Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Horses

Horses, strangles, streptococcus

Posted in Horses
A paper in the journal BMC Research Notes describes a case of meningitis in a 73-year-old man that was attributed to contact with a horse (Madzar et al 2015). The man was admitted to hospital with fever, headache, neck stiffness, malaise and drowsiness. He was ultimately diagnosed with meningitis caused by Streptococcus zooepidemicus (technically, Streptococcus… Continue Reading

Probiotics…above all, do no harm?

Posted in Horses
Probiotics are popular treatments for any number of ailments (in animals and people), but marketing, especially on the veterinary side, massively outstrips research. A few years ago, I worked on probiotic development in horses. We found what looked like a good candidate bug, but instead of just trying to sell it, we did a proper… Continue Reading

Antibiotics in animals: ACVIM consensus statement

Posted in Cats
Every year, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) commissions "consensus statements" on specific topics. They’re developed by an expert panel, put up for review by ACVIM members (board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists), and published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Hot off the (electronic) press is the 2015 ACVIM Consensus Statement… Continue Reading

Communication done right: EVH-1 in Minnesota

Posted in Horses
Two cases of EHV-1 have been detected on a farm in Prior Lake, Minnesota.  There aren’t a lot of details about the cases, other than one horse was put down, and the other was taken to the University of Minnesota veterinary hospital for treatment and has apparently recovered and is ready to come home. The… Continue Reading

Equine outbreaks…EHV-1, glanders

Posted in Horses
Two cases of fatal equine herpesvirus type I (EHV-1) neurological disease have been confirmed in the Dickinson, Texas, area. Three more recent deaths are suspected to be associated with the virus as well. The horses were from two boarding stables that are currently under quarantine, as is a veterinary clinic. As always, there’s a need… Continue Reading

EEE in Ontario 2014

Posted in Horses
2014 was the worst year ever for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Ontario (though our numbers still pale in comparison to more endemic areas in the southern US, such as Florida). A recent article published in the Animal Health Lab (AHL) Newletter (December 2014) by Dr. Alison Moore from OMAFRA sums things up well: "Twenty-two… Continue Reading

2013 US rabies recap

Posted in Rabies
It’s that time of year. No, not for snow (although it is snowing here at the moment). It’s time for the annual US rabies surveillance report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Dyer et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2013). The highlights… Over 5800 rabid animals were identified in… Continue Reading

Never a simple story: West Nile in California

Posted in Other diseases
Orange County CA is currently experiencing a major outbreak of West Nile infection in people. Since January 94 cases have been confirmed, three of which were fatal, representing nearly a quarter of the 400 cases reported across the country so far this year. The number of cases of infection with a mosquito-borne virus like West… Continue Reading

EEE alert, Ontario

Posted in Horses
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has issued an Equine Health Advisory in response to diagnosis of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in Stormont/Dundas/Glengarry, in eastern Ontario. The 12-year-old gelding died, which is the typically outcome with this disease in horses. EEE is a devastating but fortunately rare (at least… Continue Reading

St. Louis encephalitis in a horse

Posted in Horses
Hopefully we can chalk this one up on the "weird and not-so-wonderful" list, and not have it emerge as a significant problem. However, there’s something new to pay attention to as St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV) infection was recently identified in a Brazilian horse with neurological clinical signs. SLEV is a Flavivirus and a relative… Continue Reading

Traveling with your horse…infection control considerations

Posted in Horses
It’s not a coincidence that we see more equine infectious diseases during busy show seasons. Shows are a great way for infectious diseases to spread, with outcomes ranging from disease in single horses to widely disseminated outbreaks, even across international borders. We can’t eliminate all risk in life, and the risk of infection in horses… Continue Reading

West Nile virus in Colorado

Posted in Horses
It’s that time of year again… at least in some areas. West Nile virus (WNV) infection has been identified in a horse in Colorado. It’s not really a surprise. West Nile virus is one of those pathogens that we know is coming back every year, we just don’t know exactly when. The date of return… Continue Reading

