EPM in horses

  • What is EPM?

    EPM stands for Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. This is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It’s caused by the microbe, Sarcocystis neurona, commonly found in the opossum.

  • How does it start?

    The disease is not transmitted from horse to horse. Rather, the protozoa are spread by the definitive host, the opossum, which acquires the organism from cats, raccoons, skunks and armadillos and possibly even from harbor seals and sea otters. The infective stage of the organism (the sporocysts) is passed in the opossum's feces. The horse comes into contact with the infective sporocysts while grazing or eating contaminated feed or drinking water.

  • What are the symptoms?

    Some common symptoms include incoordination, stiff or stilted movements, and abnormal gait or lameness. Other symptoms include muscle atrophy, drooping eyes, difficulty swallowing, abnormal sweating, head tilt with poor balance, and loss of feeling along the face, neck or body.

  • What happens without treatment?

    Fortunately, about 60-70% of horses will improve with the proper treatment. The sooner treatment begins, the better the horse’s chances are for recovery. If not treated properly, the disease can result in death.

Common signs of EPM

  • Asymmetric stride length

  • Toe dragging

  • Muscle atrophy

  • Hypometria of the forelimbs

  • Signs of brain disease such as a tilted head, beating movements of the eyes, or paralysis of one side of the face

  • Circumduction of the hindlimbs

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  • Consult Your Veterinarian Before Use

    Before using this product, obtain a veterinary diagnosis for Coccidiosis or EPM in animals.