Initial test for strangles in Indiana racehorses is negative; 1 dead of colitis

Initial test for strangles in Indiana racehorses is negative; 1 dead of colitis

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Sep 24, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Anderson, Ind. -- The first of two tests for a highly contagious bacterial infection suspected in a group of quarantined racehorses at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino came back negative.

But the horses, housed in one of 16 barns on the racetrack's backstretch, will remain quarantined, under guidelines established by the Indiana Board of Animal Health, at least until a second test for Streptococcus equi (equine strangles) is performed Oct. 1, two weeks from the first sample, and results come back about Oct. 6. The quarantine was imposed Sept. 12 when strangles was suspected in two of 59 horses.

Meanwhile, one horse found dead in its stall on Tuesday died of colitis, a colon inflammation, but the death was unrelated to strangles, according to a Purdue University diagnostic laboratory.

Other horses housed in more than 1,000 stalls on the Hoosier backstretch are not quarantined, and business at the track has been unaffected. But some state-ordered biosecurity measures are in effect, including disinfection of the paddock and saddling area after each race, starting-gate workers wearing disposable gloves and changing them frequently, plus other measures involving the track surface and training areas. There are restricted training procedures for the quarantined horses.

All Hoosier Park horses on Sept. 16 were banned from Kentucky racetracks, barn areas and training facilities until further notice, on recommendation of the Kentucky state veterinarian's office.