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Equine Infectious Anemia: Outbreak Out West

Posted in equIDblog
This week an article on TheHorse.com discussed the current situation in the western provinces of Canada with regard to equine infectious anemia (EIA).  The prairies are seeing the highest number of EIA cases in years, with more than 70 horses affected on 22 different properties. Also commonly called "swamp fever," EIA is caused by a… Continue Reading

Ontario equine biosecurity seminars

Posted in equIDblog
Equine Guelph has announced a series of equine biosecurity workshops across Ontario which will take place during the month of March 2012. The sessions are free to attend and will focus on how to apply basic and practical concepts of infection control to reduce the risk of disease exposure and outbreaks in horses of all… Continue Reading

Bat slaughter = Hendra virus control?

Posted in equIDblog
Bob Katter, an Australian Member of Parliament and leader of the Australian Party, has proposed culling flying foxes (fruit bats) as a way to control Hendra virus, which is spread by these large Australian bats. He’s not the first person to make such a proposal, but it’s a knee-jerk reaction that in reality doesn’t make… Continue Reading

equIDblog has moved to Worms & Germs!

Posted in equIDblog
Unfortunately, because of funding challenges (translation… there was no more money), we were no longer able to maintain our equine infectious disease blog (equIDblog) as a separate site. However, based on the positive feedback we had and the amount of traffic on the original site, we still think it serves a role and are dedicated… Continue Reading

Beat The Bugs: New Biosecurity Venture For Equine Guelph

Posted in equIDblog
Equine Guelph has received funding for Beat the Bugs, a new equine biosecurity venture. The program has been funded by the Agricultural Biosecurity Program, a Canadian federal-provincial-territorial initiative. From ongoing cases of strangles to large outbreaks of EHV, it’s abundantly clear that infection control is a critical area for the equine industry, and one that… Continue Reading

No Answer In Aussie Horse Deaths

Posted in equIDblog
Despite relatively intensive efforts, no cause has been identified for the deaths of 22 horses ona Kooralbyn farm in Queensland, Australia. Readily identifiable causes have been ruled out, leaving two main theories: As mentioned in an earlier post, one possibility is botulism It can be very hard to diagnose botulism in horses, and the disease… Continue Reading

Study Seeking “Superbugs” In Horses

Posted in equIDblog
A two-part study (Maddox et al. 2011) was recently published online in the Equine Veterinary Journal looking at antimicrobial resistant "superbugs" in horses in the UK.  The first part of the study had the simple objective of estimating the prevalence of both MRSA nasal colonization and fecal shedding of antimicrobial resistant E. coli in the… Continue Reading

Botulism Suspected In Aussie Outbreak

Posted in equIDblog
A couple of days ago, I reported about a deadly outbreak on a Queensland farm that had killed a significant number of horses. A definitive diagnosis has still not been made, but it is starting to look like botulism might be the cause. In my previous assessment, I said botulism was a potential cause of an outbreak… Continue Reading

Queensland Horse Deaths Being Investigated

Posted in equIDblog
There’s still no confirmed cause of death for 19 horses that died within a short period of time on a Kooralbyn, Queensland (Australia) farm. Sudden death and Queensland invariably conjures up thoughts of Hendra virus, considering the large number of Hendra cases that have occurred in the area this year, but that particular disease has… Continue Reading

Equine Quarantine Recommendations

Posted in equIDblog
Quarantine is an important, effective and underused practice on horse farms. Quarantine can reduce the risk of introducing new infectious agents to animals on the farm or limit the spread of something that’s already starting to circulate through the herd. A recent article from TheHorse.com gives a good overview of why and how to implement… Continue Reading

Who’s Better At Biosecurity?

