EPM: Elusive, Pernicious, Manageable

EPM is one of the most difficult to pinpoint and progressively debilitating neurologic diseases to strike the horses we love.

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Abnormal Sweating Patterns

I have two horses diagnosed by serum testing at Davis labs with results in as strong positive - in the area where 95% of horses have active EPM. One horse is an 18 year old otherwise healthy QH gelding, the other is a 12 year old otherwise healthy QH mare. The gelding did not have any neurological symptoms I could observe other than a strange sweating pattern that the mare had the same days. The weather has been seasonably warm in the northeast but the horses were not sweating on the chest, lower neck or flanks. The unusual sweating was along the topline, especially to one side or the other of the withers but also up the neck, above the rib cage, and in the first few days I noted the beginning of the sweating, it appeared toward afternoon, and the wettest area was at the base of the tail in an area about 6 inches in diameter, sweating so much that it was dripping down onto tail hairs. There were no areas of serous discharge from the skin of the tail itself in either horse. There was some sweating on top of the rumps of both horses at that looked almost like it had been sprinkled. On some days there were dry spots in the middle of the sweaty areas, and after the first few days, the excessive sweating at the base of the tail went away and didn't return.
The vet was called when I noted the sweating on Aug. 6th, 2015. I had also noted during light riding in the arena that the mare seemed to be 'slipping' her stifle on turns at the lope, especially if going into an area where the sand is a bit softer.. This was unusual for this horse, didn't happen every time we went to than area, and it happened on the other way of the ring on the other side as well, but the first time I noticed it going to the left. The gelding has not shown any slipping or lameness though both horses have rested hind legs on the crossties when brought in, sometimes switching from one side to the other. We haven't seen any stumbling, falling, walking sideways, or unusual way of going except the very mild stifle issue with the mare. Both brace when tail is pulled to one side, the gelding clamps tail with lifted, mare not as strongly. She seems to hold tail slightly to one side but not all the time. Appetite fine. Behavior normal.Started on Tucoprim 8/10/15, 4 scoops a day with Vitamin E and selenium. Sweating appeared daily until after both horses started on Marquis on 8/17/15. No sweating noted since 8/19/15, even on warm days. Any sweating was noted in areas that would normally be sweaty- chest, flanks, lower neck. Less switching of weight noted in rear but occasional resting still noted. The mare is quieter than normal for her. I have no idea where my horses got this. I don't know if it was in a bale of hay from last year or in the new hay for this year. My feed is always locked in safe container, water buckets washed daily, no possums seen on property in several years. Wondering if other people have observed this odd sweating pattern as early sign of EPM.

Debbie more than 6 years ago

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