EPM: A Growing Epidemic with Real Solutions
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a growing epidemic in the horse world today and continues to devastate horses rendering them neurologically impaired and in many cases to the point of having to be put down. Most horse owners turn to Marquis, Protazil, or Re-Balance as a solution to this number one cause of neurological problems in equines today .
Do these pharmaceuticals really work? Why do most horses not ever experience a resolution of symptoms or at best make a recovery only to relapse months later? Why are these products not very effective? Why are they not having a lasting effect?
Firstly, we must see the equine’s body as an intelligent organism. If a foreign substance or object enters into the body, the body is going to do everything in its power to dissolve and “push out” that object or substance. Take a splinter for example – the body creates a reaction in an attempt to push out that splinter. Now take these pharmaceuticals, which are in effect recognized as a foreign substance by the body. Now this is not to say that they do not have some kind of “healing” or “beneficial” effect, however they also have a damaging effect and, most importantly to note, the body does not allow these substances deep enough inside to do “the work” that is necessary for lasting results.
One of the unique signatures of EPM is that the causative protozoa enters into the cells and resides there causing cellular damage and chronic inflammation. We believe that the main reason these pharmaceuticals do not have a lasting effect is they are unable to clear the protozoa at the cellular level. It is likely that they are successful in clearing the infection from the tissues, organs, and blood thus creating a temporary beneficial state of being for the horse, however the infection still lies latent in the cells only to proliferate once again and bring the neurological symptoms along with it.
Simply clearing the protozoal infection is just not enough.
There may be cases when Marquis, Protazil, or Re-Balance are able to clear the protozoal infection if they are used prior to the protozoa entering the cells. Nevertheless, in many of these cases, it is not apparent that the infection has cleared as the symptoms have not been resolved.
In most EPM cases, there is extensive damage to the brain and nervous system tissue which is not reserved by simply clearing the infection. In these circumstances, the horse needs specifically targeted formulas to repair and regenerate this damage. Additionally, at some stage in the unfoldment of EPM, it becomes an autoimmune disorder, where the body creates antibodies that actually attack the myelin and cause further degradation. These antibodies also need to be addressed or it is possible that even with the infection cleared, damage can still continue.
These pharmaceuticals claim to have a 60% success rate which simply alludes to the fact that 60% of the horses that use these products show some sign of improvement, and not necessarily a lasting one.
It is believed that around half of all equines in the US have been exposed to EPM. However, not all them exposed to the parasite will develop the disease and show clinical signs of EPM.
Some equines seem to mount an effective immune response and are able to combat the disease before it takes hold. Other horses however, especially those under “stress”, can succumb rapidly to the debilitating effects of EPM. Still others may harbor the organisms for months or years and then slowly or suddenly develop symptoms.
In treating this full range of EPM symptomatic horses the mystery continues. In our experience, the degree to which the horse is exhibiting symptoms does not necessarily reflect the severity of the infection, the damage, the autoimmune disorder, or the amount and extent of “medicine” it needs.
Here is an example from one of our clients who shares that her horse “… has gone from walking with 3 people supporting her to running in 6 weeks. She was so bad at one point that I really did not think she would survive.”
Despite this horse’s completely degenerated state, it did not need extensive neurological regenerative formulas nor did it need its antibodies to be balanced. It had an amazingly quick recovery and has maintained this vital state of being and actually continues to improve daily.
In some of the cases, when a horse is just beginning to show signs of EPM or has had it for sometime but seems stable in its condition, it has needed a longer protocol with many of our specifically targeted neurological rehabilitation products along with a balancing of the antibodies until lasting results were able to be reached.
We are happy to offer real solutions for EPM.
Our EPM Kit is our best selling product. Many horse owners who come to us for EPM treatment have tried at least one of the industry standard pharmaceuticals without much success. Some have been fortunate enough to have their horse’s symptoms resolved, however only to return a few months later leaving them with no where to turn for a real solution.
Through our experience, testimonials, numerous case studies and anecdotal evidence, we have found that the treatment options we offer for EPM are unparalleled in the market. We have had amazing success in completely eliminating the infection, symptomatically down to the cellular level, and have not had any horses, as of yet, relapse after their symptoms have been completely resolved for up to a month.
Additionally, through the application of our neurological regenerative and antibody balancing products, we have been able to rehabilitate almost all of the horses we have worked with who have displayed extensive neurological damage and needed more than a clearing of the parasitic infection.
Chronic infections like EPM need a holistic approach.
The true root cause of these infections needs to be addressed. It is simply not enough to just clear the infection or even regenerate the brain and nerve tissues that have been damaged. We need to look further at addressing why the infection was allowed to proliferate in the first place.
Would a completely sound, vital horse living in a natural environment ever contract something like EPM? Are certain genetics just more prone to infection? Does vitality and complete well being go deeper than we can actually see? How could a horse seemingly advance so far along into a chronic infection? If a horse’s lifestyle is completely naturalized will its immune system be strong enough to fight off a parasitic infection like EPM before it takes hold?
These are wonderful questions to ponder and there is no way to give a completely accurate answer to these questions, however here at Effective Pet Wellness we believe that prevention is the highest path — naturalizing your animals’ lifestyle. This includes truly acknowledging and meeting your horse’s innate biological needs. The lessons learned from Jaime Jackson’s study of the Great Basin wild horses is the key. This means 10 – 20 miles a day of movement, a reasonably natural diet with no laminitis triggers, and a humane, natural trim. This is a recipe for prevention and ultimately, soundness.