What are the first signs of EPM in horses?
Owners frequently notice obscure lameness, stumbling and incoordination. If the brain stem is involved, usually a head tilt is present. Clinical signs may include: Ataxia (incoordination) and weakness: Generally centered in the rear limbs, symptoms worsen when the head is elevated, or the horse moves up or down slopes.
Can a horse be cured of EPM?
If left undiagnosed and untreated, EPM can cause devastating and lasting neurological deficits. The success rate for treated horses is high. Many will improve and a smaller percentage will recover completely, but 10-20% of cases may relapse within two years.
What does a horse with EPM look like?
Seizures or collapse; Abnormal sweating; Loss of sensation along the face, neck or body; Head tilt with poor balance; horse may assume a splay-footed stance or lean against stall walls for support.
What does EPM do to horses?
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, known as EPM, attacks the horse’s central nervous system and causes inflammation and damage to the brain and/or spinal cord. EPM is passed on to the horse when they consume feed contaminated by opossum feces.
How much does it cost to treat a horse with EPM?
Treatment of EPM. One tube of paste contains 127 grams (4.5 oz.) With the new drugs (Marquis or Navigator), 28 days may not be a sufficient length of treatment for all horses. The cost of Orogin-10 treatment is approximately $300.
How quickly does EPM progress?
About 60 to 70 percent of horses treated for EPM will improve, and 15 to 25 percent will recover completely. Starting treatment early will lead to the best results. The greatest amount of improvement is seen within the first four weeks.
Are horses with EPM in pain?
Horses that are suffering from EPM will also be painful around the occiput and atlas, due to the inflammation going on in the spinal cord. If you have the horse walk and have someone walk behind them and pull them by the tail off to one side, they will be unable to right themselves.
Should you ride a horse with EPM?
A Horses that recover completely can return to their original intended use. For horses that do recover, the improvement is based on the initial severity of the clinical signs (see box). However, not all horses that “improve” according to the clinical scale are able to be safely ridden again.
Do horses with EPM have pain?
Horses that are suffering from EPM will also be painful around the occiput and atlas, due to the inflammation going on in the spinal cord.
Is EPM in horses painful?
What kind of feed do you give a horse with EPM?
High quality, highly palatable forage should be fed as many horses with EPM suffer weight loss. High fat and soluble fiber rations should be utilized when feeding horses that are recovering from EPM. Excellent quality protein and amino acids are required to help rebuild damaged nerve and muscle tissue.
Can horses with EPM jump?
The location of the damaged nerves also plays a large part in whether or not the horse can return to his former sport (damage to nerves in the hindquarters may mean that the horse will no longer be able to safely jump, but will be sound enough for trail riding)
What causes EPM in horses?
More than 50 percent of all horses in the United States may have been exposed to the organism that causes EPM. The causative organism is a protozoal parasite called Sarcocystis neurona. The disease is not transmitted from horse to horse.
What is Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis?
What is equine protozoal myeloencephalitis? Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is caused by infection of the central nervous system with the protozoan parasites Sarcocystis neurona and, less commonly, Neospora hughesi.
What does a positive EPM blood test mean?
A positive blood test only determines that the horse has been exposed to the parasite and does not mean that the horse will develop clinical signs or that the neurological deficits are caused by the protozoal parasite. There is currently no gold standard for EPM diagnostic testing other than necropsy.
What is the name of the protozoan that causes EPM?
Protozoa are the smallest and most simplistic members of the animal kingdom. They are single-celled organisms. The name given to the protozoan organism shown to be the primary causative agent for EPM is Sarcocystis neurona.