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Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2004
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Central Illinois
My colleague at work lives in the same county as I do. He has quarter horses and we frequently "horse-talk". We share the same vet and farrier. He came in late today because one of his horses was diagnosed with EPM.

The vet said that he has had at least one case a week in our area for a while. With no rain, the pastures are not clean. Evidently, raccoon and opossum, that type of animal, have this parasite in their droppings and if there is no rain to wash the parasite from the droppings, it will continue to thrive. Unfortunately when a horse grazes, it stands a chance to pick the parasite up unknowingly. Yuck!

I just thought I'd post this as a possible concern. Makes me nervous! My colleague said the treatment is very expensive and unless it is detected and treated early, the results aren't good. The vet suggests rinsing the hay before feeding as an aid.

I'm going to call my vet this evening and see if he has any suggestions for me. I've never seen a case of EPM and don't know how it would impact our minis. Just another thing to worry us moms and dads!

Hi - Try out this website, Click here: EPM

It's not an uncommon thing & most all horses have been exposed to some degree. Most never develop symptoms & gradually are building an immunity. Relax. It's been around forever and there's not much you can do to prevent it.
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I read your post again but I don't understand what wetting down the hay would do. Yes, it might take any rare droppings off the cut hay, but that wouldn't give the horses any protection out in the pasture, which is what we're talking about, isn't it? I've always thot the pasture grass would be more of a concern for this than hay you have baled & are feeding. I still say it shouldn't be a big worry. There's enough to worry about that you CAN do something about.....
Thanks for the information! Yes, we were talking about the pastures. But, we had just baled hay and rinsing was supposed to help if we did get droppings in there.

I think I'm just being paranoid, but I try to advocate for my horses on the side of safety. Man, I thought I was being weird during foaling season! And, then I know it was lack of sleep.

I just heard on the news that West Nile has been confirmed in Springfield, IL, where I work. That's about 30 miles from us, what next?

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