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Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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Equine Protozoal Myloencephalitis (EPM)

Equine Protozoal Myloencephalitis or (EPM) is a common equine neurological disease. It attacks the central nervous system and causes progressive inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The nerve damage caused by EPM is permanent. 1 in 5 horses never recover and must be euthanized, 10% recover completely and 70% survive in a diminished capacity.

EPM is Spread By

Opossums, striped skunks, raccoons, armadillos, and sea otters.
Possible suspects are also the brown headed cow bird, and even the barn cat.

Progression of the Disease is influenced by the following factors:

The extent of the infection or the number of organisms ingested
How long the horse harbors the parasite prior to treatment
The point in the brain or spinal cord where the organism localizes or the damage occurs
Stressful events that precede and follow the infection

The EPM Signs are:

bullet Back Soreness ~ which cannot be diagnosed bullet Lameness ~ often in the rear end bullet Subtle incoordination ~ toe dragging when tired, often only on one side bullet Asymmetry or choppiness of gates bullet Muscle Atrophy ~ often asymmetrical, usually in hind quarters, but may involve fore legs and face bullet Facial Paralysis ~ lower lip or ears drooping to one side, head tilting, protruding tongue, difficulty chewing or swallowing bullet Tendency to Lean to one Side bullet Standing or Stepping Awkwardly ~ completely unaware of where the limbs are being placed bullet Seizures ~ severe fatigue and narcoleptic like episodes

We are disappointed to say, EPM vaccine is no longer manufactured because the Fort Dodge conditional license has expired.
This disease, poses a real threat to your horse and it is important to implement preventative measures.

Prevention of EPM

bullet Do not feed on the ground; use feeders to minimize spillage bullet Clean up dropped grain immediately bullet Feed heat treated grains or extruded feeds; the process kills the infective sporocysts bullet Feed dogs and cats in a high place that will not attract carriers bullet Close feed room doors and grain containers bullet Shut your barn doors or have screens to prevent carriers from entering. bullet Protect hay, grain, supplements and bedding from contamination bullet Keep water tanks clean and fill with fresh water bullet Run a low, hot wire around your paddocks and pastures bullet At horse shows or trail rides, use canvas hay bags to feed hay and grain. bullet Provide fresh water in a pail; donít allow them to drink stagnant water from streams.

The Antiprotozoal Treatment Options Are:

A prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment limits the extent of nerve damage, 10 to 20 % of the horses may fully recover with proper treatment.
Navigator directly kills the organisms and inhibits specific enzymes required for protozoan survival
Marquis directly attacks the protozoan without exerting effects on the tissue
Rebalance combines pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine



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