Additional EPM testing options available:
- CSF Index (Serum and CSF)
- Cell Count and Differential (CSF)
- EPM Profile I by Western Blot (Serum and CSF)
- EPM Profile II by WB and PCR (CSF)
- EPM Profile III by WB (serum and CSF) and PCR (CSF)
Understanding Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM)—Risk factors and signs
Know the risk factors for EPM1
- Exposure to any site where EPM has been detected previously
- Grazing pastures and/or feed accessible to other wildlife (especially opossums)
- Excessive heat that may weaken the immune system
- Age—especially horses one to five years of age
- Stressful events, including trailering, breeding, showing, selling, training, foaling and nursing
Know the signs of EPM
Presenting clinical signs can be quite variable because they’re related to where lesions occur in the central nervous system. The most common clinical signs for EPM at presentation include asymmetric ataxia and focal muscle atrophy in the gluteal, or rump, area (most frequently). Other commonly observed clinical signs include:
- Asymmetrical ataxia
- Lack of coordination that worsens when the head is elevated
- Stiff, stilted movements
- Muscle deterioration (hindquarters, muscles of the face or front limbs)
- Difficulty swallowing or loss of appetite
- Facial muscular paralysis or loss of sensation
- Change in personality
- Fatigue or narcolepsy
- Head tilt with poor balance
- Abnormal sweat patterns (focal sweating)
- Head shaking
IDEXX testing recommendations:
Refer to our Sample Submission Instructions to view the different sample collection guidelines for each type of test.
The IDEXX EPM testing is performed daily, Monday–Friday.
Western blot results are available within 24 hours if the sample is received by noon.
Saville W, Reed S, Morley P, Granstrom D, Kohn C, Hinchcliff K, Wittum T. Analysis of risk factors for the development of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis in horses. JAVMA. 2000;217:174–180.