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Brain and Spinal Cord Infection in Horses

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Treatment

 

The primary treatment for EPM is antiprotozoal therapy. There are a handful of these drugs on the market for use in treating this disease. One of the most commonly used antiprotozoals is ponazuril. This is a daily treatment required for at least 28 days. If a horse is acutely neurologic, other supportive therapy may be required, such as anti-inflammatories or even IV fluids along with extensive rehabilitation.

 

Living and Management

 

Follow your veterinarian's instructions as to treatment regimens and prescription drug dosages. A horse that is severely affected may not recover 100 percent due to the damage already done to the spinal cord or brain stem.  However, in less severe cases, with proper treatment, a horse can make a full recovery.

 

Prevention

 

Since the opossum is the definitive host of this infectious organism, the best prevention is to keep these animals and other intermediate hosts like raccoons from entering your barn.  Keep your grain in tightly sealed containers and sweep any spilled feed up immediately so as not to attract wild animals.  Keep your hay in a clean space ideally off the floor.

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