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Old 08-12-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
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EPM Questions

As some of you all know my sisters mare Empres is EPM postive. I have read and researched but it just is not the same as hearing from the people that have or are going through it personally.

Empres is not yet at the horrific stage but she is at the mid point of EPM showing the fluids in her neck, spine and lower joints, stiffness is setting in everywhere (neck, legs) and back pain. And showing what I call lameness in the rear end but she still has control.

She is suppose to start treatment tomorrow with Marquis, How long does this usually take to show improvement? She is still eating and drinking normally, she just isn't moving right.

How fast can EPM take a horse down once diagnosed?

Also, if she isn't in the worst stage of EPM what are her chances of a full recovery? From what I have read the horse usually has damage and can continue noramally but not to their full potential. As we know she hasn;t showed any bigs signs of Neurological damage so does this mean that she will recover fully? that's pending the treatment is started as planned and the EPM does not progress.

She is only on Timothy/Grass hay with 10% alfalfa. We took her off all grain feeds as we thought it was causing issues. Do horse wit EPM usually have to have a particular Diet? any do's and Don'ts for feeding or treats?

I'm sure I'll have a million more questions by the time this is over but that's all I can think of for now.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:05 AM   #2
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I have a 2 year old paint mare that got EPM earlier this year.
Basically what happened with her was on a Sunday she started to drag her back hoof on the ground and by Friday when I got home she was sitting down like a dog in the pasture. We got the vet out on Saturday. Luck for us he is very wise and experienced, so all he had to do was feel of her legs watch her walk and he said she had EPM. He gave her and my other horse a shot to help prevent the other horse from getting it and to help my mare fight it. He also gave us some packs of medicine in a powder form to give to her once a day in her food. I donít remember how loge it took her to recover all I know is that it was between 2 and 3 weeks. She made a full recovery from this and was fine and is fine.
From what my vet said it depends on the horse and other circumstances as in age, health, and if you catch it in time. Like I said she was dragging her hoof on Sunday and by Friday she could barley stand. Some of my other neighbors got it and everybody got different outcomes. I know of 3 that died and 2 are permanently lame. All 3 of us used different vets and all said it was EPM. Form what I was told EPM is caused by possum poo and when EPM accurse your hay is the first thing to check.
Hope it helps.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:39 AM   #3
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The problem with EPM is that just about all horses are exposed to opossum droppings. They all have a titer to the critter that causes EPM. The kicker is trying to figure out which horses will actually develop the disease. All do not. My horse was diagnosed with "classic EPM" just because she drags her toes when walking downhill. Her test was positive of course, most horses are. But that was all 5 years ago and she is fine. I did not treat her. Did she really have EPM. Probably not, she did not progress. A second vet said she had weak stifles. I like that diagnosis better.
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:15 AM   #4
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You sould see improvement within 2 to 3 weeks. My stallion contracted EPM at 3 1/2. His right rear leg was most affected, dragging it, limited coordination negotiating rough ground, etc. Marquis was not even on the market then so he was treat with a sulfa drug, mass doses of Vit. E and Folic acid. I spent a lot of time doing physical therapy to help strengthen his rearend. He is 12 now and you would not know he ever had EPM. I can not ride him though except for easy trail rides and being a stallion, that's out of the picture. Luckily it has no effect on breeding, so he's happy making babies.

With EPM you never know how severe the damage is, time will tell. Good Luck!
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