Signs of illness;
Many of the EPM signs mimic other neurologic diseases or may come and go. Due to Revenge’s age (13) we initially did not consider the possibility of EPM as many horses affected are between 1 and 5, with having recently gone through a stressful situation.
Incoordination; stiff, stilted movements; abnormal gait or lameness. We did not associate this with a possible EPM diagnosis due to her Bi-lateral Laminitis (Pedal Osteitis) and Navicular.
Incoordination and weakness – This worsens when going up or down slopes or when the head is up.
Muscle atrophy – this is asymmetrical (each side is different). Most noticeable along the topline or in the hindquarters. We have noticed this and ruled out metabolic issues before considering EPM.
Sometimes involves the face or front limb muscles
Drooping eyes, ears or lips
Seizures or collapse
Abnormal sweating – many horses TB’s especially suffer from various forms of Anhidrosis (lack of sweating) over various parts of their bodies when we have drastic temperature swings.
Loss of feeling along the face, neck or body. – we have not noticed this on her.
Head tilt with poor balance. We initially thought her Laminitis was worsening when she would use her mouth to scratch her hocks or her back feet to scratch her face and fall over.
May stand splay-footed or lean against stall walls for support, we noticed the wide stance/leaning for support as well as reluctant to get up but due to her front feet. We never thought about EPM.
Due to high prevelance in our area and the fact that many horses will either falsely test positive or negative, our vet doesn’t normally do the tests for it, and considers it a diagnosis of exclusion rather than confirmation. Treatment is fairly straightforward and many horses will show improvement within 10-14 days but will need at least 30 days of treatments sometimes as many as 90 days.
Treatment cost vary widely depending on type of medication used but it normally ranges from $100 to $200 a week. Please consider helping us with Revenges care & treatments as she still has a long road a head of her.
To help with Revenge’s Care please consider a donation.
To learn more about Revenge please ask or continue reading her story here.