Every horse is different, and every physiological body is unique in its exposure and reaction to pathogens.  This is easily observed in how our equine friends respond to the exposure or disease of EPM-causing organisms.

What is EPM?

There are some horses who unfortunately face EPM: Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. EPM is a disease caused by the apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis neurona that affects the central nervous system of horses.

Acute responses can be severe and may include sudden onset of ataxia—a loss of coordination to varying degrees, the inability to swallow properly, or at its worst complete recumbency—or an inability to rise. Horses who exhibit chronic, transient symptoms as varied as personality changes, sudden increased spookiness or head shyness, stumbling or tripping, dietary habit changes, loss of body conditioning and even breathing and swallowing complications are in the arguably more fortunate majority. These symptoms of the EPM-causing organism S. Neurona can vary widely, which means your approach to improved wellness must, too.

Many times veterinarians and owners choose to medicinally treat the disease and watch for improvement as a diagnostic tool, since diagnosis often proves difficult. EPM may as well stand for the Equine Phantom Menace, in many circumstances. 

So, what are you as a Pulse Certified Professional to do? 

It’s important to remember that PEMF does not treat or diagnose any illness. Instead, PEMF addresses underlying cellular dysfunction by providing stimulation and exercise to the cells. This process supports the body’s natural healing abilities.[1],[2] 

Working with the guidance of the attending Veterinarian and some solid Pulse Certified Professional detective skills are worthwhile when starting with any new EPM client. This means getting an understanding of when the diagnosis was obtained, whether the horse’s current response is acute or chronic, what medications or alternative treatments have been administered, a thorough understanding of the horse’s symptoms, and what the goals of the client are for their horse from athleticism and competition standpoints. Subsequently, Pulse Certified Professionals should take time planning, evaluating, and communicating their expectations of how PEMF may complement the horse’s wellness regimen. Since PEMF addresses general wellness by helping to recharge depleted cells, you can always start with a full body session.

While Pulsing during the acute stages of an issue, it is best to operate low and slow with longer sessions. Also, thoroughly assessing the horse’s response to the strength of Pulse PEMF is recommended during every session, but with a horse who is in the acute and inflammatory phases it is important to take extra caution not to pulse too strongly.

For each session, a Pulse Equine full body session will effectively Pulse the pathway of the CNS. Then spending time focusing on areas of depletion, such as areas of body condition loss, is recommended. Since the brain is the conductor of the body, the Pulse Equine Specialists also recommend spending additional time focusing on the poll/atlas position at a gentle intensity. Maintenance focused on supporting the immune system through nutrition, supplementation, and PEMF is a priority in keeping these horses in top condition.

For general maintenance on the spinal area, a more aggressive approach may be appropriate.  EPM is caused by a pathogen that invades the host’s spinal cord may direct us to focus on the neurological pathway. The Pulse Equine full body recommended loop placements will effectively pulse the Spinal Column as-is. Other areas for you to consider and research are the nutrition of your client’s horse and what medications are being used for treatment. Pulsing may be an excellent supportive addition to the horse’s wellness regimen by allowing the body to absorb and use nutrients more readily.[7]

EPM may be a confusing and troublesome disease, but when managed effectively, our awesome horses can continue to do everything they used to do – and Pulse PEMF can be a great supportive tool.

Thanks to all Pulse Certified Professionals who tend to horses and make their lives better every day! Please comment with your approaches, stories, or questions. We’d love to hear them!

[1],[2],[7] To locate the citations referenced here, visit info.pulseequine.com/research.