December 19, 2012


Martha called today... she said she had just heard some news from Dr. Hawthorne.  Willow tested positive for EPM.  Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is debilitating disease cause by a protozoal infection of the central nervous system of horses. This would explain Willow's severe muscle loss and atrophy (which was worsened by her neglect) and probably other issues she has as well... maybe even her choking.  She has already started treatment which will last for 3 months.  She will also be supplemented with Vitamin E and Selenium (in addition to everything else we have her on).  The accupuncture and Myofascial therapy should help too.  We are avoiding the most aggressive treatments at this time, simply because Willow is so frail, and her immune system so weak.  Martha, Dr. Hawthorne, and Dr. Kimmons all remain hopeful that Willow can recover from this... that next year, she will be a different horse (to which I always say, I don't want a different horse... just a healthy one). ♥

The good news is, though it appears she has had EPM for a long time, Willow has soft, kind, bright eyes. Miraculously, she isn't spooky or distant like so many affected horses are. Yes, she is a sweetheart, but she is also a fighter... ♥


  1. A diagnosis is awesome news! It must feel good to have a treatment plan in place and finally some answers about what was causing her symptoms! I can't wait to see her this time next year - the NOT new, but healthy and whole Willow!

  2. Good news indeed to remove the not knowing. The blessings, good thoughts, and prayers to you all will continue.


  3. As I read, my heart keeps screaming, "beta Glucan, Willow needs beta Glucan!" My daughter and photographer has been following your blog for a long time and knowing my love for horses, she sent this to me. Research beta Glucan and think about adding it to her treatment. It will not hurt her and it might just be what she needs to allow her body to heal itself. Your pictures of her are just amazing and I am captured by Willow's story.

  4. I'm reading this blog backwards. I started at November and am working my way forward.

    EPM??? As if this horse hasn't been through enough?

    I worked for an equine exclusive vet for many years and while the lack of muscle tone, choke, etc. all fit the bill, I wouldn't have guessed that based on your description of her alert, bright eyes and kindness. I've seen horses with EPM who literally couldn't stand up straight long enough to endure a trailer ride.

    What an amazing lady, this Willow of yours!!!

    1. Angel, I just saw all of your comments and love them... thank you SO much.... you have made me cry (happy tears).... xoxo