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Re: [RC] EPM - Dawn Carrie

Depending on where you live, there may be a good chance the blood test will come back positive...meaning only that the horse has been exposed to EPM.  Here in Texas, the percentage of horses who would test positive is around 70% or so.  The spinal tap is a better test, but it is very hard to get a good spinal tap that is not contaminated with blood.  Even a microscopic (invisible to the naked eye) amount of blood is enough to cause the spinal tap to show a weak positive for EPM.  The horse Rae mentioned is my horse Bear.  The person who had him tested returned him when he tested a weak positive...in a spinal tap that was visibly bloody from contamination.  He was a clumsy, uncoordinated 6 yr old who had never been out on trails and wasn't used to carrying a rider.  And he was spooky as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  <G>  I started riding him, liked him, and bought him.  He's done around 1300 endurance miles, including 3 1-day 100s.  And he still entertains vets and ride staff by crossing his front legs to wipe flies off.  <G>  No, he didn't have EPM.  :)
Lesson here?  Don't rely on a blood test to confirm EPM, or even a spinal tap.  Find a good vet who has a lot of EMP experience and have him/her put your horse through a battery of physical tests.  And if he does turn out to have EPM, don't give up...as other posters have noted, it's not necessarily career-ending.
Dawn Carrie
and Bear (I wasn't sick, I was just a goofy kid)

On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 11:15 PM, <Horseraser@xxxxxxx> wrote:
Okay my other family-please tell me everything you know and have learned about EPM. We are sending in an EPM blood test on my beloved horse RC
Thank you in advance
Micki Turney

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