Strangles Strikes

Several strangles outbreaks across the country have complicated the spring showing, training, and racing plans for some horse owners. Several racetracks in Florida, Kentucky, and New York have established restrictions on animals from affected areas. For more information, see the Strangles section under Infectious Diseases at

California--An outbreak placed a boarding stable in northern Los Angeles County, Calif., under quarantine in mid-March, and more than 60 horses at the farm were under close observation. The situation flared up in November 2004, and the L.A. County Department of Health Services Disease Control division began the stable lockdown the week of March 13.

Kentucky--A second round of tests for strangles in a population of 49 horses at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center showed a reduction in the number of horses that tested positive for infection or exposure to the disease. A third round of tests was to be completed. Officials have relocated 28 horses that tested negative on both rounds to a quarantine barn and those horses were being exercised on the track at specified hours until results of the third round of tests were returned.

The six animals who returned positive results on both tests were to be moved to another quarantine location to continue their strangles treatment.

Florida--Seven horses at Gulfstream Park's Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla., tested positive for strangles in late March. The horses were confined to one 30-horse barn. That barn was quarantined and horses were not to train or leave the barn until the entire barn tested negative.

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