Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Allison Price
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis is a condition that affects horses’ central nervous systems. It is caused by two protozoan species. Most common Sarcocytis neurala and less frequently Neospora hudhesi. Sarcocytis neurala is transmitted by the opossum. Neospora Hughesi is unknown at the moment.
Although many horses have been exposed to the protozoa causing EPM, only a few will experience clinical symptoms. The symptoms can range from mild to severe neurological impairments.
EPM is frustrating for researchers as there is still so much to learn about it, despite the fact that it has been a major research focus for many decades.
EPM can be treated with anti-protozoal medicine, which is often combined with supportive care such as anti-inflammatories. Your veterinarian will determine the best treatment for your horse.
There are several nutritional strategies that can be used to support your horse’s recovery, in addition to the prescribed treatment. Vitamin E is the most important nutrient for horses suffering from EPM. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that supports nerve function. Vitamin E supplementation is often recommended to help your horse recover. During treatment, Vitamin E should be consumed at a rate of 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily. You can monitor your blood Vitamin E levels and adjust the dose to allow for long-term use at higher levels if needed.
We want to make sure that the horse has a balanced nutritional diet, which includes Vitamin E. Multinutrients are important for supporting the immune system, beyond Vitamin E. If you don’t feed your horse at the minimum label recommended rate of feed per daily, it is time to evaluate your diet.
EPM is known for its common symptoms, such as muscle atrophy. High quality protein is essential to support muscle building. You can provide quality protein to fill in the gaps left by forage by providing higher amounts of the limiting amino acid lysine methionine andthreonine.
To support horses in EPM recovery, we recommend the use of EssentialK (r) or Wholesome Mixes (tm) Balancing. Both products are rich in vitamins, minerals, and high-quality amino acid for muscle building.
We recommend 1 lb EssentialK (r) or Wholesome Mixes (tm) Balancing for the average horse. For extra nutrients, we recommend adding 1 lb (1 lb total) to the EPM recovery feed. We would recommend adding 1 lb of Vital K (r),, or Wholesome Mixes (tm), Balancer to your regular feed.
Natural Remedies (tm) is also a DHA Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplement that can be used in combination with treatment for natural inflammatory properties.
After EPM treatment, it is important to provide a balanced diet that meets horse’s nutritional needs.