Rise in Pigeon Fever cases - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-27-2012, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Arkansas
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Rise in Pigeon Fever cases

Hi everyone I just thought I would post this to give everyone some info. This past year there havs been a rise in the number of pigeon fever cases in arkansas and some of the surrounding states due to the dry summer we had last year.

I am a lab tech at the arkansas veterinary diagnostic lab and most of the cases we see here have been identified in goats, however we have still seen a significant increase in horses as well. Below is a good article to read if your not sure what pigeon fever is.

Also the article does not mention this but I believe everyone should know, if you and your vet suspect pigeon fever be careful what antibiotics you give the horse. Some antibiotics can actually cause complications with this particular organism. Basically they will cause it to retreat deep in the glands and hide out there indefinitly.

The Horse | Pigeon Fever in Horses Update
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-27-2012, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
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Thank you for taking the time to post this. I'm not in that area but it never hurts to learn. I've seen videos of abscesses being drained & it's quite the visual.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-27-2012, 04:12 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Gatesville, TX
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Due to the drought here in texas last year there were alot of horses getting pigeon fever, one being my mare. She started with a lump in her chest area that in time came to a head (had called my vet and he told me what to watch for so he knew when it was time to come out) at which point vet came out lanced/drained it (make sure you have thick plastic bag gloves etc so hopefully your can concentrate most of the draining into a bag for disposal, I placed the bag in a 5 gallon bucket) . She was stall bound for about a week, vet didnt have me applying anything but scarlet oil and some swat to go around the wound, also get rid of any flooring or bedding that may become contaminated with the drainage. After all the drama, it healed up great and you cant even tell she had a hole the size of a baseball. I do know that I was lucky and she only had one abcess, some I understand may develop more. It really just looked like in the beginning she got kicked in the chest (had that problem about 2 months prior to that) but when the swelling didnt go down after a day knew something was going on. My other 3 horses didnt get it, honestly the vet said he thinks natural immunity may have something to do with it, because a barn of 100 horses and only 2 get it suggest that. But they really arent positive. There are also the cases of internal pigeon fever and those are alot harder to diagnose and treat, in my case anibiotics were not given, but with the internal cases I know long term antibiotics are the prescription. First thing my vet said there was not to panic, because I didnt have a clue what pigeon fever was. Fly control is key though too.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-27-2012, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seminole, OK
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My whole herd came down with pigeon fever this fall, just before the weather turned cold. It was NOT fun! Pretty much all of the horses owners in our area were affected by the outbreak in one way or another.

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

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