22 Middle Tennessee racing horses sick with equine blood parasite


NEWMARKET, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 28: A young bay colt, currently known only as Lot Number 1103, waits patiently to be sold, as he is one of four foals by the legendary racehorse Frankel to be going under the hammer at Tattersalls Auctioneers on November 28, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Frankel was retired in 2012 when […]

Tennessee’s state veterinarian’s office is investigating an outbreak of a blood parasite in a group of racing quarter horses.

The office says 22 horses have tested positive for equine piroplasmosis (pir-uh-plaz-MOH’-sis) in five locations within Bedford, Rutherford and Williamson counties.

It can take up to 30 days for an infected horse to test positive after exposure. Horses that do test positive are quarantined and may be euthanized. Those that survive will continue to carry the parasite for an extended period.

Horses will not transmit the disease to other horses through casual contact. It is commonly spread through shared needles or improperly cleaned dental, surgical or blood product equipment.

Early signs of the disease can include weakness, lack of appetite, swollen limbs and labored breathing.

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