After 2 years of time recovering from her last case of EPM, Cerise has the symptoms again. I noticed in Feb. that she was losing some muscle tone but I was not able to work her because I was sick so thought that was the problem. Most horses won’t lose muscle tone in only a month out of work but Cerise does not have good muscling anyway after her previous EPM so even a little loss shows.
As a precaution I bought some Karbo combo pellets to put Cerise on but because she does not eat well when I do not work her so I don’t think she got the levels needed to treat the early symptoms. The fact that she was stressed from not getting the attention she wanted I feel caused her ulcers to flare up also. I feel the protozoa gains entrance to the body through a damaged gut so her digestive issues set her up for the EPM.
At first when I started riding Cerise again she did fantastic and worked off her rear end very well. As I started to add speed, though, with the barrel racing she could not hold herself together. I finally had to get over my denial and accept that she was infected again. I immediately increased the dose of her Karbo combo pellets and backed way off on her work. I continued to ride her because she wants the attention. I really feel she was a disappointed as I was. She loves to go fast around the barrels and we were finally starting to get competitive.
After 10 days on the increased dose of Karbo combo pellets I could tell she was improving but not fast enough to suit me. I talked with Dr. Luann Groves and she suggested I give a 3 month course of the Epic II and Karbo pellets. Even though the Karbo combo contains both of these products the liquid form of the Epic II is absorbed better and works faster. The developer of the products confirmed this plan but warned that sometimes the slower action of the Karbo combo pellets is better because the horses are given more time to rest and recover from the damage to the muscles.
I certainly understand the frustration with having to give the horse time off but I am willing to wait for Cerise to tell me when she can go back to regular work. I am using the Sore No More liniment on her and it is helpful for me because it will create a sudsing action it the muscles or connective tissues are sore. I noticed after working Cerise a bit harder one session that the next day the Sore no More got soapy on her entire hindquarter. Right after that I started on the Epic II and Karbo pellets and the next day the sudsing was gone. After riding that day the next day I had mild sudsing on her left stifle area so I gave her the day off.
I have worked hard to support Cerise’s digestive system but I let her program slide when I was sick. With her actually skipping a few meals she did not get her normal supplements and now I know I can never let that happen again. In the future if she is not eating I will give her the KLPP and blue green algae in her mouth with a syringe. I am not willing to let her gut get compromised again. The good news is that Cerise knows now how to use her body and I can see her planning for what she will need to do to preform a movement. This will allow me to continue to ride her and keep her in shape so that she will not lose her overall condition. Her muscle tone is coming back quickly so I don’t believe she had had any damage from this episode. Hopefully we will be back at the barrel races in a few months. Madalyn