Quick Answer: What Is EPM Horse Disease?

How do you prevent EPM in horses?

Prevention.

As horses most commonly come into contact with SN by ingesting feed or water containing opossum feces, prevention relies on reducing the chances of opossum feces being present.

Focus on avoiding attracting opossums to horse feeding areas, and preventing them from accessing those areas if they do arrive..

What are signs of EPM?

Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of EPMAtaxia (incoordination), spasticity (stiff, stilted movements), abnormal gait or lameness.Incoordination and weakness which worsens when going up or down slopes or when head is elevated.More items…

How much does it cost to treat EPM in horses?

$800-$1000). Horses that recover can still encounter temporary or permanent deficits. It is estimated that up to 30% of horses treated may experience relapse, likely due to the lack of immune support during and post treatment.

What are the symptoms of PSSM in horses?

Clinical signs of PSSM range from mild to severe. They include sweating, lameness, sore muscles, undiagnosed lameness, poor performance, and muscle tremors (“tying up”). These may occur with or without exercise. Under saddle, affected horses may be reluctant to go forward or collect.

How can you prevent EPM?

Preventive Strategies First and foremost to EPM prevention is to manage any possible contamination of horse feed or water from the primary reservoir host, the opossum. Skunks, raccoons, sea otters and even cats also can be protozoal sources. Lock away all feed containers in varmint-proof containers and rooms.

Can EPM be cured?

EPM has a poor prognosis for getting a horse back to use if parasites occupy the brain and spinal cord (CNS). The damage isn’t reversible.

What is the treatment for EPM in horses?

How is EPM treated? Treatment to control infection should include an FDA-approved anticoccidial drug (Ponazuril, Diclazuril, Sulfadiazine/Pyrimethamine). Additional treatments should be provided as needed based on the severity of the clinical signs and any associated complications.

Can you ride a horse that has EPM?

EPM can cause nerve damage, so a reader wonders if an affected horse can be rehabilitated. … For horses that do recover, the improvement is based on the initial severity of the clinical signs (see box). However, not all horses that “improve” according to the clinical scale are able to be safely ridden again.

Can a possum kill a horse?

A. You are correct that opossums (not cats) are the host animal that transmits Sarcocystis neurona, the protozoan parasite that causes EPM. … Bottom line: Yes, opossums are the culprit that transmits the causative parasite of EPM to horses.

Is there a vaccine for EPM in horses?

18, 2000, a vaccine to prevent EPM was approved by the USDA. As of Jan. 25, a total of 43 states had approved the use of the EPM vaccine under USDA conditional licensure. The vaccine must be used under the supervision of a veterinarian.

What causes neurological problems in horses?

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is the most common infectious cause of neurologic lameness. Rarer infectious causes include tetanus, botulism, Lyme disease, rabies, West Nile virus, equine encephalomyelitis, and equine herpesvirus-1.

How do horses get EPM?

The horse comes into contact with the infective sporocysts while grazing or eating contaminated feed or drinking water. Once ingested, the sporocysts migrate from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream and cross the blood/brain barrier. There they begin to attack the horse’s central nervous system.

How long can a horse have EPM?

six to eight weeksThese products are labeled for 28 days of treatment, though how long horses need to stay on the drugs usually depends on their treatment response. Consensus statement authors say most horses with EPM are treated for six to eight weeks or longer, if clinical improvement is still apparent under treatment.

Can a horse fully recover from EPM?

In fact, 80% to 90% recover completely. Horses that have mild cases tend to have a lower rate of relapse. If your horse has a severe case of EPM, the prognosis is not as good. 10% or less achieve full recovery, and the sicker the horse, the more likely it is they will have a relapse.

Can humans get EPM?

People can get sarcocystosis. They acquire the disease by ingesting (oral) the protozoan, most common- ly through undercooked meat prod- ucts. Disease in humans can involve either intestinal infection or muscular invasion by the parasite. Usually the disease resolves on its own with no signs of illness.

What does a horse with EPM look like?

Paralysis of muscles of the eyes, face, or mouth, evident by drooping eyes, ears, or lips; Loss of sensation of the face; Difficulty swallowing; and. Head tilt with poor balance—the horse might assume a splay-footed stand or lean against stall walls for support.

How quickly does EPM progress?

Our results indicate that EPM can manifest as long as 90 days after the parasite has crossed the blood-brain barrier (data not shown), but in most of the challenged horses evidence of infection occurred within 30 days and ataxia was present by 60 days.

Can a horse get EPM twice?

Horses with all qualities of initial recovery may relapse, although the problem is more common in horses with incomplete clinical responses than it is in those that appear to recover completely. Cycles of clinical improvement and relapse may occur repeatedly over many years.