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Climbing the mountain that is EPM... thoughts?

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  • Climbing the mountain that is EPM... thoughts?

    We have a 13 yr old OTTB that was "diagnosed" five or six years ago now. He went through the Marquis treatment regiment and only really came back 75-80% at best. We accepted that and love him to pieces so he lives the good life with the rest of the herd and goes for the occasional short ride around the field.

    He seems to have the most trouble in the summer heat and always loses weight when we hit May/June through to mid fall. He does great in the winter time when most other horses lose. Does this make any sense to anyone? Would this have to do with the EPM or just the horse in general? Could it be something else thats effecting him? He by all means checks out healthy whenever the vet is out to see everyone... I'm just looking for other views.

    He has awful oily skin/coat and not so great feet which he has always had issues with. He is very draggy on the back end and sways sometimes. He is a HUGE boy at 17.2 and is as long as a truck.

    We have him on MSM, flax seed and Vit E every day and just recently switched him from plain E to Smart Protect Ultra from smartpak which seems to help him a great deal. I know there are other threads around but does anyone have any other suggestions for this poor guy?

    edited to add: I did read the thread from last week about treatments and have done searches for other threads, just wondering on a per case basis if anyone has anything else to add Thanks in advance to everyone!
    Precious Few- 1998 OTTB

  • #2
    Check out this info from Dr. Marvin Cain

    I have been very successful at working with horses with EPM, doing rehab therapies to help with reconnection, rebuilding the affected area.
    Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


    • #3
      My EPM gelding's coat got "weird" towards the end of his life. I dont know if it was the EPM or old age or what. When he was 32 he started shedding really weird.

      We took his shoes off, which he did surprisngly well with. His back feet were always worn kinda funky from the bit of dragging he did.

      If your horse came back 75-80%, thats pretty darn good! Just keep up what youre doing and keep him comfortable!

      My guy started losing weight over the winters after age 29ish. Probably age, but could have been the EPM. Be sure to watch his weight carefully and adjust as needed. I wish I had been more agressive when mine started to lose. It took a few months to get him back to where he needed to be.

      I would also watch his back end carefully. The dragging and swaying may get worse, and if it does, you may have to treat again or make a tough decision. Relapses are quite common, unfortunately.

      Good luck!
      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


      • #4
        Also with the EPM, and them falling over, it can easily put them out of alignment, so along with the treatment for getting rid of these nasty creatures, you might want to do some massage/chiro to keep your horses topline/hind end aligned and strong! The combination has worked really well for me in the horses I help.
        Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


        • #5
          My Basque is a recovered EPM horse. He does not fare well in this Texas heat and the toe dragging increases. His coat is normal.

          Have spent years on the message board for EPM horse owners:


          You might post there...lots of knowledgeable people.


          • Original Poster

            Thank-you all! I feel as though we are just constantly looking for that next best thing to help him in any little way we can. I have learned so much that I never would have known if it weren't for all the research hours I have put into what he needs feed and supplement wise, what he shouldn't have and other things that could be wrong etc etc. Its been interesting!

            Thanks for the links! Very helpful!
            Precious Few- 1998 OTTB


            • #7
              I wish you luck with your horse!
              Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses