Veterinarians work to trace contagious equine metritis

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture is closely working with its partners at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to perform trace back investigations as part of the nationwide effort to locate, quarantine, test, and treat horses that may have been exposed to stallions that tested positive for contagious equine metritis.

Quarter horses and Paints are the main breeds affected by this national outbreak. Currently, there are no known positives in Ohio horses.

No human threat

Contagious equine metritis is a highly contagious venereal disease that affects horses and does not pose a threat to humans. It is spread through natural breeding, artificial insemination or contaminated equipment. Potentially exposed horses are isolated and placed under quarantine while veterinarians take cultures and blood. The horses remain under quarantine until testing and treatment protocols are complete.

Ohio Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Tony Forshey, USDA Area Veterinarian Sue Skorupski, and their respective teams are diligently working to locate all Ohio horses that may have been exposed to the infected stallions.

Testing

The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory is one of only 16 USDA approved labs in the nation approved to conduct contagious equine metritis testing. Forshey and Skorupski advise horse owners and veterinarians to use biosecurity measures that will protect horses against the spread of contagious equine metritis.

Such measures include knowing the history of the horses they work with and maintaining strict hygiene when handling mares and stallions by using disposable gloves, changing gloves between horses, and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting instruments and equipment between horses.

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