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Can a horse who previously had "Florida Sores" return to FL?

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  • Can a horse who previously had "Florida Sores" return to FL?

    I have a TB for sale. He originally came up from Florida (I'm in Michigan). The lady I bought him from sold him because she could not get the Florida Sores under control while he was down there. He has been here for 3 years and they have all healed and have had no further problems. I live on the lakeshore in Michigan where it regularly is above 90 degrees and super high humidity in the summer, but probaby nothing like Florida.

    I have someone who wants to try him out tomorrow - they live outside Ocala.

    I haven't been able to find much information at ALL about Florida Sores. If he moves back to FL will he have a problem again? I don't want to sell them my horse if he will have a problem - both for his sake and theirs.

    Any info would be great. TIA
    Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
    Full Time Dressage Addict

  • #2
    On coth and on the internet google "swamp cancer" and "florida leeches."

    If the horse really had the fungal infection and was cured, that is terrific as it is hard to cure as it lives in the water along the Gulf coast. Horses and dogs can get it. There was a contentious thread on coth where a mare was being euth-ed for having it.

    So...........if horse "really" had the disease and is cured, I'd check with a good vet who is familiar with the disease, like one at the Univ of FL vet school, to see the prognosis. It involves the immune system and exposure to the fungus. I think it is a fungus.


    • Original Poster

      Hmm....I wonder if was mis diagnosed then? He had a short layover (matter of weeks) in TN before I picked him up and brought him to Michigan and by the time I picked him up they were almost completely gone. It was just on his fetlocks, heels and pasterns and looked more like scratches to me, but even then a mild case. It was successfully irradicated with a over the counter fungal cream.

      Is it commonly misdiagnoised??
      Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
      Full Time Dressage Addict


      • #4
        Maybe they were summer sores. Try to google summer sores.


        • Original Poster

          I did a search and found several articles on summer sores. Definetly not what he had....
          Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
          Full Time Dressage Addict


          • #6
            Summer sores aren't the same thing as Florida sores. My friend, from FL, just told me about them last week- it was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing!


            • #7
              Swamp cancer, florida leeches, AKA pythiosis.

              A trainer who is in my GMO has a mare who had this. By the time it was properly diagnosed, it was huge. They had to go in and surgically remove the tissue that had the fungi in it. It was almost the size of a serving platter & very close to being inside the lining of her abdomin.

              If it was truly pythiosis that the gelding had, it has to be surgically removed with cryrogenic (sp) surgery. A lot of the times, a 2nd or 3rd surgery has to be performed to get all of the fungus out of the tissues.

              I thought my gelding had pythiosis on his stomach as I thought I had found the cunkers in the wound, which look like spikey round hard balls that are yellow. After having it surgically removed and a histopath performed, it was determined that it was actually habronema, aka summer sores.

              There are many treatments for summer sores, with surgery having the best results if it is in a location where it is possible. I had double dosed equimax and followed with the double dosed ivermectin 2 weeks before the surgery and there were no live worms found in the tissue that was removed. When I informed the surgeon on the double dosing, she had a strong belief that the worming helped significantly in killing off the worms.

              Final treatment after the surgery was a mixture of DMSO, furacin, & liquid ivermectin placed every day. This was last year and has not returned or been an issues with my now 3 y/o since. Neither of the 2 other horses who have been here in Florida have been bothered.

              This happened to my gelding approx 3-4 months after he moved from PA where he was born/raised and then came to Florida. I believe his immune system was compromised, so I also gave him olive leaf and ACV and havent had any issues since.

              IF what this gelding in the OP had was actually summer sores, then I would say that it may be possible for him to return to Florida but if his immune system is compromised, he may not be able to fight it off. If what he had was truly swamp cancer, aka pythiosis, from my research, as long as the water that the horse is standing in does not contain the fungus nor does the animal have an open wound allowing the fungus into the tissue, you should not have a problem.

              Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by KrazyTBMare View Post
                IF what this gelding in the OP had was actually summer sores, then I would say that it may be possible for him to return to Florida but if his immune system is compromised, he may not be able to fight it off. If what he had was truly swamp cancer, aka pythiosis, from my research, as long as the water that the horse is standing in does not contain the fungus nor does the animal have an open wound allowing the fungus into the tissue, you should not have a problem.
                I'm thinking now it wasn't FL sores..... I think he was misdiagnoised. I'd never heard of them so I didn't know better. I treated them like scratches, they were gone, that was the last I really thought about it till now.....
                Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
                Full Time Dressage Addict


                • #9
                  well to be fair, plenty of ahem ... "older" experienced horseman used "FL sore" and "Summer sore" interchangeably... like practically everyone I knew in Florida, and this includes past presidents of the AAEP. In fact growing up in South Florida in the pre-ivermectin days, we never heard the term "summer sore" used, you even bought "Florida Sore Medicine" (furacin, DMSO, predef mixture) from the vets and every last one of them carried it and labeled it as such. FL (summer) sores were every bit as ba in an era when you didn't have ivermectin (yes children, there was a time...).

                  So they very well may have been using a holdover term like "Florida Sore" while referring to summer sores. I STILL call that leg paint (good for a bjilion other things) "Florida Sore Medicine" what can I say, that's it's name.
                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.