Equine Piroplasmosis Detected in 17 Tennessee Horses

The 17 racing Quarter Horses are all connected to the same location in Rutherford County.

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The Tennessee state veterinarian’s office is investigating an equine piroplasmosis (EP) outbreak in a group of racing Quarter Horses.

Piroplasmosis is a blood parasite that affects equines. Although it can be transmitted through infected ticks, it is currently more commonly spread by blood and blood-products through the sharing of needles; syringes; or improperly cleaned and disinfected dental, tattoo, surgical, or blood-product equipment between infected and uninfected horses.

The 17 horses that have tested positive for EP are all connected to the same location in Rutherford County. The investigation is ongoing.

It can take as long as 30 days for an infected horse to test positive for the disease after exposure. Early clinical signs can range from weakness and lack of appetite to swelling of limbs and labored breathing. Horses that survive the acute phase continue to carry the parasite for an extended period of time. Horses that test positive for the disease are quarantined and could be euthanized

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