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:
*locking of the stifle joint
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.