Stringhalt? EPM? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-19-2008, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Stringhalt? EPM?

We just got a new horse at our barn who we are having some concerns about. The lady who got her did a trade and has 30 days to return her and get her horse back. We had just got done lunging this mare when we noticed her lifting her back legs up really high. Our vet says it's either stringhalt or EPM. He is going to come look at her tomorrow. Does anybody have experience with stringhalt? That's what we think it is. Although I also think it could be stress-induced EPM due to the fact that she is underweight and symptoms started shortly after a 7 hour trailer ride, the longest she had ever been hauled.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-20-2008, 11:46 AM
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First, I would take any diagnosis of EPM from this vet with a grain of salt because he is jumping on one neurological disease when there are many diseases/conditions that can cause a horse to move the hind legs funny. The simple fact that a horse has a neurological deficit does not mean that it has EPM---diagnostic testing is NECESSARY to determine the cause of neurological deficits because conditions that affect the brain and/or spinal cord all present with very similar symptoms. Consider: if you have a parasite causing damage and inflammation to the spinal cord at the area of the 3rd vertebra you will have the same symptoms as a traumatic event that damaged the same area of the spinal cord.
And many times lameness is mis-diagnosed at neurological deficit.
So, be sure that he performs a full exam--lameness tests like flexion tests as well as neurological tests. Then if neurological deficits are found don't just accept an "oh yeah, it's EPM" because that can cost you lots of lost time and money when there is plenty of possibility that something else is causing the problem. You should at the very least have blood drawn and sent of to see if the horse has even been exposed to the parasite that causes EPM. Head and neck x-rays would also be high on the list of diagnostics I would want run if this were my own horse.

The fact that symptoms started 7 hours after a long trailer trip is more indicative that something may have occured in the trailer--head/neck trauma on trailer rides is common. Onset of symptoms with EPM isn't going to happen in just a few hours.

For more info on EPM from reliable sources, check out

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-20-2008, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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The vet came out today, and after a few tests diognosed her with stringhalt. We had given him a detailed record of her behavior before he came out and he had said it was most likely stringhalt. We will be retrading. I am irritated because the lady we got her from probably knew about this, but since she only has a mild case had never mentioned it. So anyways, this sucks!!
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-20-2008, 05:38 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through all the trouble for something the previous owner probably knew about.

Good luck finding another horse you like.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-20-2008, 06:31 PM
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Ryle, it's awesome having you on this forum!

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-07-2009, 05:50 PM
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Ryle, wondering if you could take a look and maybe shed some light on the situation...
Would be most appreciated!!
I live in NZ so am under the impression that its probably caused by a toxin from false dandelion.. have already had a vet out, $232 later, he was treated for mild spasmodic colic. Have since spoken to the vet who advised to feed a toxin binder and if the symptoms are still continuing after a few weeks then to trial feeding magnesium, thiamine, vitamin e etc to see if it helps... we are already feeding these anyway but no change as yet!

Last edited by JustJoking; 03-07-2009 at 05:52 PM. Reason: amended link!
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