A Thoroughbred racehorse at Keeneland began showing slight signs of filling in the submandibular region (under the jaw) late last week, and on Saturday (April 29) the horse was moved to a private clinic for diagnosis. The fear was that the horse had the highly contagious bacterial infection known as strangles, but tests received yesterday (May 1) by the state veterinarian’s office showed the horse to be negative for Streptococcus equi, the causative agent for strangles, according to Rusty Ford of the state veterinarian’s office. Endoscopic examinations of the guttural pouches showed no significant findings.

“This shows our protocols are working,” said Ford. “The trainer and veterinarian reported something (to the state veterinarian’s office), and we moved the horse as a precaution. We reacted proactively.”

Last July, one barn at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., was placed under state quarantine when a filly showed clinical signs consistent with strangles. That filly was confirmed as having the disease, but because of quick actions and quarantine, no other horses were affected.