The many faces of EPM

EPM has been called "the master of disguise" because it can look like many other neurological diseases, such as cervical spinal cord compression, West Nile virus and rabies.

While diagnostic tests are available, none give an absolute answer as to whether or not the horse has the disease, which makes a definitive diagnosis challenging.

Clinical signs of EPM vary depending on which part of the central nervous system is parasitized:

  • Gait abnormalities
  • Incoordination, ataxia
  • Stumbling
  • Asymmetric muscle atrophy
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Inability to chew or swallow
  • Head tilt, ear droop
  • Behavior change
  • Blindness
  • Seizures

If you suspect your horse may have EPM, contact your veterinarian immediately. Early intervention with aggressive treatment is key to the best possible outcome for your horse.

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