Archive for the ‘epm symptoms’ Category


Sunday, December 18th, 2011

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 and write a sentence about EPMhorse.

You can help other horses by spreading the word through social media.

What if….

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

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.

"I've never met a Sacrcocyst I didn't want to research."

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.


I got an email…

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

I received an email from Dr. Clara Fenger.  Not a household name?  Check the fine print on the Mayhew Scale print-out.  Dr. Fenger got her PhD studying EPM in the 1990′s.  She was one of the first veterinarians to notice early symptoms in the acute phase of EPM.  Dr. Fenger has a new blog about equine medicine, including information on EPM.  The link below is to a June post about EPM.  Thank you, Dr. Fenger for your work on EPM.

Dr. Clara Fenger’s Blog


Relapse, Relapse, Relapse

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

In this day of immediate media, I should have posted July 20th.  Suffice it to say that one of the relapses was mine, in Lyme Disease.  With the number of changes coming to the EPM world, I’ll try to keep the blog more current.

I sent a Fudge blood sample to Pathogenes to enter him in a study.  This was a study for horses that had previously had EPM, but had been treated and recovered.  I was happy that Fudge had recovered to the point where I took him for his first lesson.  What I got back was that he was in the process of a relapse.  I had both a SAG1 ELISA and a Lymphocyte Proliferation Assay run on his blood.  It showed formation of a very low number of lymphocytes, and a slightly higher SAG1 titer.  Before I could get the diclazuril shipped to me, Fudge had symptoms.

The relapse came about 15 months after his initial diagnosis.  We do not know if this was a replapse or a re-infection.  We started Fudge on a mix of diclazuril, sulphadiazine, and pyrimethamine.  I got a prescription for three months of treatment.  I had previously used just diclazuril, but wanted to see if the S/P would help.  I did not like having to give the medicine on an empty stomach.

Fudge had a Mayhew score of 2.0 during the worst of the infection.  He certainly was unstable when trying to trim his feet.  He dropped much of his food and dragged his rear feet.  As the long summer months wore on, he slowly improved.  After 2.5 months of medicine, Fudge showed some worsening of symptoms.  These were subtle differences in the way he moved, but seen on a daily basis, I could see them.  He was dropping more food, which was measurable.  We sent another sample for tests.  Fudge was having a relapse while still on the medicine.

Anti-protozoal treatments kill or stop reproduction of the pathogens to a degree where the horse’s own immune system can kick in and finish the job.  Reading the drug inserts the drug only kills about 95% of the protozoa.  The horse has to eliminate what is left of the infection.  Fudge was not relapsing due to the drugs.  His relapse was a sign that his immune system was not able to fight even small numbers of the pathogens.

Keepin’ Busy

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

The pallet box slow feeder we built last fall works great, but the geldings chase the mare off the hay.  I needed another slow feeder, without making another project for hubby.  It had to be mobile, cheap, quick to load, and preferably not have to be hooked to the fence.

Grub bucket

Grub bucket

This slow feeder uses a 70 Qt muck bucket, a 38″ diameter small mesh hay net, and one double ended dog snap.  It can be hooked to the fence with another snap or short trailer tie.  It loads in less than one minute.  I leave these loose in the dry lot, and the horses play with them.

Tie two loops in the net cord.  It should fit over the lip of the bucket with the loops, but not after being closed with the snap.  Tie the loops about 1/3 of the way around the cord.  Adjust the location of the loops, not the length.

Do not use this for shod horses.  The shoes can get caught in the net.


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