Tuesday, July 31, 2012


A couple months ago I  noticed that Cowgirl was a "little" off and I put her on stall rest.  Everyone around me thought I was nuts because they couldn't see it. They thought I was overreacting.  After a couple of weeks, she did look better, even to me, and when the farrier came, he couldn't find anything wrong.

Then, about three weeks ago, I noticed she was lame again and put her back in the stall.  Again, she didn't look lame to anyone else.  We had the trip to Washington DC planned, and since it's my daughter's horse, I asked her to observe and make a decision.  She reported back that she didn't detect any lameness.

Let me backtrack. 

When I spotted the lameness, I did an all-over body check for heat, swelling, abrasion, tenderness--anything that would pinpoint the problem.  I found nothing.

When I got back from DC, I asked my daughter to come out to the barn with me.  I wanted to test each hoof and then have her take her through the different gaits so I could observe from a distance.  She didn't want to let me pick up her hooves--especially her front left.  She also had a hard time taking up the lope on her left lead.  We suspected some tissue injury in the left shoulder and put her away to rest again.

This week, however, things started to get worse.  It began to look like the problem was in her right hind (which made sense--left front to right hind) because she was acting like she didn't want to use her back legs.  She was walking goofy.

And, actually, now I should switch to the present tense because she is acting the same way today.  In fact, today she is acting like she is disengaged form her hind legs.  She can stand fine and eats fine...doesn't seem like she's in any pain, but when it comes to walking, her movements are uncoordinated. 

I put a call into my farrier last night and he'll be here tomorrow at 8, and I'm going to arrange an appointment with my vet directly following it.  I want to first rule out any hoof problems and then go from there. 

However, I'm starting to highly suspect EPM.  Makes me sick to think it, but all signs are starting to point that way.

List of symptoms as they progressed:

1. Slightly off, almost undetectable. (2.5 months ago)
2. Return to soundness
3. Slightly off, almost undetectable again.
4. Unwillingness to pick up hooves for cleaning. (3 weeks ago)
5. Difficulty maintaining left lead.
6. Slow, uncoordinated walking. (3 days ago)


  1. I hope she doesn't have it but if she does it's treatable. Hope it all turns out okay for all of you.

    1. Funny, I just found your article on lyme from 2009. Nice job.

  2. Good grief Linda! You've had more than your share of frustrating-to-diagnose issues crop up. I hope it isn't EPM, but if it is, the treatment seems to be effective. Good luck!

    1. Yeah, I agree. I prefer things be more straight-forward, and maybe they will be after the farrier and vet appt tomorrow at 1...but somehow, with my luck, I doubt it.

  3. If it could be EPM, be sure to use the test (in clinical trials) from pathogenes.com - not the tests that are otherwise available. Your vet may or may not be aware of Dr. Ellison's clinical trials. The test is much more reliable than currently available tests, and the treatment is low risk and currently fairly low cost. As I think you are already aware, I have 3 horses that have between them have had 4 cases of EPM and all have made complete recoveries. If you're in an area with Lyme, have the test run for that too - there's a new much more accurate test - Lyme and EPM can occur together when the immune system is knocked down.

    See my EPM page for more info - I think you've already been over there.

    1. I've never heard of lyme in my area, but there have been a lot of ticks this year. I'll tell my vet about the test tomorrow if she goes that route with EPM.

  4. I think Lyme disease is almost unknown in this area, but it could be that it's often not diagnosed correctly. I hope you come up with an answer, and hopefully something uncomplicated and easy to treat. Make sure you update us!

  5. Uh oh! I hope it's not, but I know you must be terribly worried. I hope the diagnosis is better news.



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