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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

An indirect fluorescent antibody test was used to serologically survey Greyhounds from 10 kennels that are part of the racing Greyhound industry in Florida. Age of dogs ranged from 11 months to 11 years. Additionally, 50 adult non-Greyhound pet dogs were consecutively surveyed. Of 393 Greyhounds tested, 181 (46%) were seropositive for babesiosis; pet dogs were seronegative. Slightly higher percentage of seropositive males than females was observed, but this difference was only significant (P < 0.01) in the 2- to 5-year age class. Male dogs <2 years old had significantly (P < 0.01) lower seroprevalence than did male dogs >2 years old. All 46 Greyhounds that were actively racing at the time of sample collection were seronegative.

Dogs were classified into 2 groups on the basis of whether the kennel owner had sought veterinary attention for anemic pups. The 5 kennel owners that had sought veterinary attention (group A) had significantly (P < 0.01) higher seroprevalence (78.5%), compared with the 5 that had not sought veterinary attention (group B; 23.0%).

Seroprevalence of babesiosis in Greyhounds in Florida was comparable to that reported in a limited survey of other southeastern states. It appears to be higher than that in the pet population. Breeding kennels in Florida and other southeastern states from which anemic pups originate should be screened for babesiosis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding was hospitalized in Ocala, Fla, because of lethargy, fever, anorexia, and swelling of distal aspects of the limbs. A tentative diagnosis of equine piroplasmosis (EP) was made on the basis of examination of a blood smear. The case was reported to the Florida State Veterinarian, and infection with Babesia equi was confirmed. The subsequent investigation included quarantine and testing of potentially exposed horses for B equi and Babesia caballi infections, tick surveillance, and owner-agent interviews.

Clinical Findings—210 horses on 25 premises were tested for infection with EP pathogens. Twenty B equi–infected horses on 7 premises were identified; no horses tested positive for B caballi. Seven horses, including the index case, had clinical findings consistent with EP Dermacentor variabilis was considered the only potential tick vector for B equi collected, and all D variabilis specimens tested negative for Babesia organisms via PCR assay. Results of the epidemiological investigation suggested that B equi was spread by use of shared needles and possibly blood transfusions. All horses that tested positive were involved in nonsanctioned Quarter Horse racing, and management practices were thought to pose substantial risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

Treatment and Outcome—Final outcome of B equi–infected horses was euthanasia, death from undetermined causes, or shipment to a US federal research facility.

Clinical Relevance—This investigation highlights the importance of collaboration between private veterinary practitioners, state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and regulatory officials in the recognition, containment, and eradication of foreign animal disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association