A reporter from the biggest newspaper in the state came by today to pick up Faith's story. While Faith was standing on the crossties, she kept her ears up and stayed alert for the most part, which is a huge improvement since she first arrived. About ten minutes into the interview, I looked over at Faith and knew something wasn't right with her. All of a sudden she dropped her head, her eyes glazed over, and she rocked back on her hind end. Her hind legs buckled and it was obvious that she was going to totally collapse. I yelled her name as I grabbed for her cross tie, giving it a quick yank upwards. Just as quickly she picked her head up, got her feet back underneath herself and regained her balance before she hit the ground. It was both scary and heartbreaking.
I immediately called Dr. George, and he will be here in about a half hour to examine her and do more blood work. She has been making so much progress lately and although I'm hoping that this is something insignificant, I have a gut feeling that it's not.
The most frightening part is her episode today reminded me of a horse that I rescued a few years back. After she was fit, I began schooling her under saddle; she was on her way to being a successful show horse. When one day without warning she blacked out in the barn and collapsed. It happened again about a week later. Her diagnosis? EPM.
Now that I think of it, Faith has quite a bit of symptoms of EPM: droopy lower lip, occasional abnormal sweating, incoordination and weakness, muscle atrophy, sudden fatigue. We had all assumed those were symptoms of her malnutrition and neglect, but now I'm questioning if it isn't something more. The outlook of EPM horses isn't very good, especially when it isn't treated right away. Needless to say, Faith hadn't received any veterinarian treatment in the past few years until she moved here.
I will keep everyone posted on the outcome of the blood work and spinal tap. Please keep your fingers crossed for Faith that this is not EPM.
Here is a link for EPM on the web, so you can learn more about it: