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Stories about your experience with EPM and treatment and results

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  • Stories about your experience with EPM and treatment and results

    We have a lovely WB we imported as a 3 coming 4 year old who is now a 8 coming 9 year old. Last fall he began to spook in our ring and be crazy spooky at shows. Ok, he has been at our farm for 5 years, in the same ring and nothing is different, had the vet look at him, and nothing.
    I thought maybe its a training thing, he is a hunter, knows his job, but why would he all of a sudden start spooking at home?
    We would be going around the ring and he would look at goodness knows what and bolt off, several times a ride, I would continue, make him work harder etc.
    All the things we are taught to do. I really couldn't understand it until my trainer/rider came out of the show ring when he flipped out again and said, OMG he felt like he thought he was being chased by a ghost.
    So we started to treat him for EPM, and now after the treatment is done, Marquis, half a tube the first two days, then divide the 7 day treatment into a 4 day treatment, if your horse is bigger than 1200 lbs, my horse is 16.3hh, not huge, but didn't want to take any chances it didn't work and have to do it again and spend even more money on a hunch. He was blood tested to be ok, for the exposure.
    He is back to his old self, I am over the moon happy to get on and he be his loverly self. I just wanted to let others know, as it did not present as a usual case of EPM, but after this experience I KNOW he had it.

  • #2
    EPM can affect every single horse differently and can be frustratingly vague! Anytime a horse starts acting differently, I check right away for EPM and also Lyme. So glad that helped your guy!
    Cornerstone Equestrian
    Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
    RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated


    • #3
      He was blood tested to be ok, for the exposure.
      So, you tested and he was negative, but treated anyway? Just clarifying... I wasn't sure if that's what you meant.


      • #4
        That is quite an expensive guess. I don't know whether to hope you're correct and you got very lucky, or hope you're wrong because EPM is a b*tch.

        Good luck either way.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          Did you test him before you started treatment? Just wondering how you "know he had it".

          I've never heard or read anywhere that spookiness is a sympton of EPM. Lyme yes but EPM no.

          "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


          • Original Poster

            I guess the responses for far is my point. Yes we did the blood test, it was negative to excessive exposure.

            All horses are exposed,in North America, its just an "acceptable " amount that they are not considered positive for treatment.

            Is that more clear?

            Again interested in others experience in EPM and the treatment, not the diagnosis.


            • #7
              My horse was diagnosed with EPM via a spinal tap. I treated it for about a year with the sulfa drugs. I tried to rehab him and he seemed fine as far as soundness went but his mind was not sound as he became VERY spooky after the EPM. Things that didn't normally set him off, caused him to bolt just like the OP's horse sounds like it was. I remember one ride I was just standing in the middle of the arena and someone was fiddling with a veggie garden on the side up on a hill and he about had a panick attack and I could literally feel his heart pounding in his chest. Before, this would not have bothered him but for whatever reason it was like his confidence disappeared with the EPM.

              I ended up retiring him from riding as it just didn't seem worth it to me as riding him was not much fun anymore because I had to constantly be on guard for him to bolt. I miss riding him terribly at times but at least I can still hug him unlike a lot of horses with EPM who weren't so lucky.


              • #8
                I have been told, by our vet, that there is a SECOND protozoa (bug) that
                - produces similar symptoms to EPM
                - does not result in a posiyive in the EPM test
                - responds to marquis.

                Maybe that is what you are dealing with?

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                • #9
                  My horses tested positive for epm but you are correct most horses in the united states will test positive. And even if it's low doesn't mean that it's negative because if the disease is not active they will test low. You have to do multiple test and hope to catch them through an active stage to know for sure with the blood test. Crp test can help a lot because it will show inflammation which they have found happens in the brain of epm horses. My guy went through 3 months of Marquis then 6 months of the epm cocktail. He got no better but didn't get worse. That was 3 years ago and we retired him. 3 months ago I got him in the oroquin 10 trials and it's unbelievable. He is doing great, no more signs of epm and we have started riding him again. I also have another horse that tested mid way so it was iffy then his crp came back high so we started treatment and he is not tripping anymore like he was. For what it's worth my older horse that i retired was spooky like that. At home he would find bogey monsters where there was nothing. Hadn't really put that with the epm but it makes sense if it causes encephalitis then it could effect then mentally. Come to think of it since starting him back he hasn't spooked. Hmmm food for thought. I will suggest if you think of treating again check into the trials, it has had great result you can search threads on here on it and it is much cheaper. 150 for the 10 days and if they need after treatment like my guy with some pills for the inflammation it was 40.
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                  • #10
                    My horse had a high titer result for EPM. Treated w/ Marquis for 2 months. Horse was never showed neuro signs, but lost his topline, huge muscle wastage across hips, and depressed. He was also extremely spooky. I could ride by the same jump and he would shy every time. He did improve for about 6 months, but then had a mild relapse. He was never lame, but I always wondered if he really knew where his legs were when jumping. The Marquis made huge difference, but this horse had other issues along with EPM. Being a hard keeper and ulcery didn't help. I was able to get his weight back up and found him a good home as lightly ridden trail horse. It was sad because he was so much fun and a safe fun jumper.
                    Last edited by 2horseowner; Feb. 8, 2013, 10:45 PM. Reason: missing word


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you, THANK YOU, the last 3 posters, that is what I was looking for!! Great news you are sharing!!! I am trying to find out all I can about this and your experiences are priceless!!

                      I know we are not at the end of the story, as what I have read is I will need to treat him again in 120 days.

                      I don't want to let this go, just because he is better now. But I can tell you, for the poster that said her horse spooked and bolted, mine did too, but once he was treated for EPM with Marquis, he was back to his old normal self, not bolt or spook.


                      • #12
                        Again interested in others experience in EPM and the treatment, not the diagnosis.
                        I referred to my experience in my post. It's why I hope your guess was wrong. It appears you are only looking for experiences that mirror, reinforce, and corroborate your own, however, so I will spare you the details. I wish you luck.
                        Click here before you buy.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          I referred to my experience in my post. It's why I hope your guess was wrong. It appears you are only looking for experiences that mirror and corroborate your own, however, so I will spare you the details. I wish you luck.
                          Not at all, looking for all experiences, what has your experience been?


                          • Original Poster

                            By the way Deltawave, the LAST thing I want my horse to have is EPM!


                            • #15
                              My experience was a far more typical one with a boatload of neurological symptoms, not a bit of spookiness, stabilized and improved with Marquis and the horse was comfortable but never 100% again and eventually she was injured badly in a fall (caused by her imperfect balance) and she had to be euthanized.

                              I think empirical trials are often a good move, but speaking only for myself I'd want a more solid diagnosis before committing to a lengthy and expensive course of treatment. I've gone through periods of spooks with a number of horses and given time and patient observation the cause has been obvious (eventually!) each time without selecting a disease, other than in one case where a neck injury turned out to be the culprit.
                              Click here before you buy.


                              • #16
                                Google a trial drug on the market through select Vets right now, called Orequin or something like that. It works like Marquis and then some....plus apparently the relapses are very minimal. It kills the parasite and the inflammation, still cheap it is in the final stages of being approved by the FDA. There are really good results listed on the dressage forum too. I stumbled across it when helping a friend with an EPM case. The company is called something like "Pathognes" based out of Florida. I don't have a horse right now but I am a research geek so I hope this help!


                                • #17
                                  EPM and Lyme can manifest in a myriad of ways...and often testing is not conclusive.

                                  Therefore, they are often treated by clinical signs, not inconclusive blood tests.

                                  The reason that many vets are proactive about this is because the longer they go "undiagnosed", the less chance of full recovery.

                                  Testing in only part of the diagonsis, but if inconclusive and clinically they "present" such symptoms, one treats.

                                  Unfortunately, medical science is not absolute...it is also an art.

                                  See the symptoms for aggressive maladies like this? Treat the horse. It is often a case of treating, then eliminating the possibilities, should treatment fail to find the root cause of the problem.

                                  The longer one waits to treat for Lyme or EPM, the more residual and permanent the damage to horse to return to safe riding. No waiting!

                                  Not sure I'm articulating this well.
                                  www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                  "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                  Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                                  • #18
                                    it is in the final stages of being approved by the FDA

                                    EPM and Lyme can manifest in a myriad of ways...and often testing is not conclusive.

                                    Therefore, they are often treated by clinical signs, not inconclusive blood tests.
                                    Agreed. But hopefully the clinical signs are carefully weighed and measured and other possibilities are ruled out as much as possible before electing to treat. Obviously EPM is not an issue with humans, but Lyme disease, and often self-diagnosed Lyme disease DEFNITELY is and a lot of harm can be done by diagnosing incorrectly and treating unnecessarily, both physically and psychologically.
                                    Click here before you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                      Agreed. But hopefully the clinical signs are carefully weighed and measured and other possibilities are ruled out as much as possible before electing to treat. Obviously EPM is not an issue with humans, but Lyme disease, and often self-diagnosed Lyme disease DEFNITELY is and a lot of harm can be done by diagnosing incorrectly and treating unnecessarily, both physically and psychologically.
                                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                                      • #20
                                        My horse was just diagnosed with EPM. I did the research and knew that was the problem, including sudden spookiness so I asked the vet to test and he came back positive, no signs of lyme or wobblers or West Nile, etc all ruled out as co-infections.

                                        I want to say that I had lyme and was very ill and neurologic with altered gait and required a hip replacement due to accelerating my arthritis with lyme arthritis and now have mild heart damage on heart meds. It was 6 months after I recalled taking the tick bite off me, then seeing the tick bite, and then the enlarging bulls eye ring. I did the research, called my doc who was on call that weekend and immediately got a prescription for antibiotics filled in the middle of the night, like EPM, the sooner treated the better, then was treated with antibiotics and herbs by a specialist in another state because we are not supposed to have lyme in New Mexico, as if you can tell the tick to get off at the Colorado border when camping! If I hadn't figured it out, no one else would have, I would have died, I was writing my will, as it was I had troponin leak heart attack damage from such an accelerated heart rate over 140 all the time until diagnosis. I am now recovered almost 100%, although with mild heart damage. I tested negative because more than 50% do but my doctor knows I have a gift (not being arrogant here) for diagnosis, being also a clinical counselor may have something to do with it, and began treatment immediately on my call. The bulls eye ring is the no argument clinical sign for nothing else than lyme.

                                        So, after this long post, I want to say, if you have an medical intuition or whatever you want to call it, go for it, you know your horse, or yourself for that matter better than anyone! I bought two horses with serious problems the vets said prepurchase fine but I saw things they said were fine and did not trust myself, trusted the "experts" - a hard lesson! The other, a Friesian is permanently lame after he fell with me, having bone chips in his stifle that were on the xrays I was supposed to get from seller's vet prepurchase but could not so trusted they were OK and they were not! I even had a dream that the horse had bone chips in his stifle the night before purchase! And they say, God is silent! He isn't you just have to listen. Before anyone anti-Christian makes any nasty remarks about that , I actually had a miracle manifest in my home that disputes any argument as to who God is, just unbelievable! It turned me around from all the seeking after Buddhism, Native American, Hindu, New Age, etc spirituality because it was so SPECIFIC!

                                        I am so glad I found out my new horse has EPM so I can treat quickly and am waiting for the marquis tomorrow or the next day and so glad it is mild at this stage and I hope he will make a 100% comeback, stumbling, legs buckling but not falling over, leaning against something when he picks up a hind leg to itch it, lying down a lot, shifting symptoms, rope walking behind, rolling like a beach ball when riding, depressed, unusual muscling, topline sagging, a little bit of spastic stringhalt at times and pretty non-reactive to key stimuli and stiff all over.

                                        Thanks for all your wonderful posts, it gives me so much hope. He's got a heart of gold and I hope he goes back to his calm self and gets sound. He eyes the ground and spooks at nothing, eyeing the ground and spooking IS a symptom of some EPM horses, it's in the literature and the first bad spook was two dogs standing near still in the middle of the dirt lane I live on, doing NOTHING and he suddenly freaks out at them, dogs he knows and heads for the hills. The dogs were astonished at that! This is a BOMBPROOF horse ( as steady as they came) before EPM began to manifest after the stress of moving across country after purchase. First ride here he was so dogged matter of fact about everything and all the stimuli around here and then the next ride he's freaked out about literally nothing and his eyesight checked OK! Pray for my guy please. Prayer works. God is good! Even the manufacturer is out of Marquis, so is Smartpak, both until July 17, three weeks, and I guess I found the last stash at Allivet! Thanks and God bless!