• Poor coordination, abnormal gait, or lameness • Muscle atrophy • Paralysis of muscles in the eye, face, or mouth • Difficulty swallowing • Seizures or collapse • Abnormal sweating • Loss of sensation along the face • Head tilt with poor balanceIf you suspect your horse has EPM, your veterinarian will conduct a full neurological exam and perform certain tests. Testing both the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) along with a blood serum sample is best. However, spinal taps can be risky and expensive, so in many cases a positive serum IgG test combined with neurological signs and a history consistent with exposure to EPM will serve as a positive diagnosis. For best prevention efforts, manage any possible contamination of horse feed or water from the primary reservoir host, the opossum. Skunks, raccoons, sea otters and even cats can be protozoal sources, also. Lock away all feed containers in varmint-proof containers and rooms. When possible, avoid feeding horses from the ground and clean up spilled feed immediately to deter attracting wildlife and rodents. Frequently clean and freshen water sources.
• Ponazuril (tradename Marquis®; generic name toltrazuril sulfone), an oral paste administered once daily for 28 days. • Pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine (tradename Rebalance®), an oral suspension administered once daily for as long as 120 days. • Diclazuril (tradename Protazil®), a pelleted, alfalfa-based top-dressing fed for 28 days.These drugs minimize the infection but do not kill the parasite. The use of anti-inflammatory agents such as Banamine®, corticosteroids, or phenylbutazone are often used to help reduce inflammation and limit further damage to the CNS. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E may help promote the restoration of nervous tissue. Response to treatment is often variable, and treatment may be expensive. Recently though, antiprotozoal treatments that kill the parasite and clear the infection have shown promise.
The Paso Fino is widely known as being the smoothest ride around. There are tales of riders being able to carry a full glass of water while in the saddle, never spilling a drop. According to the USEF, the gait is smooth, purposeful, straight, balanced and synchronous front to rear.