Blood parasite found in Middle Tennessee horses

Blood parasite found in Middle Tennessee horses

The state veterinarian’s office is investigating an outbreak of Equine Piroplasmosis (EP) in a group of racing Quarter Horses in Tennessee.

EP is a blood parasite that affects equines. Although it can be transmitted through infected ticks, today it is more commonly spread by blood and blood products through the sharing of needles, syringes or improperly cleaned and disinfected dental, tattoo, surgical or blood product equipment between infected and uninfected horses.

Seventeen horses have tested positive for EP in Middle Tennessee. All are connected to the same location in Rutherford County. The investigation is ongoing.

It may take as long as 30 days for an infected horse to test positive for the disease after exposure. Early clinical signs can range from weakness and lack of appetite to swelling of limbs and labored breathing. Horses that survive the acute phase continue to carry the parasite for an extended period of time. Horses that test positive for the disease are quarantined and may be euthanized.

Read more at Williamson Herald.

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