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|Date:||12/5/2013 1:48:26 PM
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Tne sooner treatment begins, the better the horse's chances are for recovery. Sixty to 70 percent of EPM cases aggressively treated show significant or complete reversal of symptoms. Many horses are able to return to normal activity.
Here are some things you should know about treating EPM:
At present, there are no labeled anti-protozoal drugs approved by the FDA to treat EPM, consult your veterinarian.
Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms and prevent reactions to parasite die-off during treatment.
Supplementation with vitamin E, an antioxidant, is often recommended to aid healing of nervous tissue.
Average duration of treatments is 3-6 months, but can sometimes be longer.
Current Practice is to extend treatment 30-60 days beyond the elimination of symptoms or until a negative CSF test is obtained.
Long-term treatments can be costly.
Although complications are rare, treatments may affect stallion fertility and may pose certain health risks to unborn foals.
While success rates are high, not all horses respond positively to therapy. Approximately10-20% of horses may experience a relapse.
While a horse is being treated, taking intermittent blood samples may be recommended to monitor potential side effects such as anemia, low platelet count and low white blood cell count.
Since some drugs used to treat EPM are antifolate drugs, supplementation with folic acid (a B vitamin) is recommended.
Horses undergoing treatment should be closely observed for signs of improvement or decline, especially negative side effects to the drugs, such as acute diarrhea.
Be sure to report any changes in the horse's condition to your veterinarian.
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