What is EPM in Horses

Ever heard of a horse getting EPM? Whenever I’ve heard that term thrown around, it’s always been in very serious tones and worried voices.  I knew that EPM in horses had something to do with a horse’s hind end starting to give out and that it could be very harmful.


What is EPM?

EPM stands for Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. It’s a “neurologic disease in horses caused by infection with the protozoan Sarcocystis Neurona (SN). SN infects horses when they ingest the organism in contaminated feed or water,” according to the Iron Gate Equine Clinic.

What Causes EPM?

Why do horses get EPM? So, we said that horses get EPM from the digestion of contaminated food or water supplies and that this infection comes from Sarcocystis Neurona.  But what is that? Essentially, ...

What Can You Do for a Horse that Has EPM?

When I first started writing this article, I was under the impression that EPM was a fatal diagnosis;  I had heard of many senior horses getting it and not being able to bounce back from it.

EPM in Horses Treatment

But, thankfully, I was wrong! There are a few different methods of treating EPM in horses.  First, there’s the obvious use of phenylbutazone (commonly called “bute”) ...

EPM in Horses: Supplements

Then, in supplement, some vets recommend the use of Vitamin E tablets or powders.  These are more of an afterthought after the prescribed medicines are used. Vitamin E is high in antioxidants, and it can assist the horse’s system in cleansing itself from the “bacteria.”

EPM can be deadly if left untreated, but thankfully, it is a treatable condition! If you fear that your horse might have EPM, don’t hesitate to call your vet.  As you read, the sooner symptoms are recognized and treated, the more likely your horse is to make a full recovery.


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