Published Date: 2003-01-10 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Corynebacterium, equine - USA (Colorado)
Archive Number: 20030110.0085
CORYNEBACTERIUM, EQUINE - USA (COLORADO)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date:10 Jan 2003
From: A-Lan Banks <A-Lan.Banks@derwent.co.uk>
Source: Pine River Times, Colorado [edited]
Equine veterinarians at Colorado State University's (CSU) James L. Voss
Veterinary Teaching Hospital report a serious increase in the number of
cases of pigeon fever they have treated since early fall 2002 and warn
horse owners to be alert for signs of the highly contagious disease.
76 cases from Colorado's Front Range have been confirmed by the CSU
veterinary laboratory since early fall, more than 6 times the number of
cases from last year's total of 12 confirmed cases, and far above the 7
confirmed cases in 2000.
"What was once considered a disease of California horses is now a growing
problem for the Colorado equine population," said Andrea Torres,
veterinarian and microbiology resident who conducted a study of the disease
in Colorado in 2000-2001.
Pigeon fever -- also called pigeon breast, breastbone fever, false
strangles, dryland strangles, or dryland distemper -- is caused by
_Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis_ and is found worldwide. It can strike
a horse of any age, sex, or breed, but usually attacks young adult animals.
Clinical signs include lameness, fever, lethargy, and weight loss, usually
accompanied by very deep abscesses and multiple sores along the chest,
midline, and groin area, and sometimes the back.
As a service to horse owners, Colorado State's equine veterinarians have
created a fact sheet on pigeon fever that is posted on the CSU website: