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Horse tested postive for EPM....they all say it's a false positive!

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  • Horse tested postive for EPM....they all say it's a false positive!

    Background. Horse trailered to show on Tuesday. Showed Wed. Thur., Fri and Sat.

    Then on Sunday, I moved out on to grass because I was too nervous showing in the A/A since they put up all the derby type jumps. Solid tree trunks, coops, split rails, etc.

    So, I enter the grass arena pick up a canter toward the jump, horse trips and then stops and doesn't want to go near the fence. 2nd class horse won't go near the 1st jump....rider excused.

    Go out school over coolers, and MAKE him jump, go back in and ride the tar out of him, he jumps all jumps, 6th out of ten.

    Call the vet and tell him something is wrong, my horse feels as though he's in pain. Vet said horse can't turn his neck and to touch it he jerks his head in pain. Also, his back was touchy, and he didn't want you to pull on his tail.

    Vet gave him bute and robaxin and said to have him messaged.

    Next day rode him for the vet. Vet said he was in pain, in his ankles, pelvic, neck and wanted to test for EPM, but said he thought he may have cast himself in the stall the night before.

    Chiro comes to see him and says he's all ****ed up! Turns out his back is out all over, his whiters are puched over and his shoulder balde is puched up into to whiter. His ankles, pasterns are turned and he has heat in his frogs, His neck, poll, pelvis and everything is way out of wack.

    She said that he either fell, had a trailer accident or was cast. Well, he didn't fall, and he trailered in on Tuesday. She said that his injuries had to be from his weight.

    He shows no signs of EPM. His chiro, farrier, and vet said that 90% of horses test positive.

    He is doing great now since his adjustment Wed., and is going to be adjusted again this Wed.

    I called the Chiro and said he's sweating over his whiters his pelvic. Weird! Vet said he has blood flow in that area now. He said he's coming out on Monday to look at him and check all his reflexes, and if he's see's something that he would have to do a spinal tap.

    So, he says I'm on a ghost hunt, my horse looks great, he just wanted to test. Now I'm hearing that many horses test positive.

    I told the vet I would trust him. The farrier says he has no neurological signs.

    I rode him yesterday and today and he was awesome. Straight, relaxed, happy.

    What do you all think?

    I'm worried sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Horse tested postive for EPM....they all say it's a false positive!

    Background. Horse trailered to show on Tuesday. Showed Wed. Thur., Fri and Sat.

    Then on Sunday, I moved out on to grass because I was too nervous showing in the A/A since they put up all the derby type jumps. Solid tree trunks, coops, split rails, etc.

    So, I enter the grass arena pick up a canter toward the jump, horse trips and then stops and doesn't want to go near the fence. 2nd class horse won't go near the 1st jump....rider excused.

    Go out school over coolers, and MAKE him jump, go back in and ride the tar out of him, he jumps all jumps, 6th out of ten.

    Call the vet and tell him something is wrong, my horse feels as though he's in pain. Vet said horse can't turn his neck and to touch it he jerks his head in pain. Also, his back was touchy, and he didn't want you to pull on his tail.

    Vet gave him bute and robaxin and said to have him messaged.

    Next day rode him for the vet. Vet said he was in pain, in his ankles, pelvic, neck and wanted to test for EPM, but said he thought he may have cast himself in the stall the night before.

    Chiro comes to see him and says he's all ****ed up! Turns out his back is out all over, his whiters are puched over and his shoulder balde is puched up into to whiter. His ankles, pasterns are turned and he has heat in his frogs, His neck, poll, pelvis and everything is way out of wack.

    She said that he either fell, had a trailer accident or was cast. Well, he didn't fall, and he trailered in on Tuesday. She said that his injuries had to be from his weight.

    He shows no signs of EPM. His chiro, farrier, and vet said that 90% of horses test positive.

    He is doing great now since his adjustment Wed., and is going to be adjusted again this Wed.

    I called the Chiro and said he's sweating over his whiters his pelvic. Weird! Vet said he has blood flow in that area now. He said he's coming out on Monday to look at him and check all his reflexes, and if he's see's something that he would have to do a spinal tap.

    So, he says I'm on a ghost hunt, my horse looks great, he just wanted to test. Now I'm hearing that many horses test positive.

    I told the vet I would trust him. The farrier says he has no neurological signs.

    I rode him yesterday and today and he was awesome. Straight, relaxed, happy.

    What do you all think?

    I'm worried sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Who exactly is saying it's a false positive? Your vet? EPM is something you want to catch sooner rather than later.

      Comment


      • #4
        Have you had a complete neurological exam done?
        "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

        Comment


        • #5
          The vet is correct - most horses in the US have now been exposed and will test positive. Doesn't mean there is anything actively wrong.
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

          Comment


          • #6
            False Positive?

            We have always been told that the spinal tap is not an accurate test and that many horses do test positive. One drop of blood in the spinal fluid and your test is messed up. I would have the accupuncturist/chiro look at your horse again, as well as the vet if you have any questions. Many people will tell you if you have any questions, to go ahead and treat your horse for EPM. It will not hurt and it will cost you almost the same as the test. The test puts your horse through unnecessary trauma. We used to live in the Camden, SC area and that was the theory of most of the vets there. Yours doesn't really sound like EPM. Your vet can check for neurological symptoms, etc. There are certain acupuncture points that will be "hot" as well and can be checked for EPM. We had an EPM horse and the horse ended up just fine. So, don't overworry yourself!! Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              So it sounds like you didnt do a spinal tap yet. So are you asking if there are false positives for the ST? (Very Rare) Are you wanting to know if should still do a ST? (Not as long as he has no symptoms!!) Did you do blood test for epm? (90%+ horses will have false positives on the OLD blood test new test suppossed to be much more accurate but is not widely available yet) Did you do a ST and have a positive result and you want to know if you should treat now that the horse shows no symptoms? (I would treat with navigator, $150 month and has less side effects that the two newer drugs that should be reserved for moderate+ cases, the navigator will cover the bases without the risks)

              I'm confused too. Your title says you have a positive result, but no way in the post do you talk about having blood or spinal fluid drawn and there is a world of diff between the two test types!

              If you haven't done a spinal tap with a positive result, I don't think you have anything to worry about (at least in terms of epm). Doesn't sound like epm at all. Sounds like a chiropractic problem.

              Good luck

              Comment


              • #8
                Why do people always assume is something complex like EPM?

                He was fine one day then the next was not. Anything could have happened over night. Chiro massage fixed him he is fine sounds like time to stop worrying till he shows you something to worry over.

                I agree with your vet sweating in a previously tight area after it's released via massage is not out of the realm of normal.

                If he continues to feel great be glad. If he shows you he has issues then you can start to worry.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Yes, he tested positive with a blood test. Everyone thinks is skelatal from being cast. Vet said he has none of the symptoms. He was just in pain on Sunday and couldn't turn his neck, his ankles hurt and he was very sensitive. When he pulled on his tail and wa weak on one side.

                  He is fine now that the chiropractor worked on him. And she's coming back this week since he back, neck and shoulder were no jammed up.

                  The only sign I see is that he is sweating on one shoulder, neck and pelvic area where he he was adjusted. It looks weird.

                  I have been worried about that, but the vet said that he has blood flowing in that area again. Not to worry.

                  Now, I have been reading a lot on the internet about false positive blood tests. Its CRAZY! Many EPM blood test results come back positive. It says that you also have to check the clinical signs. Evidently, many chiropratic issue mimic EPM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The blood test alone for EPM all by itself does have a number of false positives-although 90% sounds too high. My vet says the blood test is only diagnostic when done in conjunction with a thorough neuroligical physical exam (which is fascinating to watch). The spinal tap is the more accurate test, although as someone says it can be contaminated by blood but that would depend on how good the vet is and whether vet does a stand-up tap or lays the horse down and does the tap

