Friday, June 13, 2014

Did I say "no treatment"? I lied

Well, we're going to treat Harv for EPM.  I said I would not, and for reasons that are, well, reasonable. After all, Harv has not been officially diagnosed, there is a high relapse rate for treating EPM, he is an old dude, and oh yeah,  the cost.

The lack of confirmed diagnosis does not bother me so much -- his condition has been narrowed down to two "most likely suspects" -- EPM or Cauda Equina Syndrome. Cauda Equina Syndrome isn't treatable. I haven't been impressed with how well or accurately vets can test for EPM -- even New Bolton said a full complement of tests may not yield a diagnosis.

Why the change of heart about treatment?
The short answer is, the treatment is cheaper than I initially understood it to be--and in the end, I'm not ready to say goodbye to Harv.

Long answer: I managed a horse show on Sunday, and it was fun but eventful -- many rides, unforeseen delays, running around. It all ended well, but I felt worn out. After the show, Bob and I stopped to see Harv on our way to dinner. As I stood next to Harv's dutch door reading the label on a new bottle of fly spray, Harv poked his head out the dutch door and started licking my elbow.  No matter what happens in my day, Harvey makes me feel good.

We took Harv out to let him roll and graze a bit. He was exuberant! He trotted around like a stud, and he overdid it a little -- he tripped, his hind legs nearly collapsed, but he did not actually fall. He made a little grunting sound of alarm, but he recovered and came over to us. He was ready to come in. We opened the gate and headed back to the barn.

Bob: "Why did you say you aren't treating him?"
 Me: "Well, depending on what he has there is no treatment. And EPM treatment is over a thousand dollars a month. Up to 1500, New Bolton said."
 Bob: "Well.. That's what money is for."

Bob  is not one to throw money around,  comment stuck in my gut.

 When we got home, I had a Facebook message from a friend in Ohio. She shared information about an EPM treatment that, according to a friend of hers, was around $79/month. She gave me info about it, and I checked the medical research and the price at the source she provided. While vets had told me about the treatment, their pricing was THEIR pricing -- not what you can get from outside sources. So for about $110/month (including supplements and vet followups) I can treat Harv for EPM. That's what I'm going to do.

A big THANK YOU to my friend, who I met through my blog.


  1. Vets have a tendency to forget to mention things like that. Good luck with the treatment. I'm glad there is an affordable one out there.

  2. Reasonable plan! Its worth a try for $110. Hope it works!

  3. I successfully teaated my TB twice for EPM and is is not that expensive! He recovered fully and is now showing first level dressage. Yes, he was younger, but it CAN work!!

  4. I had a 3 yr old Tb with EPM. I did the sulfa drug treatment along with vitamin e, grape seed extract and garlic powder for antioxidants. She went from falling over when just walking and having a horrible head tilt to being 99% normal in one month. I only treated 2 months. About 6 months later she seemed to possibly be dragging her back feet a little so I did a month of marquis and saw no improvement. She's just been a pasture ornament since with no relapses...she's 11 now. My experience has been that the cheaper stuff works better, and she didn't seem to mind the taste as much.

  5. DEFINITELY worth a try. Blessings upon Harv... (and YAY, BOB!)

  6. Good on Bob. Like my husband says... "money... they make more every day"

  7. I would be extremely interested in this EPM treatment. I have an older gelding who I also have been on the fence about treating. Any information you can provide would be so helpful and very much appreciated!!!

  8. Great news! Bob is my kind of guy.

  9. Please keep us updated on the efficacy of this new treatment. The diagnosis of EPM is one that daunts most of us. I almost thought my Friesian x had it when he started tripping/falling randomly, but he had a different neurological issue more difficult to diagnose (go figure and just my luck). It was the worst day of my horsey owning life--that fear was paralyzing. I really feel for ya.

    Add that I'm head over heels in "love" with your husband for saying what he did to you. *WE* are not ready to say "goodbye" to Harvey either. ;)


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