Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is an important neurologic disease of horses most commonly caused by infection of the central nervous system by the protozoa, Sarcocystis neurona. Clinical signs can be focal or multifocal and are attributed to damage to neural tissues by invasion of the protozoa and concurrent inflammation. Many horses will test seropositive, however, only a small percentage will exhibit clinical signs which implies horses with a compromised immune system are susceptible to infection while horses with a healthy immune system are able to clear the parasitic infection without treatment. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine theory views this disease pattern as a Zheng Qi Deficiency with Qi and Blood Stagnation. Premortem diagnosis in both Eastern and Western Veterinary Medicine involves a thorough neurologic exam and response to treatment. Treatment with acupuncture and herbal therapy alone or in conjunction with pharmaceuticals has a favorable prognosis. Food therapy and rehabilitation can assist the horse to return to full function. Recrudescence and reinfection when the immune system is challenged is a common sequela, therefore, long term care of EPM horses should include TCVM treatment during times when the Zheng Qi may be challenged.
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Practices Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Sarasota, Florida