EPM in Horses - A Succesful Treatment
Equine EPM - Equine protozoal
I have successfully treated horses with EPM which can be a devastating disease.
EPM in horses, Equine
protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), primarily
caused by infection with Sarcocystis neurona, is known in allopathic veterinary medicine to be a
progressive disease of the central nervous system (CNS). We
refuse to accept that prognosis. I have found a very good therapy regime for this disease.
Initial symptoms are usually incoordination
noticed when riding or just walking in the barn yard or pasture. I have noticed a typical 'cross-over' in the front
limbs. There is also an obvious lethargy and I am sure these guys are experiencing a head ache. The symptoms seem
to be more severe on hot days.
Even as symptoms begin to clear completely, a really hot spell can cause a relapse.
Vague, intermittent lameness may also be present. Keep in mind this is also a classic symptom
that I have seen with Equine Herpes Disease-the neurological form. Patients can also show head tilt, some facial
nerve paralysis, twitching of face muscles, depression, and even seizures.
Here is the life cycle of this nasty parasite as described by the US Department of
It has the most unusual life cycle for any species of Sarcocystis as unlike other species of Sarcocystis, S.
neurona has wide host range for its intermediate hosts. Opossums (Didelphis virginiana, D. albiventris) are its
definitive (reservoir) hosts and excrete oocysts and sporocysts (environmentally resistant stage)in their feces.
Raccoons, armadillos, sea otters, skunks, cats and possibly other mammals are intermediate hosts. These animals
ingest the sporocysts , which after many asexual cycles, lead to the development of sarcocysts (resting stage) in
their muscles. Infection of the final host is by the ingestion of the sarcocysts from the muscles of the
intermediate hosts. The bradyzoites are released in the intestines of the definitive host. They undergo a sexual
cycle and this ultimately result in the production of sporulated oocysts, which are excreted in the feces of the
opossum. Horses are considered its aberrant hosts because only schizonts and merozoites (no sarcocysts) have been
identified , confined to the brain and spinal cord. (USDA)
After positive diagnosis through blood work, I usually test the horses with radionics to see which therapies will
fit the bill. My most successful batches of supplements usually include HVE Equine Immune Support, HVE Chinese EPM
Therapy, and always the HVE EPM nosodes-at least 200c or 1M frequency. If the owners wish, I recommend testing the
rest of the horses on the property so that we are aware of other ill animals, even if the symptoms are not showing
yet. I also insist all incriminating hay left in the barn is cleared out and put in a safe place away from any
Because of the means of transmission, I recommend that you take a good look at the
set up where you buy your hay. Is it a good old barn that probably is home to possums?? Has it been
in storage a long time?? Try to buy fresh hay and make sure your own barn is possum free!! It only takes one possum
to contaminate a whole farm of horses.
by Dr. Jenifer Preston - October 4, 2010