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EPM early signs

> I thought the only way to diagnose this illness was through a spinal tap and
> even then about half of the horses will test positive without actually ever
> having any symptoms. The vets on Ridecamp can better address this, I'm sure.

    I had my horse checked out at Michigan State, because we had a vet
diagnose him based on the neuorlogical exams.  At State, they did the
exams all over again, and determined that he definitely did not have EPM,
and that there was no point to a spinal.  They did, however, determine that
he has early arthritis in his left hind fetlock.
    It is my understanding that the neurological exam, I'm assuming this is
the checking nerves for response thing, is to check a horse for the likelihood
of EPM and then a spinal is for confirmation.  I believe it is the blood test
that gets a positive test from half the horses, just because they've been
exposed, but a spinal is the only way to know if the disease is active.
    Also, there are two spinal sites, behind the ears and in the lumbar area.
If you decide to get a spinal, I recommend the lumbar area, but some vets won't
do it.  For the other, the vet has to knock the horse out, and there are more
risks involved for the horse in what the needle can damage.  But, I agree,
this is definitely one for the vets.
    One more thing: I have a friend who lost a horse to EPM last year and
she called my mom when she found out my horse had been diagnosed without a
spinal and urged us to go somewhere to get a spinal done, because just
neurological tests, even with a blood test, were *not* conclusive.  I'm very
glad we followed her advice.


> I have known of two horses who were diagnosed with it.  One has apparently
> recovered after months on the treatment protocol and the other is still
> undergoing treatment. The key is early detection as far as saving the horse.

> Good luck with your guy!!!
> Sylvia & Harca (Possum what??)
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