I actually initially wrote the previous blog and story about Gus ... http://thegoodlife54.blogspot.com/2013/10/it-just-time-to-tell-you-about-gus.html ...
back in September of 2012. I was asked not to publish it until the author's book had been written. It has now been written and it will be published and out on Amazon in April 2014. So I held off on blogging my story until last week in regard to that.
However, last week, something happened that made it important to tell you our story now.
Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis is also known at EPM. The feces of opossums may contain sporocysts-cysts that contain spores that can reproduce asexually. Horses can ingest these sporocysts with feed, grass or water contaminated with opossum feces. The protozoa can leave lesions on the spinal cord and brain stem. This is likely what has happened to Gus. It is this neurological damage that can cause the various symptoms of EPM. Some of the symptoms may include loss of coordination, muscle atrophy, difficulty swallowing, sore back, stumbling, roaring, weakness, dropping eyelid and head tilt. It is a horrible de-habilitating illness. Treatment can be lengthy, expensive and often unsuccessful. If treated early, it can be treated, but often those affected will not always recover fully. They will need a long treatment period first and then a long rehabilitation period if they are treated successfully. They need lots of physical therapy to recover their muscle mass and strength. Often these horses are just put down.
My sweet boy Gus is 22 years old. When I saw him back in the spring, and took photographs with him for the book, he looked well and healthy. Last week when I saw him he was thin, his muscles had atrophied, his back was swayed and he was sweating, staggering and unstable on his hind end. His mane was not flowing. His eyes were no longer bright.
For him I pray for comfort and for healing. For his owners I pray for comfort and for wisdom through doctors who best know about these things. I pray they will make the right decisions. And I will be there no matter what.
Sweet boy know I love you! This is not the end of our trail.
Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.
Great Horse Stories: Wisdom and Humor from Our Majestic Friends by Rebecca Ondov (April 1, 2014)