August 17, 2018

EPM Gone!

By Paulita Neff
My horse Gabriel recovered from EPM.

Gabriel enjoying a day of riding in Durbin WV. It's been a long time coming. EPM caused him lameness... now he's sound and moving forward!

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis

After many years of battling EPM, finally all of my beloved horse are fine! There have been times I’ve sat and cried, watching what was happening to them — heart breaking. My first EPM battle came with a Quarter Horse mare CiCi. She kept falling down with me. I had no idea what was going on. My friend and vet Dr Cheryl Detamore quickly diagnosed her with EPM; with the “tail pull” she put us on the Marquis treatment. This was my first introduction to the horrible disease. At this time Marquis was the only treatment available… the Internet was young and not much information was out there. I’m very thankful we were able to treat her, but to this day I believe the treatment was as hard on her as the disease it self. It took her years and years to recover. She is a wonderful trail horse now, but it wasn’t till about 3 years ago that we could ride her.

My beloved endurance horse Gabriel began to show signs four years ago that something was just not right. He was not pulsing down as well at the vet checks. He was showing signs of fatigue, weakness, a sad look in his eyes, and his hooves changed along with his legs. I knew he was just not right. Dr Jeannie Waldron helped me with Gabriel. We did treatments with Karbo Combo. This seemed to help, but it would always come back.

Jeff’s wonderful mare Shay, started with the same signs of weakness, the sad look, not willing to go. Her legs started to become crooked, and her hooves suffered from that crookedness. So we did the same with Shay as Gabriel, Karbo. Same effect – it kept coming back. I then started both horses on this and that. Oh my — there isn’t anything out there I haven’t tried. Sefacon was another expensive drug I did try with little results. Lots of other homeopathic drugs, too many to list. I have spent thousands of dollars in the past few years trying to treat our horses. Nothing seemed to work…

With that said and the sadness every person and beast were suffering, Dr Lynne Johnson came to me with a new FDA approved drug — Orogin made by Pathogenes, a company in Florida. Great people to work with, too. First was to draw blood from both horses. The blood count goes like this:

0-1 Normal. 16 very badly infected.

Both horses' counts were over 16+. It was heart-wrenching when I got the report back. But I didn’t give up hope. It was a 10-day treatment of 1 pill a day. I melted the pill in water and poured it on one spot in their feed. I made sure that was the first bite they got. I held the feed pan up under their noses. I wondered if 1 pill a day of anything for 10 days would do anything thing for these beautiful horses. But, I’d tried everything else, why not give this a try too? After all it was only money, right? I didn’t see results right away, but never lost hope. A few days after the treatment was over Gabriel’s lameness was GONE! Shay’s eyes had a twinkle in them! Oh my, have we really helped them? 10 days after the treatment was over we drew blood again. The results showed: Gabriel at a count of 1 and Shay was a 2! We then gave Shay 10 doses of Levamisole that was compounded for her. I have not retested after that. She seems wonderful to us, wanting to go out and enjoy the trail now.

We are slowly building up their muscle tone and top lines. One day and one ride at a time. It is so wonderful to have our horses back. There are no words to describe the happiness in my heart when Gabriel and I enjoy a day on the trail…

Thank you Dr. Cheryl Detamore, Dr. Jeannie Waldron and Dr Lynn Johnson for all your hard work over the years. Putting up with my horses and me. I’m so thankful for all of you. And thanks to the wonderful scientists at Pathogenes who have saved my horses and many more.

Shay and Jeff returning to slow trail riding after battling EPM for years.

Shay and Jeff returning to slow trail riding after battling EPM for years.

God Speed and Happy Trails.