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Re: [RC] [RC] Update on stumbling horse - EPM - Chris Paus

Good points Dawn.
 
As for possums and skunks being carriers. I've heard that armadillos are too!
 
chris

Dawn Carrie <rdcarrie@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Carla,
A positive blood test means ONLY that your horse has been exposed to the EPM organism...NOT that he has EPM!!!  In some parts of the country (espcially the SE), up to 60-70% of horses will show a positive blood test.  I urge you to get some additional opinions, and if you still feel that your horse may have EPM, consult with a veterinarian who has experience with EPM horses, and have a complete exam done...where they put the horse through a battery of physical tests to test his physical responses.  I would not even rely on what some consider the "definitive" test, the spinal tap.  It is VERY difficult to get a sample that is not contaminated with blood...and even a microscopic amount of blood will produce a positive test result in a horse with a postive blood test as yours has.  I've seen recent info from UC Davis that suggest that they are even doubting the validity of a good spinal tap as a diagnostic tool.
 
Here's an example...my gelding Bear was returned to the seller by his first buyer, because she thought he was uncoordinated and became convinced he had EPM (he *was* uncoordinated...green, spooky, didn't know how to balance with a rider on trail, crossing creeks, etc.  LOL).  She had a spinal tap done, it came back a "weak positive" and was so contaminated with blood it was actually bloody.  Well, I knew there was nothing wrong with the horse and bought him, and 570 endurance miles later (including one 100 miler), Bear is doing just fine.  We joke that "who needs expensive drugs to cure EPM, just ride it out of 'em!"  LOL
 
Good luck with your boy...and please keep us posted.
Dawn Carrie, Texas
and Little Bear TC (nuthin' wrong with me, except that Mom won't let me go fast!)

 
On 9/12/06, Sky Ranch <skyranch@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
Well,
 
I just got the news from my veterinarian - my horse's blood test came back positive for EPM.  This is such a surprise to me, and I'm so glad I had him tested.  Even the vet had decided that he probably didn't have EPM, but I asked him to test for it anyway.  Glad I did.
 
Apparently the meds for it are extremely expensive, about $800 to $900 a month.  This is not something I counted on, and it's frightening.
 
I was so *sure* he wouldn't have EPM, because we don't have possums in this part of Colorado.  But my vet told me that he has seen EPM in other horses, (my vet's in northern New Mexico).  Apparently skunks may also be implicated in spreading this -- oddly enough, I've only been feeding hay to my horses.  So, it's a mystery to me how he got it, but now I have to figure out how to pay for his treatment.  It's not going to be easy, but there's no choice, it is a treatable condition and the sooner we start his meds the better.
 
Carla Richardson
Colorado




 
Chris Paus
 


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Replies
Re: [RC] [RC] Update on stumbling horse - EPM, Dawn Carrie