Florida Horse Farms Face Threat of Quarantine

Several Florida horse farms in Manatee County were concerned about the possibility of quarantine due to a rare equine disease that was recently found. The disease is equine piroplasmosis. This is the first time it has shown up in America since 1988. This ailment is caused by ticks. 4 horses on a farm were diagnosed with the disease. One of which, which was believed to be the chronic carrier, had to be euthanized. The other 3 horses were believed to have been infected by sharing of needles for injections.

The disease is fairly common in Mexico, South & Central America. Agriculture officials believe the chronic carrier horse may have been imported to the Florida farm from one of those countries. Fortunately, its not easily transmittable to other horses. Tick bites, and sharing of needles are really the only common ways for it to infect other horses.

Several other horse farm owners were concerned initially that they may as a precautionary measure quarantine the farm, and possibly the entire County – which could bring a halt to the horse industry in Manatee County Florida. Fortunately, no other cases have shown and it appears that the issue has been contained to these isolated incidents.