Wondering about equine piroplasmosis? Peter J. Timoney, FRCVS, PhD, of the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, covered the basics of the disease in a new video interview on TheHorse.com.
- What is piroplasmosis?
- How are causative organisms spread?
- Can it be prevented?
- What are the clinical signs?
- Where can horse owners find further information?
Watch a video interview on equine piroplasmosis with Dr. Peter Timoney.
As of Dec. 14 the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service had reported 351 horses positive for Theileria equi, one of the organisms that causes equine piroplasmosis. These horses were located in 12 states, and all were epidemiologically linked to the index property in south Texas. The positive horses were being maintained under quarantine at the time of the report.
Officials in the United States have screened all imported horses for piroplasmosis for nearly 30 years. The disease was officially eradicated from the United States in 1988. It is spread by as many as 15 species of ticks, the use of contaminated needles, and possibly through blood-contaminated semen of infected stallions.
Signs of equine piroplasmosis can include a host of nonspecific clinical signs, such as fever or anemia, and some infected horses might appear well. Blood tests are needed to diagnosis the disease. The only treatment is a potent type of chemotherapy that can have serious side effects in some horses.
More information on equine piroplasmosis from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service:
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.