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trial by Treatment at this point,,,
                      4 weeks Marquis and turnout,,,,
                      Chiro before under saddle, please....
                      *************************
                      Go, Baby, Go......
                      Aefvue Farms Footing Inspector

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Have you tested him for Lymes as well? They thought my horse might have EPM as well and it turned out to be lymes. We've been fighting it for two years with her, shes 100% better but I now believe lymes can do anything. Have them pull blood for a lymes test just to rule it out, it can't hurt.
                        ..............................................
                        False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
                        -- William Shakespeare

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't put too much weight in what your farrier says regarding a neuro exam. Let the vet do the work up.
                          Platinum Equestrian - Florida, USA

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Well actually vet doesn't think he has EPM. Tells me not to worry. Thinks he was cast in his stall on Sat. night. Since his back was out all over, his shoulder, whithers were knocked over his neck was messed up, his poll, and all four legs.

                            He has been great since his chiro treatment. Is having the chiro again on Wed.

                            Has no neurological signs at all. I'm a worried mess. I want to do what's best for him.

                            IVet says he's checking him on Mon. or Tuesday. The vet is highly regarded in the Dallas, TX area and is well known. He thinks my horse was exposed, so does the chiro.

                            I let him tell me whether we shoudl treat with Marquis or Navigator.

                            When you treat, do they stop all work? What is the protocal?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i treated with marquis

                              hey, i have a 5 year old w/b that is fabulous but sometimes had weird reactions to things,took a long time to warm up and looked stiff in his stifle on and off.we did the lyme and epm test,came back positive on both.my vet is very old school and told me the false positive story as well,i decided to treat him with marquis anyway.after 4 weeks and massage he is doing great and his training is progressing normally.I do think it has helped him.it may be other things coming into play but i knew it wouldn't hurt him so i went that route.before treatment we would have really spectacular days and then really spastic days where he took off after the jumps..we have gone slow with this horse and with greenies you expect some days to be off but this was a little weird so anyway doesn't hurt to try it.
                              benjaminsplum

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm not sure exactly what the question is, but I (personally) would NOT spinal tap a horse that had no current neurolgical symptoms, especially one that seemed fine now. Actually, if the horse was doing well, sound, comfortable, etc, I wouldn't do anything else, besides maybe following up with the chiropractor if that's what you think helped. JMHO.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Glad to hear the vet doesn't think its EPM. Keeping my fingers crossed for you .
                                  ..............................................
                                  False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
                                  -- William Shakespeare

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It is true that MANY horses will test positive for EPM even when they have no issues/symptoms....so if the vet says, no worries....I wouldn't worry. It sounds like he did cast himself and he was all out of whack from it - That does happen a lot - they can screw themselves up pretty badly when they get cast - Sounds like the chiro work helped a lot- hopefully thats all it was!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Many older horses show positive results to the blood tests, but negative for the spinal tap.

                                      When my older mare turned up lame, we suspected EPM but the Vet said a blood test would be inconclusive because of her age. We put her on Bute and a few days later she was fine. Several months late she was lame again and again Bute fixed it. Gettin' old ain't fer sissies!

                                      Hope this will be the case with yours.
                                      The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                                      Winston Churchill

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        This sounds like pain, not EPM. What you would be looking for with EPM is poor balance, frequent tripping in the same foot/feet, dragging the toes, weakness, difficulty grazing due to balance, difficulty getting back on his feet after laying down, reluctance to lay down, etc.. And I really don't think your horse could maintain it's balance with you on his back if it was EPM.

                                        I would keep going with the chiro and massage. It sounds like he probably hurt himself in the stall or pulled something during one of your last rides. More than likely it was a casting that caused him to be so poorly aligned.

                                        Testing for EPM is only telling you whether or not your horse was ever exposed to EPM, not if he has it or not. A large percentage have been exposed to the organism at some time but don't actually have EPM. Many horses exposed to EPM are able to fight it off and don't have problems. Save your money and don't test for EPM. Put that $ into some good rehab services (chiro and massage). You'll get some returns.
                                        Altamont Sport Horses
                                        Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                                        Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                                        Birmingham, AL

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