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Pigeon Fever - Prevention?

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  • Pigeon Fever - Prevention?

    Pigeon Fever is currently making the rounds in my area and I'm wondering if there is any specific precautions we should be taking?

    A barn a few miles up the road has it and we're pretty concerned that it might spread our way.

    Would it be worth it to institute a quarantine (no horses in or out) for awhile? Or is that a complete waste of time?

    None of the horses on the property are going anywhere in the near future, with the exception of one headed up to the vet hospital for some radiographs. There are several cases currently at the vet hospital, so that is some cause for concern...

    In any case, I was just wondering how we should be handling this.

    Thanks in advance!
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris

  • #2
    Fly management! Keep manure picked up and the flies to a minimum.

    Slater Swat liberally all along the midlines from the chest to the sheath/teats.

    That is what has worked for us.
    Kanoe Godby
    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


    • #3
      Originally posted by CDE Driver View Post
      Fly management! Keep manure picked up and the flies to a minimum.

      Slater Swat liberally all along the midlines from the chest to the sheath/teats.

      That is what has worked for us.
      Yep. Quarantine wouldn't work since the flies would still travel. I also make sure to keep all wounds covered as that can be an entry point for the bacteria. Fly control and manure management...something very lacking in most facilities in my area, so with our recent dry spell, I'm expecting another pigeon fever outbreak here this year, but haven't heard (yet) of any. We had it in this area 2 or 3 years ago, I think it was, then nothing when our summers were too cool and wet, but this year...watch out (I think)!


      • #4
        Fly management. Lots of fly spray and especially put swat on any fly sores on bellies.

        Quarantine is not particularly helpful, as the flies carry it. As my vet said, a fly carrying it could get in your car on the other side of the county and bring it to your house. My mare got it when the closest horse lived a mile away and the closest horse with PF was no less than five miles away. She did not leave the property except for trail rides down the road.
        Pam's Pony Place

        Pam's Pony Ponderings


        • #5
          We have one horse at my barn who got it and is now done with it. One other just had posative bloodwork, but no abcess yet. Mine are covered daily with fly sheets and fly spray. I am surprised they haven't turned mutant on me yet with the amount I use. if they get it, I will kill myself because of the money spent on the stuff! Sometimes a strong immune system can help, but usually it is just a waiting game....


          • #6
            Pigeon fever veteran here. Hands down the horses on my place who've gotten it are the ones with midline fly sores. So practice good fly control and in particular keep those openings on the midline covered with ointment.

            Don't worry about quarantine. This is a bacterial infection and the bacteria is carried about by flies and also sits in the soil for years. For the most part, external PF is not the end of the world, just a hassle.

            When it went through my barn, I did not do any segregation or quarantine because the vet said it was pointless. Of 6 horses living together in pasture, 3 got it and 3 didn't. The ones who got it had chronic midline fly sores and were either older or otherwise immune compromised due to health issues. The other 3....nada.


            • #7
              * Detox your horse to help with both fly prevention and immune support.

              * Compost or dispose of manure properly, and keep your property tidy and trash-free.

              * Immune support and stress reduction options are important to help fight off any bacteria.

              * Dress and cover any wounds immediately to prevent infection.