What is Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis?
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (or EPM) is a neurological disorder that is caused by the parasite Sarcocystis nervena. It is the most common infection in horses. It can be found in the United States and Mexico. Ingestion of opossum feces in food or water can transmit the parasite. The parasite travels to the brain and spinal cord of horses, where it causes neurological damage.
EPM Signs and Symptoms
EPM can lead to a variety of symptoms including weakness, loss coordination, muscle tremors and incoordination. You may also notice a horse that is unable to stand, move, or circling. Horses with severe conditions may experience difficulty swallowing, breathing difficulties, seizures, or other symptoms.
EPM can be hard to diagnose because symptoms may be similar to other neurological conditions or disorders. To detect antibodies to Sarcocystis nervena, a blood test is possible. This test can confirm the diagnosis of EPM. To confirm the diagnosis, other tests such as cerebrospinal fluid analysis may be required.
EPM treatment can vary depending upon the severity of the condition. The horse may be able to recover without treatment in mild cases. For more severe cases, antiprotozoals may be required to reduce inflammation and prevent further damage. Important to remember that medications to treat EPM may have side effects. This should be discussed with your veterinarian.
EPM in horses can be prevented by reducing the risk of being exposed to Sarcocystis nervena. Avoiding contact with opossums is one way to do this. Another method is to clean up opossum feces in the horse’s environment. It is also important to ensure that the horse does not have standing water. This can be a breeding ground.
What are the symptoms and signs of EPM?
EPM symptoms include weakness, loss in coordination, muscle tremors and incoordination. Horses may experience difficulty swallowing, breathing difficulties, seizures, or other severe symptoms.
How does EPM get diagnosed?
EPM can be diagnosed by a blood test that detects antibodies to Sarcocystis nervena. To confirm the diagnosis, other tests such as cerebrospinal fluid analysis may be required.
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis is a neurological condition that can affect horses. It can cause weakness, incoordination and a unsteady gait. EPM can be diagnosed by a blood test that detects antibodies to Sarcocystis nervena. EPM treatment can vary according to the severity of the condition. In mild cases, the horse may not need treatment. EPM can be prevented by avoiding contact of opossums. Also, it is important to eliminate opossum urine from horses’ environment. Horses can recover from EPM if they are treated and protected. Visit this website for more information on EPM.
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