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Equine Piroplasmosis? Horses Quarantined in MO

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  • Equine Piroplasmosis? Horses Quarantined in MO


    Any information on this disease? I have never heard of it before and it doesn't say whether or not this disease can spread by horse.

    Sad situation for all the horses involved!

  • #2
    I have no experience with this either but I believe the article answered your question here:
    The disease is usually transmitted by ticks, but it can also spread by a contaminated needle. "I think it's important the public know this is not a disease transferable to humans," Hagler said. "We just don't want it to gain any foothold in the United States."
    McDowell Racing Stables

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    • Original Poster

      What would be the need to quarantine the horses then?


      • #4
        So that they don't infect other horses by way of ticks.
        "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


        • Original Poster

          Well that makes since. Is there not a vaccine for this?


          • #6
            Concise but good info http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_hea...piroplasmosis/

            No vaccine because it is a 'parasite' rather than a virus (most successful vaccines protect against viruses). While it isn't the same parasite, if you think 'malaria'...you are on the same page. (other 'parasitic' diseases that are similar are coccidiosis (cats mostly) and EPM - equine protozoal myelitis).

            North America has (remarkably) been successful in quaranting imports to prevent the spread of this disease, but it is endemic in so many other counties, and being tick-born, it was bound to infect us sooner or later.
            * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
            Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
            NO! What was the question?


            • #7
              The disease is common in Brazil (at least in all but the very southern most states; remember that in South Americal the further south you go the colder it gets ). It was, and is, a substantial impediment to importation of Marchador horses from Brazil.

              The horse, for this disease, is a "dead end" host, my vet. friends have told me. Effective control of rodents is the key. The ticks pick up the disease from rodents and transmit it to horses, not the other way 'round.

              IIRC piroplasmosis was also one of the cluster of diseases known as "Texas Fever." It also is found in South FL, South TX, and some areas of the Gulf of Mexico. It's not found in places where cold weather kills off ticks.

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


              • #8


                The second website is very informative (although i just skimmed it)

                A canine form of this is found a lot of times in fighting dogs. A number of the dogs in the Michael Vick case tested positive for this.
                Donatello - 12.2hh, 9 year old, pony gelding
                April - 14.3hh, 14 year old, TB Mare
                Ella - 12hh, 4 year old, pony mare


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                  The ticks pick up the disease from rodents and transmit it to horses, not the other way 'round.
                  Untrue. Ticks can aquire the disease from biting an infected horse. The life cycle of the organisms is completed in the tick, which then infects the next horse via sporozoites in it's saliva. Therefore, Piroplasmosis can be transmitted from horse to horse, through a vector (or iatrogenically). That's why the horses are quarantined.

                  An example of dead-end host diseases in horses would be EEE/WEE. Those infections need to be carried from the resevoir (bird) to the vector (mosquito) to the horse (dead-end). Since the virus doesn't replicate well in the horse and re-enter the bloodstream, a biting mosquito cannot pick the virus back up to reinfect another horse. This is why EEE/WEE cases are not quarantined.


                  • #10
                    I know they are very concerned about this disease coming into the US at the WEG. There were special precautions taken at the Atlanta Olympics, but those precautions are not going to be followed at the WEG.

                    What's interesting is that the KHP is not letting dogs on premises at its shows and events from now until next year, I suppose to try and keep the tick populations down.

                    This was also the disease that the USEF made Pan Am competitors sign waivers for so that if their horse contracted the disease in Brazil, it would have to stay there.
                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                    Thread killer Extraordinaire


                    • #11
                      Being in MO (the other side of the state, thankfully!), this is very scary to me. We're in the middle of the country, not on the border and not exactly a center for horse importation. We also have ticks galore in the summer--I'm constantly removing them from Pixie.

                      Something about this article is very vague. Apparently 2 of the infected horses were removed from the quarantined farm before they could be euthanized. It almost sounds as though euthanasia was somehow mandated (like with a positive Coggins/EIA) and the owners of these horses didn't want to do it and arranged to have them "stolen".

                      I found this site: http://www.avma.org/reference/backgr...mosis_bgnd.asp which lists a number of drugs that can be used to potentially eliminate the parasite. So it's not as though there is no treatment, and if it were my horse, and there was some reasonable chance of a cure, I'd want the option to pursue it and decide for myself if the costs and risks are worth it.

                      Now, if my animal is sick and suffering and there's no treatment or the treatment is not working, and I make the decision to PTS my animal to end his/her suffering, that's one thing. And I can also understand "the state" making the decision to euthanise a debilitated animal in a neglact or cruelty seizure situation. But to be a caring, non-negligent owner and not being allowed to make that decision for myself, especially if there are drugs I could try, I just can't imagine the heartache. I can't say I blame the owners.
                      Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
                      Crayola Posse: sea green
                      Mighty Rehabbers Clique


                      • #12
                        WTF - An outbreak in Ireland

                        I have never even seen a tick in this country, nor does it seem like great tick weather over here, but how and ever, we now have an outbreak. Of course it's in Co. Meath, just like the Swamp Fever fiasco of a couple of years ago. Would like to know exactly where, but information is not being given.

                        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                        • #13
                          It is quite common in some parts of Europe, and horses can be "silent carriers"- testing positive for piroplasmosis, but showing no symptoms.

                          In fact, quite a few top competition horses "test positive" for piroplasmosis.

                          Normal US import/quarantine rule ban piroplasmosis-positive horses from the US. But for major international competitions, like the Atlanta Olympics, and next year's WEG, exceptions have to be made.

                          There were special semi-quarantine regulations for the positive horses at the Olympics, and slightly different ones (leading to the "no dogs" rule) for the WEG.

                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).