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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

EPM

 or Equine Protozoal  Myeloencephalitis. It is caused by the feces of opossums that contain sporocysts- cysts that contain spores that can reproduce asexually, donkeys or horses can ingest these sporocysts with feed, grass or water contaminated with opossum feces. The protozoa can leave lesions on the spinal cord and brain stem, it is this neurological damage that can cause the various symptoms of EPM. One of the difficulties with diagnosing EPM is that it can look like many other neurological diseases and symptoms vary between horses or donkeys, some of the symptoms may include:
*difficulty swallowing
*sore back
*stumbling
*locking of the stifle joint
*weakness
*drooping eyelid
*head tilt

Well our poor sweet Buddy has been tested for EPM and we are awaiting results, well no matter what it is, Buddy is not doing well, needless to say we are all worried sick and are hoping for a miracle at this point. Buddy is still Buddy personality wise, but his rear end is just not cooperating, he is on a 28 day treatment course, and treatment is often lengthy and not successful. Even if it is successful, it often has lasting damage. So we are closely monitoring Buddy's quality of life, but I know it is so hard for any of us to watch, but as long as his spirit is still his own, and he is in no pain, I know they will try anything and everything to save this poor creature. So we are all having Buddy in our prayers and thoughts. 


3 comments:

Sharon said...

No wonder what the malady, I hope Buddy snaps out of it ok.

Louise said...

EPM and colic, two of the biggest Equine scourges. I hope that the meds help and that Buddy's quality of life improves.

texwisgirl said...

oh, how terrible. my neighbor's 30 yr old qtr horse was just afflicted by this disease. he's been hanging in there, but he was already feeble due to his advanced years... i hope your little one can recuperate!

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