Two more horses at our barn have tested positive using the new ELISA peptide antigen test for active infections with the EPM organism. Scout is spending the winter at another barn (with an indoor - lucky them!), so I don't know how he's doing. Charisma, who is a 22 year old Morgan mare - but in excellent condition and still ridden almost every day - started having some reluctance to move out at gaits other than the walk and on neurological testing had some abnormalities affecting her right hind leg. She's started her treatment with the Oroquin-10 paste (see my EPM page for more information about the disease and a new, much more accurate blood test and a new treatment that are in clinical trials).
Sugar's owner had recently noticed some oddness about her gaits, and since four horses (out of seven total) at our barn have already tested positive, our vet/chiro will be coming Wednesday to draw blood so Sugar can be tested as well. I'm probably going to have Dawn tested too, although she has no apparent symptoms - the test doesn't cost that much and it would be a good thing to determine whether or not she is starting an active infection - or to rule it out for now.
Our best theory is that one or more of our loads of square hay bales was contaminated with the EPM organism, since Charisma doesn't go on pasture - she's in a dry lot on hay only due to insulin resistance. We've used the same local hay supplier for years and his hay is excellent in quality. There's nothing he can do to keep possums out of his hay fields though, and there sure are lots of possums around here - I see them frequently.
Our vet/chiro will also do some work on Pie and Drifter - they're both a bit sore or stiff, either due to getting back into shape or because of some lingering hind end weakness - it's hard to tell. I'm hoping to get a ride in today - the temperature's going to get into the upper 30sF and the wind isn't too bad. This time of year, I have to ride whenever I can since the weather isn't going to get any better until spring.