Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis Symptoms and Treatment

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis SymptomsEquine protozoal myeloencephaltis is a serious health concern for horse owners. Although more than half of horses infected with this disease will respond to treatment, about 40% do not and eventually die from the deterioration of their central nervous system. Sadly, only one-tenth of infected horses completely recover from the infection. Learning the equine protozoal myeloencephalitis symptoms can help you get treatment for your horse quickly.

Recognizing Symptoms

The equine protozoal myeloencephalitis symptoms can be different in the infected horses because the infection causes lesions to appear in different areas of the brain. Depending on where these lesions show up, the symptoms change. Most of the more common symptoms involve lameness, loss of coordination, changes in the horse’s gait, and muscle atrophy. Other symptoms can include head tilting, leaning against the stall wall for balance, paralysis of the face, and loss of feeling in the head and neck area. When your horse begins showing any of these signs, she needs to see someone experienced in equine veterinary immediately.

Treatment and Prevention

Once a horse is diagnosed with these equine protozoal myeloencephalitis symptoms, his condition needs to be treated. Several drug combinations have been used as part of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis treatment, including sulphonamides with pyrimethamine, tetracycline antibiotics, and immune system stimulants. A number of pharmacies and veterinary research facilities are working on other alternatives to help improve the recovery rate among these horses.

Another option being worked on is a equine protozoal myeloencephalitis vaccine but the vaccine is still being tested to see if it will work and protect horses from this illness. Until that becomes a viable option for prevention, you need to keep your property free from opossums. Opossums are the carriers of the disease so keeping them away from the horses and not giving them a chance to contaminate the food and water of the horses is a good way to prevent the spread of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis symptoms.