A sixth Florida horse tests positive for piroplasmosis

A sixth Florida horse tests positive for piroplasmosis

Aug 27, 2008
By dvm360.com staff
Bradenton, Fla. -- A sixth horse tested positive for equine piroplasmosis (EP), this one on a second Manatee County property, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOACS) reported.

The latest finding was 10 days after the first horse tested positive on a Manatee County farm and was euthanized. Four others tested positive a few days later on the same property, but the latest one was on an adjacent property that also had been under quarantine, Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced. It was one of 30 additional horses tested.

A DOACS official said it is likely the cases on the original property were spread by needles.

The United States had been considered free of the disease since 1988, but it is endemic in many other parts of the world. It is caused by two parasites, Babesia caballi and B. equi, carried by ticks, but also can be spread by shared needles.

Veterinarians, horse owners and others in the Florida equine industry are asked to monitor horses carefully. Suspected cases must be reported to the state veterinarian by law.