Veterinarians Probe Hawaiian Horse Deaths

Veterinarians in Hawaii are hoping necropsies will reveal what caused the deaths of several wild horses and illness in several others on the Big Island.
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hawaiian horse deaths
Hawaii's wild horses are derived from domestic animals turned out by their owners. | Photo: iStock

Veterinarians in Hawaii are hoping necropsies will reveal what caused the deaths of several wild horses and illness in several others on the Big Island.

Jason D. Moniz, DVM, of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Control Branch, said a private practice veterinarian, a farrier, and others reported seeing some wild horses the Waipio Valley struggling to walk, presumably because of hindquarter weakness, earlier this month. An estimated 11 wild horses have died. The condition has not affected domestic horses in the area, Moniz said.

“It does not appear infectious,” he said. “Domestic horses in the valley are confined to three trail riding facilities and are basically confined to (those) operations and are on full feed

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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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