today I noticed he was standing in the pasture with his hind legs spread apart and began swaying and losing his balance. At first I thought he had fallen asleep, but then realized his eyes were open and he was pinning his ears at the other geldings. I watched him a little longer then put a halter on him and started walking him around, he was extremely stiff on his hind end (which isnt totally abnormal, he seems to have a dropped hip so he's always been stiff on that side). I also noticed that he was very clumsy, tripping and stepping all over his own feet. I walked him a bit and watched him eat some grass, which he chewed a bit and spit out. To be sure it wasnt a fluke I grabbed a carrot (his favorite) and gave it to him, he tried chewing it and spit it out. The first thought to cross my mind was EPM, but didnt want to jump to any conclusions. I went ahead and fed him his grain and alfalfa and watched him while he ate it, he did drop some on the ground but seemed to eat it fine.

Like I said he's always walked stiff on that one leg, kind of swings it out when walking. But after doing some research when I got home I noticed some symptoms he seems to have:

Stiff Walking
Muscle atrophy
Difficulty chewing/swallowing
Suddenly falling asleep (hes done this tied up several times)

I am going to call my vet in the morning but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I knew someone that had a horse with EPM and she spent 10 thousand dollars treating him...

Im devestated to say the least.

"When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine...you know you are loved." — John Lyons
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 06:07 AM
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it is NOT time to be devastated, but you are right to be concerned and calling the vet. These could be symptoms of any number of a myriad of neurologic disorders. Don't hit the panic button yet!!
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 08:49 AM
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I agree with tealamutt. That could be many things. Do call the vet but go into the process with an open mind.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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you're both right, thank you. Calling the vet as soon as they open

"When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine...you know you are loved." — John Lyons
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 08:23 PM
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Anything he might have eaten? Could be plant poisoning.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-24-2011, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
Anything he might have eaten? Could be plant poisoning.
Its possible, they're on 25ac so there is a chance there could be some poisonous plants.

When I went out to check on him this morning he was nothing like he was yesterday, he was back to his normal self...not one symptom he had yesterday.

"When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine...you know you are loved." — John Lyons
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-25-2011, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxCntrySweetheart View Post
Things arent going so well...I lost my 2yr old to colic in Oct, took in a mare with a tumor and paid to have that taken care of, now my gelding is showing signs of EPM.

Today I noticed he was standing in the pasture with his hind legs spread apart and began swaying and losing his balance. At first I thought he had fallen asleep, but then realized his eyes were open and he was pinning his ears at the other geldings. I watched him a little longer then put a halter on him and started walking him around, he was extremely stiff on his hind end (which isnt totally abnormal, he seems to have a dropped hip so he's always been stiff on that side). I also noticed that he was very clumsy, tripping and stepping all over his own feet. I walked him a bit and watched him eat some grass, which he chewed a bit and spit out. To be sure it wasnt a fluke I grabbed a carrot (his favorite) and gave it to him, he tried chewing it and spit it out. The first thought to cross my mind was EPM, but didnt want to jump to any conclusions. I went ahead and fed him his grain and alfalfa and watched him while he ate it, he did drop some on the ground but seemed to eat it fine.

Like I said he's always walked stiff on that one leg, kind of swings it out when walking. But after doing some research when I got home I noticed some symptoms he seems to have:

Stiff Walking
Muscle atrophy
Difficulty chewing/swallowing
Suddenly falling asleep (hes done this tied up several times)

I am going to call my vet in the morning but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I knew someone that had a horse with EPM and she spent 10 thousand dollars treating him...

Im devestated to say the least.
Of course; you're worried sick. And after all that's happened, who wouldn't be scared??? I'll keep my fingers crossed...Let me know what she says~and does. Hang in there!!

"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - Chief Dan George

Last edited by jdw; 03-25-2011 at 10:24 AM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-25-2011, 07:54 PM
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Please keep us updated. The vet thinks my mare has EPM as well but has no clear symptoms, just off and on vague, mild lameness in her right shoulder.
It definitely sounds like EPM and from all I've read it's pretty hopeful if treatment is started as soon as possible. I've come across some pretty good EPM sites if you'd like me to send you the links.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-25-2011, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by horsecrazy84 View Post
Please keep us updated. The vet thinks my mare has EPM as well but has no clear symptoms, just off and on vague, mild lameness in her right shoulder.
It definitely sounds like EPM and from all I've read it's pretty hopeful if treatment is started as soon as possible. I've come across some pretty good EPM sites if you'd like me to send you the links.

Sure, Id love some links! He's been fine ever since, no more symptoms. However, tonight my friend who keeps her horses at our place, called and said something is wrong with one of hers now. He keeps laying down, is shaking and can't open his mouth. Her vet thinks its EPM, he's there now taking a look. Im afraid we have some possum carrying the parasite running around our property.

Your mare's symptoms come and go? It seems weird to me that with the neurlogical problems that EPM carries that the symptoms would be sparatic, but I don't know. I hope she doesnt have it, its very sad. But hopefully if she does you caught it early enough. I boarded my horses once with a lady that had a gelding with it and she spent 10,000 on treatment, so it can surely get expensive.

"When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine...you know you are loved." — John Lyons
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-25-2011, 09:05 PM
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If it does turn out to be EPM check out the EPM group on yahoogroups (I believe they are still around)...EXCELLENT place for information that is coming not only from those with horses that have the disease but they also (at least used to) have researchers and vets who deal with the disease on there. Learned lots when a mare I had was diagnosed.

And lots of new treatments out there...a new top dressing just came out.

I would wonder about it being something in the pasture though with horses coming down with the same type of symptoms at the same time. EPM would be varied due to different factors such as immune systems etc which varies from horse to horse. Stranger things have happened though I guess.

I hope its nothing serious. Update after vet visit...would love to know. In my prayers.
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