Equine Disease Report: Second Quarter of 2008

The International Collating Centre, Newmarket, England, and other sources reported the following disease outbreaks.

A single non-Thoroughbred horse in France and four non-Thoroughbred horses on two premises in Switzerland were confirmed positive for contagious equine metritis (CEM). They included a Lipizzaner stallion recently imported from Hungary, a 3-year-old colt, and a recently castrated gelding. These animals had contact with three other stallions, of which a 5-year-old colt tested positive.

As of August 26, 2008, the USDA reported 119 cases of Eastern equine encephalitis in the United States, the majority of which (80) were in Florida.

Abortions attributable to equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) were reported from Argentina, sporadic cases on three premises; Ireland, 13 cases and two cases attributable to EHV-4; Japan, two cases on two premises; and the United Kingdom, three cases on three premises. Three EHV-1 abortions were diagnosed by the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center during April, making a total of 13 in Central Kentucky for the 2008 foaling season. A single case of the paralytic form of EHV-1 was reported from the United Kingdom, which also reported EHV-3 coital exanthema in a Thoroughbred stallion, a donkey, and one other horse on separate premises.

Germany reported one case of equine infectious anemia in a horse that was subsequently euthanized. Three clinical cases of equine viral arteritis were confirmed among three non- Thoroughbred stallions on a single premise in France. Equine influenza was reported among Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses on five premises in France. Japan continued to report cases of equine influenza following the outbreak first reported in the summer of 2007, and cases were also reported from the United Kingdom.

An unspecified number of cases of grass sickness among non-Thoroughbreds occurred on two locations in Switzerland. Piroplasmosis was confirmed among 19 Thoroughbred breeding animals on one premise in Turkey. Rhodococcus equi was diagnosed among an unspecified number of non-Thoroughbred animals in Switzerland during May and June. Strangles was reported from Denmark, France, Ireland, and Switzerland.

Thirty-five cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among the United States equine population in 16 states as of August 26, 2008, with five cases in California and nine in Washington.

During July two separate outbreaks of Hendra virus infection were confirmed in Queensland, Australia. One was among five horses, which included equine patients at a veterinary clinic near Brisbane. A veterinarian at the clinic who contracted the disease died on August 20, and two other members of the staff have been hospitalized. Four horses died and one horse has been euthanized. A second outbreak involved three horses, two of which have been euthanized. Clinical signs among affected horses included neurological signs not previously associated with the disease, including ataxia, head tilt, and facial nerve paralysis.

During August a clinical case of equine piroplasmosis was confirmed on a Quarter Horse training and breeding farm in Florida housing 25 animals. Several premises have been placed under quarantine. As of September 3, 10 horses on three premises have been identified as serologically positive for equine piroplasmosis.

This is an excerpt from Equine Disease Quarterly, funded by underwriters at Lloyd's, London, brokers, and their Kentucky agents.

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Equine Disease Quarterly

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