Kentucky Department of Agriculture officials have concluded a recent case of Potomac Horse Fever that was diagnosed in a horse at Keeneland was not contracted or introduced to the horse while he was stabled on the grounds.
In a presentation to the American Association of Equine Practitioners on hoof deformities in foals and recommendations for correcting or managing them, Dr. Bob Hunt of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington called for caution, especially in trying to use hoof trimming/extensions to correct a limb deformity.
A few cases of Potomac horse fever occur each fall in Kentucky. This year, a few cases have been seen, but they occurred a little earlier than normal. Dr. Nathan Slovis, of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, said the early occurrence probably was due to the dry weather the past month.
Wet weather is known to give rise to increases in some equine diseases, including botulism, Potomac horse fever, and mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, and Eastern, Western, and Venezuelean equine encephalitis.
The death of at least one Oklahoma horse has been definitively linked to Potomac horse fever, a disease rarely found in the state, and two of his stablemates likely died of the same illness.
Four additional cases of Potomac horse fever have been confirmed at two veterinary hospitals in Lexington, Ky.
A Thoroughbred filly in Central Kentucky recently succumbed to Potomac horse fever (PHF), a disease that is detected only once or twice per year in the Commonwealth.
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