Strangles Strikes Three Tampa Bay Horses

(from Tampa Bay Downs release)
Test results confirmed late Friday afternoon that three horses have tested positive for strangles at Tampa Bay Downs. The affected barn has been placed under quarantine and the infected horses have been isolated to a separate area.

"Strangles is a bacterial infection that typically results in fever, nasal discharge and swelling of the lymph nodes. However, in these cases the horses did not present the classic signs," said practicing veterinarian Dr. William Owens. "The horses had an ongoing fever that prompted me to test for the infection."

The barn will remain under quarantine until a PCR test and culture returns negative from every horse in the barn. The three infected horses will be required three negative tests until they are allowed back into the general population.

The quarantined barn will have limited admittance and the horses stabled in the barn will only be allowed restricted access to the track to train from 9:30 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.

All horses from the affected barn entered for the weekend's card have been scratched and Tampa Bay Downs will not be accepting entries from that barn until those horses have a negative PCR Test and culture.

"We will to continue to enforce the current guidelines that we just improvised and with these additional precautions we hope to contain the situation," said Peter Berube, vice president and general manager "We expect to have the test results early next week and we will reevaluate the situation then."

Tampa management scheduled a meeting with horsemen to apprise them of the developing situation.

Revised guidelines for entering horses from off Tampa's grounds were issued April 1 and will remain in effect until further notice.

Under the guidelines, no entries will be accepted from Gulfstream Park, Palm Meadows Training Center, Calder Race Course, Payson Park or Palm Beach Downs and Race Track Training Center. Horses shipping to race at Calder or Gulfstream will be allowed to return to the Tampa Bay stable area. An exception is made for Florida Cup nominees provided they obtain a negative PCR taken after April 2.

Entries will be accepted from all other jurisdictions, although all shippers will be required to have a health certificate dated within 36 hours of arrival. Other restrictions apply.