Friday, February 17, 2012

My Horse Is Sick

So my horse has been exposed to EPM. What do I do now?

EPM stands for Equine Protozoal MYELOENCEPHALITIS. It is a parasite that attacks the central nervous system in horses. It come from possum poop.  Here in the South, most animals tested would be positive for exposure. I mean, possum is like the national animal of the South. So to say if he has an active case means more testing.

Next week Vince and his friend Connor will be taking a road trip to the University of Auburn vet school for neurological tests, with a possibility of x-rays or a spinal tap. Connor will be going for moral support and to have his old wound which refuses to close sonogrammed.

I am nervous. I have been doing a lot of reading about EPM and here is the rub - there is no positive test for EPM. You can only eliminate other possible problems and when everything is exhausted then it probably is EPM. Catching the parasites before they have the chanch to cross the blood barrier into the brain is key to a successful treatment and rehabilitation.

Vinny is too bad right now, at least in my untrained opinion. Tomorrow will be his first and last show of this season. He does trip and he has a hard time telling his left from his right, but those could be from an old injury. Only the testing at Auburn will tell.

This is my diary of Vince's big Adventure. I will keep my notes and thoughts and observations. He will have good days and bad days and here is where I will organize his journey. He is a big goofy gelding, and I love him more than I knew. While I know this is going to be a long, and probably expensive, road I cannot imagine not helping him. His goofiness makes my day.

I hope along the way to educate others along with myself about this puzzling and sometimes fatal illness.

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