Salmonellosis in Central Kentucky

On May 8, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky, sent out letters to area clients, farm managers, and veterinarians notifying them that an increased number of salmonella cases had been detected at the clinic this year, and explaining the methods staff were using to eliminate the Salmonella organisms and safeguard the health of patients. According to several area veterinarians, this was a situation that is not unusual for an equine veterinary hospital with a large caseload to face at some point. It also did not signify that there is a significant problem with salmonella in Central Kentucky.

In response to the increase in salmonella, which primarily affects emergency and compromised patients, Rood & Riddle intensified isolation procedures to further separate these patients from the elective surgery patients, and many of the elective surgeries were done on an outpatient basis. Vets and staff began culturing horses for salmonella upon admittance, a practice many hospitals have begun to use as a biosecurity measure. Foot mats containing antiseptic solution were placed in front of the stalls, and disinfectant dip buckets at the end of every barn.

Things were expected to return to normal as soon as foaling season passed, which is accompanied by a normal drop in caseload of compromised horses, combined with the stringent protocol for cleaning and segregation of at-risk horses.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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