South Dakota mare quarantined after exposure to disease
PIERRE, S.D. (AP)--South Dakota's state veterinarian, Sam Holland, says at least one horse in the state has been quarantined after being exposed to a venereal disease.
About 300 horses in 38 states are being tested for exposure to contagious equine metritis, a venereal disease that affects horses. Reports indicate four stallions in Kentucky and three in Indiana have been diagnosed with the disease.
Holland said the quarantined mare was brought to South Dakota.
"The mare was bred in Indiana and the individual in South Dakota bought the mare and brought her into our state. So she's being quarantined here now and being tested," Holland said. "Of course this isn't a highly contagious viral disease; it spreads horse to horse (and) is strictly a bacterial venereal disease spread only through breeding or breeding equipment."
It causes temporary infertility and spontaneous abortion but is treatable, according to Holland.
"The quarantine is just so that the mare doesn't get moved or sold to other farms where she could expose other horses that way--should she prove to be infected," he said.
Horse owners should always use preventative measures when dealing with out-of-state breeders to make sure such diseases aren't spread, Holland said.
"There's no reason to think that we'd have any more of this disease here. But today with the artificial breeding and the movement of the mares from state to state for various breeding programs and incentives, it's always good to ask and make sure that good hygiene and good practices are being observed," the state veterinarian said.
Horses infected with contagious equine metritis can be treated with antibiotics and disinfectants, Holland said.