Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pie and Drifter Featured on Dr. Ellison's Blog

Dr. Ellison (of the new ELISA peptide EPM test and new treatment protocol - see my EPM page for more about this) has a blog with occasional posts about her work and that of others on EPM - better understanding it and how to treat it effectively.  In the most recent post, Pie and Drifter (and I) have our pictures included!

The post is about some technical things - that the primary disease mechanism may be inflamatory rather than central nervous system infection - but the take-away for me is that it is possible to detect very early symptoms of infection with the organism that causes EPM, and that many horses, regardless of the stage of infection, may be able to make a full recovery.  Inflamed abdominal lymph nodes - like what Pie experienced and which probably caused his recurring colic - would be very consistent with this. Many of these very early symptoms are not the ataxia - poor coordination and lameness - that have traditionally been considered the markers of the disease - ataxia indicates that the disease is more advanced. It also makes the very good point that it's not the absolute level of antibodies, but changes in the antibody level over time that most clearly indicate the progression of the infection.  EPM is a very scary disease, and it's good to know that infected horses have significant hope for full recovery.  (Note to readers outside the Americas:  EPM is transmitted to horses through contamination of water, hay or grass with opossum urine or feces - and opossums are a Western Hemisphere animal, so one thing the rest of you don't have to worry about - unless your horse has made a trip to the New World.)

11 comments:

  1. Very good news that there is hope of full recovery. Nice pictures of you and the boys on Dr. Ellison's blog.

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  2. How cool that you got featured in the article!

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  3. Pie and Drifter are famous! I'm glad it's all working out for them and you. Without people like Dr. Ellison and other researchers imagine where our horses would be without treatment. I'm encouraged that so much research is going into the diseases that cause our equine friends so much distress.

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  4. How nice that Pie, Drifter, and you, are now famous beyond this blogging world! That is so cool.

    But even better is the information about the success of the new treatments. A full recovery from
    EPM is ten times better than anything. Congratulations on what looks to be such positive results.

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  5. Like any disease, EPM is dangerous, fascinating and complicated. I too feel a great relief at knowing having EPM is not a death sentence for the horses who get it. Who wouldn've thought a little possum could bring such devastation?

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  6. I'm thrilled for you and the boyz. I wonder if the vets around know about this big turn around! I'm going to share the story with some friends, EPM is very common here.

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  7. Very cool that you, Pie, and Drifter are included in Dr. Ellison's post!

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  8. Your excellent and detailed reporting of your experiences with EPM, has taught us all so much. Thank you!!

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  9. Very good news! And yes, I can attest that some horses do make a full recovery if EPM is caught early. I showed a mare for several years in the Junior Hunters who had tested positive. Like you, we were able to catch and treat it early. This mare developed a neurological tic that clued us in, which is a rare symptom. We lucked out. Here's hoping the same applies for you, Pie, and Drift!

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  10. I think it's great that they are featuring Pie and Drifter. I also think it's great that your blog (and theirs now too!) is spreading the word about EPM.

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  11. Kate, Your boys are famous! I went over to read the article and it is fascinating!! I am rereading it because it is such an interesting story of the diagnosis and testing of EPM. Thank you for sharing all of this with us in your blog- medical advances for horses are so very valuable and needed, and this story of new advances for EPM is wonderful. I am so glad both of your horses are responding so well to the Oroquin treatment!

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