Posted in equIDblog
There are a lot of recommendations out there for establishing or improving sound infection control practices on horse farms, many of which can be found on this very blog.  Some refer to such practices as "biosecurity," but what’s done on horse farms compared to the often very strict biosecurity protocols at facilities such as swine… Continue Reading

Another EHV-1 Equine Hospital Quarantine

Posted in equIDblog
Once again, an equine hospital is under quarantine because of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). There have been a number of such incidents this year, highlighting both the increasing concern with this important pathogen and perhaps more transparency and willingness on the part of hospitals to take aggressive infection control measures when it is detected.… Continue Reading

EPM Testing

Posted in equIDblog
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a frustrating disease. It’s been referred to as one of the most overdiagnosed, underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed equine diseases – an apt description. In some areas, every horse (particularly every racehorse) that has any real or perceived abnormality (such as not running fast enough) gets treated, usually without any attempt to make… Continue Reading

Equine Infectious Neurological Disease Update: Ontario

Posted in equIDblog
The latest update on equine infecious neurological diseases in Ontario (Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), West Nile virus (WNV), rabies and neuropathic equine herpevirus type 1 (EHV-1)) is available from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. There aren’t a lot of surprises, and it’s good to see the numbers of cases have remained… Continue Reading

Equine Biosecurity Risk Calculator

Posted in equIDblog
After an extensive development and review process, an Equine Biosecurity Risk Calculator (click here) is now available online on the Equine Guelph website. This joint venture of Equine Guelph and Colorado State University, with support from the AAEP Foundation and Vetoquinol, is designed to offer practical advice on equine infectious disease risk and control. While… Continue Reading

Safe Sex For Horses

Posted in equIDblog
The recent (or, I guess, not so recent, since it seems to have been lingering in the background for a while) contagious equine metritis (CEM) outbreak in the US was a good demonstration of the potential impact venereally transmitted diseases can have on the horse industry. Concerns about such things are greatest in breeds that… Continue Reading

Economic Impact Of Aussie Horse Flu

Posted in equIDblog
A huge equine influenza virus outbreak occurred in Australia in 2007 – a classic example of what can happen when a virus gets into an area where it’s never been before. There were huge numbers of affected horses and a massive disruption to the industry due to quarantines and other control measures. A special edition… Continue Reading

Ontario Equine Influenza Activity

Posted in equIDblog
Like human influenza, equine influenza can be a seasonal disease with periods of particularly high activity. It’s possible that we are in a period of high flu activity in horses in Ontario, based on cases we’ve seen and anecdotal information from the general population. We’ve seen a couple of confirmed cases of influenza over the… Continue Reading

EIA Outbreak In Arkansas

Posted in equIDblog
A large equine infectious anemia (EIA) outbreak has claimed the lives of 40 Arkansas horses. The outbreak has hopefully been contained to one farm in Johnson County. Two horses on the farm died from this viral disease, while 38 others were euthanized, presumably because they tested positive. Approximately 40 other horses are on the farm,… Continue Reading

MRSA In Aussie Horses

Posted in equIDblog
In the early 2000s, we took a lot of bad publicity in Ontario (particularly at the Ontario Veterinary College) because of MRSA in horses. While MRSA had been found in horses before and there were anecdotal reports of MRSA infections and outbreaks in different areas, the fact that we intensively investigated the issue and published a lot… Continue Reading

Rabies In New Mexico Horse

Posted in equIDblog
Rabies is pretty rare in horses, but there have been a few reports this summer.  Though rare, rabies is still a major concern because it’s invariably fatal in horses, and almost always fatal in people. Rabies was recently diagnosed in a horse in Eddy County, New Mexico. It started showing undefined signs of rabies and… Continue Reading

21 Horses Dead In Beirut Racetrack Outbreak

Posted in equIDblog
A somewhat confusing report in Lebanon’s The Daily Star describes an outbreak of disease at Beirut’s Hippodrome (racetrack) that has resulted in the deaths of 21 horses; 2 from disease and 19 that were euthanized as part of the outbreak response. It’s not specifically stated in the report, but the commentary about glanders, a highly… Continue Reading

More Mosquito-Borne Mayhem

Posted in equIDblog
The mosquito-borne diseases eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile (WNV) continue to rear their ugly heads in the northeast as we get further into the late summer season during which they are most common. On August 13 there was an unconfirmed report of a case of West Nile in a horse at Woodbine Racetrack,… Continue Reading

West Nile Warnings

Posted in equIDblog
Following on the heels of the beginning of the start eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) season, warnings are going out about another mosquito-borne disease in parts of North America, West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis. While mosquitoes have been swarming around here for months, WNV only becomes a real concern in southwestern Ontario starting in mid-to-late August.… Continue Reading