Thursday, October 9, 2014
Seizures, EPM, a lot of tears, and a lot of prayers
My daughters beautiful Arabian, Johnny Cash started having seizures a few months ago. Full blown, spinning, crashing to the ground, violently shaking seizures. It started with one, then a few weeks later another. I called the vet and they came later in the week...by then he was having them everyday. Johnny isn't old, and is one of my daughter's primary show horses. He is safe to take anywhere and so sweet. This was devastating.
Initial blood work came back and we own a healthy, 12 year old Arabian. He showed slight hind end weakness in his physical exam, so our vet decided to run an EPM titer on him. It came back very high. After a lengthy discussion with several vets, this was actually one of the best possible outcomes. It seems seizures are rare in horses, and when the do appear it is often a long and expensive haul to try to find the cause...many times not finding the actual cause. Most are not treatable and he would be placed on anti-seizure meds and turned out, no longer safe to ride.
Our vet has warned us that even with the EPM treatment, he may still have seizures, but our overall hope is that the seizures will go away completely and he can be ridden again. This is one of the saddest and most frightening things we have experienced. I also found myself struggling with deciding what to spend, a situation no horse owner wants to be in. They are family, and most of us would spend every dime we have to save them. What was tough was learning that we may spend every dime we have, and still be no closer to helping him. I felt like turning down tests was failing him, after all he has done and given to us, here I was turning down thousands of dollars in tests. The hardest was trying to explain it to Faith. Poor kid, all she wanted to do was fix him and make him better.
So we are currently in our second month of EPM treatment. His seizures have all but disappeared. We are crossing our fingers and toes and praying to the pony gods that he gets better, and hopefully can be deemed safe to ride again. We love him so much. To everyone with a horse or pony...be sure to give them lots of hugs and kisses and thank everyday that they are happy and healthy.