The Equine Disease Communication Center reported on December 24th that a two-year-old Quarter Horse has tested positive for pigeon fever on a farm in Keremeos County, British Columbia. An attending veterinarian confirmed that one horse tested positive while three others on the property are suspected of being infected.
The positive animal had onset of clinical signs on November 20th and was confirmed with pigeon fever on November 30th. The horse has been vaccinated and is recovering; no quarantine order was issued.
Considered an emerging disease in North America, pigeon fever is caused by the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis bacteria and manifests in three forms in horses: as external abscesses, internal infection, and ulcerative lymphangitis or limb infection. External abscesses are the most common manifestation, with single or multiple abscesses occuring anywhere on the body, but most frequently in the pectoral (chest) region with a swelling resembling a pigeon’s breast. Infection has been reported in equids, sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo, camelids, and on rare occasions, humans.
For more information on pigeon fever, click HERE.