Strangles and psychology

Posted in Horses
A couple days ago, I was talking to a vet who’s trying to manage a strangles outbreak on a farm. In many outbreaks, the biggest hassles are dealing with horse owners, not the disease itself. Strangles, infection by the bacterium Streptococcus equi subsp. equi, is a highly contagious disease but one that is relatively easy to… Continue Reading

Vesicular stomatitis in Texan horses

Posted in Horses
Hint… if you like time off during the summer, don’t get into equine infectious diseases. Vesicular stomatitis (VS) has been identified in five (so far – probably more to come) horses in Kinney County, Texas. The case is shown on the Worms & Germs Map, and more details are available in the news release from… Continue Reading

Rabies confusion and clarification: Ontario

Posted in Cats
Following the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (rather mind-boggling) abandonment of the rabies response portfolio, there’s been a scramble by provinces to figure out what to do. The CFIA will still perform testing, but will not have any role in sample collection, sample shipping or investigation. I’m not sure what most provinces are doing (and based on… Continue Reading

Rabies three ways

Posted in Cats
Not many days go by when I don’t get a few calls about rabies. Here are a couple from yesterday that highlight some important issues. An indoor cat tangled with a bat. The bat’s no longer around to test so this is considered a potential rabies exposure (bats being important rabies vectors, and catching and… Continue Reading

EEE in Florida horse

Posted in Horses
It’s hard to think about mosquito-borne disease season here at the moment, with temperatures in Ontario still going down to freezing, but the highly concerning disease eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been identified in a Marion County, Florida horse. This mosquito-borne virus causes highly fatal infection in both humans and horses. People don’t get it from… Continue Reading

Equine herpesvirus 1 at Aqueduct

Posted in Horses
Spring’s slow arrival has brought many things. Disappearing snow, a hint of green in the grass… and a greater risk of disease outbreaks in horses. Outbreaks can occur at any time of year but we often start to see certain infectious diseases ramp up as horses start moving around more at the start of training,… Continue Reading

EHV-1 in the news

Posted in Horses
There have been a few reports of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) neurological disease over the last couple of weeks and some other cases that have been less well publicized. Hopefully it’s all just been a blip on the radar and not a sign of things to come as equine events start to ramp up at this… Continue Reading

Strangles and liability

Posted in Horses
Surprisingly (at least to me), I don’t hear much about individuals suing other people because of infectious diseases in their horses (apart from sporadic situations involving veterinary hospitals). I’m not saying the increasingly litigious nature of society is a good thing, but I can see how lawsuits could happen given the costs associated with infectious diseases, the… Continue Reading

EHV-1 on Oregon farm

Posted in Horses
An outbreak of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) neurological disease has occurred on an Oregon farm. At last report, five horses had tested positive for the virus (though it’s not clear if all of them had neurological disease) and one had died. EHV-1 outbreaks are not exactly rare these days. There’s certainly more reporting of… Continue Reading

Strangles in the news

Posted in Horses
There’s been a lot of press about strangles (Streptococcus equi) outbreaks in Ontario lately, including a biosecurity update from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF). In some ways, it’s surprising since this is an endemic disease and strangles is pretty much always causing trouble somewhere in the province. However, a little press is… Continue Reading

Animal Health Laboratory Zoonotic Diseases Report

Posted in Dogs
The University of Guelph’s Animal Health Laboratory recently published a summary of selected zoonotic disease diagnoses in its monthly newsletter. It’s an interesting summary of what’s gone through the lab in the last year.  It also helps to remind us of the zoonotic potential of all of these pathogens, some of which are relatively common… Continue Reading

Equine neuro herpesvirus outbreak, New Zealand

Posted in Horses
An outbreak of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) neurological disease (also known as equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM)) is underway in a currently undisclosed location in New Zealand. It appears that at least 12 horses have been affected with 6 deaths, all on one farm. This is being described as the first outbreak of the neurological… Continue Reading