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Pigeon Fever update and Strangles Report

October 8, 2008

After reading the comments to my blog “Good News on Pigeon Fever” about new cases of PF and hearing some stuff about it in the last few days myself, I called and checked with some vets on Tuesday, Oct 7th for an update on PF in our area and on the Strangles cases that I have been hearing about.

I wanted to get some kind of handle on the actual number of cases. I know that I can talk to 12 different people and they can all say they know of a horse that has ‘whatever’ and it can sound like there are 12 horses with ‘whatever’. Or those 12 people can be hearing about the one horse that actually has ‘whatever’. Sort of like the old game telegraph but in a horsey form.

Apparently we had a lull in action regarding PF but no more.

I talked with Dr. Brinton of Ridgefield Equine Clinic and they have more new cases of Pigeon Fever. I had heard that there are 30 cases in the area and she confirmed that there are “at least” 30 cases in the county now.

Dr. Brinton said that not using our horses is not necessarily going to keep them healthy. It is carried by flies and they will be around until it gets cold. Good fly control is still the best defense. If you are going to haul them anywhere be sure to fly spray them real good, spray the trailer and your truck. Do everything you can to not move flies around the county. Also continue to check for swelling or edemas especially on the midline and the chest. That is were the lesions have been on all her cases. She also said that she had the first fatality on Friday night.

The doctor checked into a study down at UC Davis on this and they found that when there were active cases of PF in the area, the flies had the organism on them but once the cases had cleared up, the flies were clean. So it is carried by flies and then goes into the ground or something. Guess this will be something that we are going to have to be dealing with year after year until more research is done.

Amazia Veterinary Service reported 2 new cases of PF and another possible but no strangles.

Dr. Lee’s office said that they had done a survey two weeks ago of the cases in the county. There were 6 cases in the Camas/Washougal area, 2 in La Center, 2 in Hockinson, 2 in Ridgefield and 2 in Battle Ground. The current report is that they have no new cases.

Two different vets did confirmation that Whipple Creek Stables has at least one case of Strangles and has been put under quarantine.

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