Drought Causes Spike in Equine Pigeon Fever Cases in Missouri

The disease causes painful swelling, abscesses, and inflammation in the legs, chests, and abdominal cavities.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

The long summer drought in Missouri has ruined a large portion of this year’s crop harvest, and one University of Missouri (MU) equine veterinarian says the negative effects of the dry weather can still be seen across the state.

Philip Johnson, BVSc(Hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS, a professor of equine medicine and surgery in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says he has seen a large spike in the number of Missouri horses infected with Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, a bacteria that can cause painful swelling, abscesses, and inflammation in the legs, chests, and abdominal cavities.

"Under normal conditions, this disease is uncommon in Missouri," Johnson said. "However, likely because of the extremely dry weather Missouri has experienced in the last six months, we have seen an abnormally large number of cases pop up throughout the state. The disease is contracted through abrasions in the skin, as well as by bites from flies and ticks."

Johnson says that horse owners should keep a wary eye on their horses for swelling in their chests or swollen abscesses and sores on their legs. He says that infected horses could also show behavioral signs of sickness such as lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. If an infection is left unattended for too long, it could result in horse lameness and even death if the infection moves into internal organs

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Do you use slow feeders or slow feed haynets for your horse? Tell us why or why not.
313 votes · 313 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!