The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) designated Kleberg County (South Texas) equids (including horses, donkeys, ponies, mules, and zebras) as high risk for exposure to equine piroplasmosis (EP) in March, 2013. As a result, the TAHC began mandatory testing of all equids in Kleberg County on April 8. The initial Kleberg County test zones extended south from Escondido Creek to the Kleberg-Kenedy county line.

As of May 20, 283 premises and 747 equids in Kleberg County have been tested. Of the premises and animals tested, 19 horses residing on six premises have tested positive for the disease.

The TAHC is hoping to wrap up testing in the southern part of the county by the end of May, where approximately 30 premises remain to be tested. The next efforts will involve testing the northern part of Kleberg County. All equid owners in the county who have not had their equine tested are strongly encouraged to contact the TAHC as soon as possible to schedule an appointment by calling 361/676-0979. The test is free of charge.

"We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the equine owners and veterinary practitioners of Kleberg County, and the high level of voluntary compliance with the mandatory testing requirement," said T.R. Lansford, DVM, Region 5 director. "We look forward to working with the remaining owners of untested equine and the local veterinarians as we strive to complete the area test in Kleberg County. It is important that all equine are tested as soon as possible."

EP is a blood-borne protozoal disease that af