A paper has been published on the trial drug Oroquin-10 and the use of the stall-side antibody test strips. Published in International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine. Rapid diagnosis of EPM has always been an issue. The UC Davis test takes 7-10 days to get results back, and measures antibodies to protozoa that don’t cause EPM. The Multiplex strip is specific to Sarcocystis neurona, and is performed at the barn, while the vet is looking at the horse. The vet can perform a nerological exam, rule out other diseases, AND perform the antibody test while at the horse. This is a major step forward in diagnostics. The test packs are available from Prota.
As the temps dip into the single digits tonight, I’d like to talk about slow feeders again. Horses stay warm by the heat created during fermentation of forage in the cecum. Calories from grain will provide energy and add fat to the horse, but giving forage helps to heat them. Horses need small amounts of forage over long periods to keep the fermentation going. To slow down the consumption of hay, I use slow feeders.
I showed a picture and video of the horses with a cheap, easily constructed slow feeder in May 2010. Fudge has figured out how to strip the hay out of the small mesh hay bag pretty quickly, so I now use two small mesh hay bags over the muck bucket. The resulting small holes mean the horses can only pull out one or two strands of hay at a time. It trickle-feeds the horses through the cold night. Remove the cord from both small-mesh hay bags. Place one bag inside the other, and re-string one cord through both nets. Add the cord loops and a two-ended snap.
Caveat: Horses with shoes should not use this type of slow feeder, or small mesh hay nets near the ground. The heel of the shoe will get caught in the net when they paw at the hay.
Many new people have found Fudgie’s blog in the past week. The short soundbites of today’s media are not as adept at scientific concepts, lists of symptoms, or the complexities of EPM. The blog is a stepping stone to the website. Take a walkabout by using the buttons to the right, and get to know us.
Fudge? The owner? The disease? YES.
All of the experts agree that the key to EPM is early detection. I’m not talking about any form of testing. I’m talking about the owner realizing that there is a problem, and making the call for help. Owner education is the key. If more owners knew the signs and symptoms of EPM, the sooner they would get the vet involved.
I’m taking an unconventional approach to spreading the word. I’m asking you to take one minute, go to Equestrian Social Media Awards, nominate app on the left, Category 13 Most Informative, insert http://epmhorse.org/WordPress/ and write a sentence about EPMhorse.
You can help other horses by spreading the word through social media.
EPM has always been described as a disease of protozoa in the CNS. The protozoa cause lessions in the CNS when they reproduce. The lessions interfere with nerve signals, and the horse has limited feeling and awareness of the limbs (or face, jaw, tail). It has been known for years that inflammation of the CNS plays a large part in lessions and nerve damage. Anti-inflammatories have always played a part in the treatment for EPM.
What if, inflammation plays a much larger role than was previously recognized? Inflammation may be caused by the toxins produced by Sarcocystis neurona, but what if long, drawn-out EPM symptoms are a manifestation of inflammation, not the protozoa?
Researcher Siobhan Ellison, DVM is looking into this question. See the November 29th blog here: Pathogenes Research Blog.