Objective—To identify risk factors for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) among horses examined at 11 equine referral hospitals.
Animals—183 horses with EPM, 297 horses with neurologic disease other than EPM (neurologic controls), and 168 horses with non-neurologic diseases (non-neurologic controls) examined at 11 equine referral hospitals in the United States.
Procedures—A study data form was completed for all horses. Data were compared between the case group and each of the control groups by means of bivariate and multivariate polytomous logistic regression.
Results—Relative to neurologic control horses, case horses were more likely to be ≥ 2 years old and to have a history of cats residing on the premises. Relative to non-neurologic control horses, case horses were more likely to be used for racing or Western performance.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that cats may play a role in the natural epidemiology of EPM, that the disease is less common among horses < 2 years of age relative to other neurologic diseases, and that horses used for particular types of competition may have an increased risk of developing EPM.