20 Horses Positive for Piroplasmosis, Investigation Ongoing

Two additional premises exposed to equine piroplasmosis came to light last weekend, according to a statement released by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs (DOACS). Each property has one horse that tests positive for the disease.

This brings the total number of horses positive for the disease in the state to 20 animals on six quarantined premises. An additional 13 premises are also quarantined due to exposure to positive horses. The DOACS noted that all of the positive horses are closely linked to one another. Because of this close association, the disease is believed to have spread via management practices that resulted in the transfer of whole blood between horses.

Equine piroplasmosis is caused by two parasites, Babesia caballi and B. equi. The parasites are able to hitch a ride on certain ticks, in which they can amplify, thus, creating the potential for spread to horses. The parasites can also be spread via shared needles.

The DOACS said tick trapping and surveillance efforts are ongoing. No foreign ticks have been found, and none of the domestic ticks they've captured have tested positive for the organism that causes equine piroplasmosis.

Read more about piroplasmosis in Florida.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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