Victory Run Performance Horses

Diagnosis… EPM

26th October 2007

Diagnosis… EPM

posted in Heza Fast Traveler |

I had a second vet come out today. I used to use him but haven’t in recent times. Now I remember why I loved him… he’s good.

He pulled Traveler out of the field, mentioned he could understand why I wanted to have the EPM test, but went ahead did a flex test on his hock. He trotted off a teeny bit sore and he said that he doesn’t see anything not normally found in QHs of his age, and that he had mild arthritis in his hocks, but that what we were seeing was his extreme soreness and weakness in his stifles, which is why he’s knuckling over and dragging those back toes. We talked about some things for a while, I asked him about the Lower Motor Neuron and he said that is an extremely rare thing to get, and that it’s usually a better idea to go with the one that has a treatment option. He talked about his muscle atrophy, and now that I think about it, my boy used to be wicked cut in his hind end and have a huge caboose, but now not so much. He mentioned that some horses, especially those that don’t get ridden alot, lose their muscles over the stifle area, and he especially sees this in geldings that were gelded late in life due to the sudden decrease in testosterone. That they are used to that testost. for artificial muscle production and now that it’s gone don’t have anything to rely on (if not properly exercised – and he’s just turned out on pasture.)

But then he asked me if Trav would lunge, so I moved him off at a trot a few times around, and my vet instantly said “Well… if he were MY horse… I’d get him on Marquis today.” And I asked how it was so much more apparent than before? And he said that his lack of coordination on the circle was much more evident than on a straightaway. He said it was definitely neurological. So then we talked for about 40 minutes about EPM, how it gets in them, what it does, treatment plans and what I should realistically see. I knew the basics of this already, but he had so much more information on this that it really opened my eyes.

Then he did something that absolutely totally convinced me that he wasn’t just being a typical vet and lump-summing EPM into a category. He had mentioned earlier about the muscle atrophy and he talked about how the protozoan usually affect the right side of the body worse, but that as they migrate throughout the horse’s body, the horse develops a severe soreness and highly sensitive response to any pressure or anything related to his right stifle. He rubbed the top of a pen cap along his left stifle and he got ears pinned and a step to the side, then he moved to the right stifle and did the same thing and Trav literally jumped 4 feet sideways and lunged forward. Definitely ouchy.

So since this prognosis has a treatment option, I will be looking for the best place ($ wise) to buy the Marquis, and he also mentioned I could do herbal treatments to build immunity if I could afford it. I know lots of you guys deal with holistic/herbal treatments, so are there any recommendations? Any other words of wisdom? This is not the diagnosis I was hoping for, but at least it seems that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now…

There are currently 2 responses to “Diagnosis… EPM”

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  1. 1 On July 3rd, 2010, carin peel said:

    hi how is your horse my horse sounds just like yours i am going to treat him for epm did you have any success

  2. 2 On July 6th, 2010, Ramsey said:

    Hi I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. Check out the EPM group on Yahoo or visit I had fairly good success treating with Marquis altho I did do two months treatments. I also maintained him with high doses of Vitamin E (the Natural kind – check out along with a weight builder supplement. If you have any more specific questions I’d be happy to help just send me a message.