Does this look like EPM to you?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by onthespot, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    my friend found her colt down Easter day. She thought he had broken his neck, but he got up with a really stiff neck and an awkward gait, thought maybe he had strained his neck or spine or something. He is just 12 months old, Quarter Horse FWIW. I told her it looks sorta like EPM to me... anyone here have more experience with it, or with neck/spine injuries? Thanks for any and all input.

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I can't view youtube videos unfortunately (slow dialup) but would comment that wobbler syndrome in the general sense of the term (mild to moderate narrowing of the spinal canal or mild to moderate subluxation of cervical vertebrae) would be at least as common a cause of EPM-type symptoms in a horse that age, as actual EPM. (Of course a strained muscle is also possible I suppose but should not produce actual hind-end incoordination if that is present)

    It would be real smart to have a good vet look at the horse ASAP (and it may well involve digging into the checking account), because whether EPM or any sort of wobbler syndrome, time can be of the essence in treating, to limit damage and improve prospects.

    (edited to add, after reading the following person's post since I haven't seen the video myself, another thing that comes to mind when you say "stiff neck" and "stiff uncoordinated gait" would be early tetanus symptoms, again especially in a young horse where immunity may not be solid yet. Though again, it could perfectly well be something harmless, a vet would really be a good idea, now-ish)

    Best of luck to your friend and her horse,

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  3. spiritdance

    spiritdance Songster

    Dec 13, 2010
    That doesn't look like EPSM to me. When a horse "ties up" its gait is much more affected (adopted a Percheron with this once). This horse seems to be favoring his neck more than anything else. Besides, EPSM is more likely to strike a draft horse (although a QH can get it), usually occurs in an animal that has had a radical change in work routine or diet, and is usually accompanied by a wasting of muscles, especially in the hind quarters. I'd be much more suspicious of a neck and/or spinal injury, especially since the colt seems reluctant to lift his head. At any rate, I'd be on the phone to the vet asap to rule such an injury out. If it is EPSM, the usual treatment is stall rest after a bout of tying up and then increase fat intake and eliminate as many carbs from the diet as possible unless the animal is under heavy work load. The Perchie I had couldn't even graze after a heavy frost, as this increases the sugars in the grass. Some of the dietary restrictions for EPSM are the same as those for horses prone to founder.

    My bad ... for some reason I read "EPSM" instead of EPM ... two different things! Still doesn't look like EPM, as the gait is not so much wobbly as the neck seems sore. I noticed on the video when the horse moves straight ahead, he's fairly steady from side to side. EPM or Wobbler's usually produces a pronounced side to side sway and difficulty walking straight on. Still, prompt medical attention is the order of the day...
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  4. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    crap, that looks very similar to when my sisters horse got a nail jammed into his neck. I would have the vet out ASAP, epm or spinal injury and particularly in the event of spinal injury the sooner aniti-inflammatory meds get into the horse the better the prognosis.
  5. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Songster

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    I agree with PatandChickens and SpiritDance-your friend needs a vet to evaluate whether this horse is potentially neurologic. I have a horse that is neurologic and your friends horse does not look neurologic to me at all. My first though was Wobbles, but he is way to coordinated and the same goes for EPM. He was standing well to eat and not weaving to keep his balance nor fidgeting constantly. I saw he stood quietly where he was eating-standing level, sqaure and moved off well, but sore-ly.
    Honestly he looked lame on his right hind leg to me.

  6. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Definitely needs a vet. It looks like a spinal issue to me.
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Poor baby. I hope she finds out whats hurting him... [​IMG]
  8. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Whatever it is, it is an emergency and needs a vet immediately. This is a Red Flag condition whatever it is.

    Why is the owner concerned about those specific conditions? Was the horse not vaccinated for West Nile? Have other of her horses gotten EPM on that property?

    I am thinking Tetanus, but most people have their horses vaccinated against Tetanus, so Tetanus is less likely. And I don't see the membrane protruding over the eye as one would expect in Tetanus, but the video isn't very close up or detailed - it's a little out of focus.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    She has him on bute. She bought him at a sale recently. He has been fine for a couple weeks. He was skinny and she has been feeding him up but just with hay. We both know the breeder, and the history on the colt. He was sold as a weanling to someone for $2500, who flipped him for more $ to someone else, who for some reason starved him down and dumped him in a sale recently for $300. Since she knows the breeder, dam and sire and has owned several by him, she bought him and was going to feed him up some and let him grow into his frame at his own pace. She saw signs he had been cast in a corner when she found him a couple days ago. She says he has already improved quite a bit, and is eating and drinking well, getting up and down on his own. She is inclined to just let him sort himself out with some bute. I didn't want to start a net drama about someone else's horse, just asking for input and opinions, so I could share other views with her is all. Thanks all that have opined. Every different angle and opinion will help to widen the scope of possibilities. There are a lot of very experienced people on here, just have never had a horse anything like this myself.

  10. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Quote:Since she sees him first hand, and knows him, she is the best judge of if he is improving or not. If he was cast, it could simply be a strain or pull in the back or neck. From what I saw, I tend to think something other than EPM, or Tetanus. I would be inclined, if he was mine, and thinking along the lines of a muscle strain, to use Banamine though instead of Bute, but that is just me.

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