Fla. piroplasmosis probe continues, with 20 horses positive

Fla. piroplasmosis probe continues, with 20 horses positive

Sep 11, 2008
By dvm360.com staff
Tallahassee, Fla. - Two additional premises, in Dade and Lake Counties, were found to have been exposed to equine piroplasmosis (EP) and quarantined last weekend.

One horse tested positive for the disease at each location. That brings to 19 the number of quarantined premises in Florida since Aug. 15, and the number of horses testing positive for EP to 20, on six of the properties.

All of the horses that tested positive are closely linked, either by movement or common premises, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced. That tends to indicate the spread is due to management practices resulting in the transfer of whole blood between horses, such as through shared needles, rather than through ticks that carry the two parasites that cause EP, officials say.

While tick trapping and surveillance continue, no foreign ticks have been found and no domestic ticks have tested positive for the EP parasites.

So far, about 160 horses have been tested since the first positive case was reported in Manatee County, near Bradenton, Aug. 15. Five of the positive horses either have been euthanized or sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.