Dressage Horse Detained After Positive Glanders Test

Sagacious HF is in extended quarantine in Miami pending the results of additional testing slated for Aug. 23.

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An American dressage horse returning to the United States after a competition tour in Europe could be euthanized or shipped back out of the country after testing positive for glanders during routine USDA equine import quarantine.

Glanders is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease that can be passed from horse-to-horse as well as to human handlers. Acute clinical signs include fever; cough; difficulty breathing; nasal discharge; swollen and painful submaxillary lymph nodes (the "glands" in "glanders"); rapidly spreading ulcers on the nasal mucosa, nodules, and chronic abscesses; and small abscesses in the lung and/or abscesses in the liver or spleen, among others. Clinical signs of chronic glanders include coughing; malaise; weight loss; intermittent fever; possible thick nasal discharge, usually out of one nostril; ulcers and nodules on the nasal mucosa; enlarged submaxillary lymph nodes; chronic enlargement and induration (hardening) of lymphatics and lymph nodes; joint swelling and painful leg edema (fluid swelling); and nodules, particularly on the legs, that rupture, release pus, and ulcerate. Glanders has been eradicated from North American and was last reported in the United States in the 1940s). It’s recently been reported in several areas around the world, however, including South America, Eastern Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and a rare case in Germany in 2014.

Earlier this month, the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Sagacious HF was shipped from Amsterdam to the Miami International Airport after participating in competitions in Sweden and England with Chase Hickok. Under USDA rules, all horses entering the United States, except those coming from Canada, must be quarantined and tested for four diseases—dourine, glanders, equine piroplasmosis, and equine infectious anemia—upon arrival.

Jeanine Neskey, interim public affairs specialist for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said an animal that produces a positive test result is denied entry to the United States

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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