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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with EPM in their horses? What were your symptoms? Treatment plan? And outcome? Vet thinks EPM and treatment started today for first 30 days. Just trying to see if anyone has any experience/advice/suggestions!

Thank you!
 

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I have more experience than I care to have. One of my horses got it after a year of repeated flashflooding. He was on pasture only. No hay or grain. I noticed he seemed to pull himself with his front more than he pushed from behind. His titer test was off the charts. He received 30 day treatment and has been retested twice both extremely low numbers. Another horse we hauled in from Oklahoma. I believe the stress of the move did not help. I noticed he drug his hind toes and would absolutely refuse to back off a trailer. He failed a neuro test but titer showed only a 2. We treated him anyway. Retested after treatment with titer showing still a 2, but other numbers (proteinates?) still showed his body was reacting to something. Treated him again, but at this point I was starting to doubt the vet's diagnosis. He passed his neuro exam with flying colors by this point. Retested again to find titers for EPM had risen, so treated him yet again. Vet said he may need treatment 1-2 times a year from this point forward and keep an eye on titers. We fed lots of vitamin E. First horse fully recovered with no further treatment. Second horse is perfectly sound physically and neurologically. He may just be one of the few that could have a flareup occassionally.
 

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What testing has been done and what is the game plan? Is this the same vet that insisted the horse looked great?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have more experience than I care to have. One of my horses got it after a year of repeated flashflooding. He was on pasture only. No hay or grain. I noticed he seemed to pull himself with his front more than he pushed from behind. His titer test was off the charts. He received 30 day treatment and has been retested twice both extremely low numbers. Another horse we hauled in from Oklahoma. I believe the stress of the move did not help. I noticed he drug his hind toes and would absolutely refuse to back off a trailer. He failed a neuro test but titer showed only a 2. We treated him anyway. Retested after treatment with titer showing still a 2, but other numbers (proteinates?) still showed his body was reacting to something. Treated him again, but at this point I was starting to doubt the vet's diagnosis. He passed his neuro exam with flying colors by this point. Retested again to find titers for EPM had risen, so treated him yet again. Vet said he may need treatment 1-2 times a year from this point forward and keep an eye on titers. We fed lots of vitamin E. First horse fully recovered with no further treatment. Second horse is perfectly sound physically and neurologically. He may just be one of the few that could have a flareup occassionally.
Interesting! Thank you for sharing! So this mare has been this way since she was purchased awhile ago. At first she just seemed to be really laid back which led to questioning, vet exam, blood tests but everything was fine. Second opinion now has determined EPM. So treatment has begun. I’m just concerned about a “recovery” since she’s been dealing with this for at least a year. I guess we will see where she is at in 30 days. Vet mentioned maybe neededing to do multiple treatments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What testing has been done and what is the game plan? Is this the same vet that insisted the horse looked great?
No, it’s a different vet. Nothing was improving but it was determined she was not in pain, not an issue for a chiro, so finally got in for a second visit. Treatments began so I guess we will see where things are in 30 days.
 

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I'd be curious where her numbers are. I'm glad you got a different vet that took things more seriously.

Some recover well, some do not. All you can do is treat and see. I'll be crossing my fingers for her!
 

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Doesn't EPM come from the feces of opossums? Is there another way a horse can contract it other coming into contact with that?
 
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Doesn't EPM come from the feces of opossums? Is there another way a horse can contract it other coming into contact with that?
That is correct. Only the oppossum changes the protozoa to be infective to horses. It only takes one to poo in your pasture. The more rain you get, the more it is spread making it easier for the horse to pick up. Several species are carriers. Raccoons, cats and especially armadillos carry it, but in a form harmless to horses. Our problem here in MO is we are being invaded by armadillos from TX and OK. They are car stupid and can't survive our winters. Mortality is high. The only thing that will feed on their dead carcass is oppossums. EPM cases here are drastically on the rise. I cringe everytime I see pics of cute baby oppossums that somebody saved off the side of the road and rushed to the nature centers...
 

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Probably why EPM is a non-issue here, we have absolutely none of those critters around here. Guess they don't like -40c weather for a month or two out of the year, neither do I.
 

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Probably why EPM is a non-issue here, we have absolutely none of those critters around here. Guess they don't like -40c weather for a month or two out of the year, neither do I.
That's why I don't feel horrible when I 'accidentally' swerve the car in the direction of an oppossum at 4:00am on my way to work. Horrible I know....but I just can't help it. They are SO expensive!
 

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Interesting! Thank you for sharing! So this mare has been this way since she was purchased awhile ago. At first she just seemed to be really laid back which led to questioning, vet exam, blood tests but everything was fine. Second opinion now has determined EPM. So treatment has begun. I’m just concerned about a “recovery” since she’s been dealing with this for at least a year. I guess we will see where she is at in 30 days. Vet mentioned maybe neededing to do multiple treatments.
My second horse I am guessing had been fighting off his EPM before we hauled him up from OK. How long, I don't know. After the move, he immediately spiked a fever. If it was related to EPM, I can't be sure. If anything, it weakened his immune system to cause the EPM to flare up. I have been told that just about every horse in our area will test at least a mild positive. It's the horses' immune system and added stress or current health that will determine if the horse can fight it off naturally. Think positive. If your mare has muscle wastage in any area, then I would start doubting full recovery. Although, my first horse had muscle wastage in his right stifle that I unfortunately did not notice. The vet saw it. He fully recovered, but even though his numbers were high, I caught it early enough for him to recover. Feed lots of natural vitamin E, and relieve as much stress from the horse as possible. We have been treating the second horse with a product called DCQ from the vet and will continue to do so until he tells us otherwise. Titer tests seem to be the most expensive, but they are what determines the current prognosis. Very important not to skip them so you can jump on the illness before it causes too much damage. I wish you good jingles and hope your mare has a good recovery. It sounds like her immune system has been consistently fighting the disease without taking her down.
 
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