A horse stabled at Leamington Raceway has tested positive for Strangles. This horse had previously tested negative but had been in contact with the original Leamington case. The horse was contained when clinical signs were first noted and removed to an isolation facility this morning.
There has been no evidence of transmission beyond this second horse and horses have been monitored closely since Strangles was first identified. Measures are in place to closely monitor the health of horses at Leamington and an isolation area has been made available at the facility. The horses on the property have been identified as a “high health group,” where monitoring and recording of temperatures at least twice daily, and other clinical signs of Strangles should continue.
In discussions with AGCO Senior Manager, Veterinary Services, Dr. Adam Chambers, Dr. Scott Weese of the University of Guelph and Leamington Veterinarian Dr. Bernard Ferguson, a plan was agreed pertaining to the horses in the affected barn.
Horses in this barn will require negative tests results to be allowed to race or qualify. The positive horse will need three negative tests over at least a two-week period, while other horses will require either one or two negative tests, based on exposure risk.
Racing at Leamington can continue with appropriate biosecurity measures in place.
Horses at the other two barns at Leamington can race and qualify, but trainers and racetrack officials shall monitor and record temperatures twice daily, and other clinical signs of Strangles.
Strangles is a highly contagious and serious infection of horses and other equines caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi. There is no such thing as zero risk. It is found in racehorses, including those without exposure to the known positive cases. Horse people are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice.
Please refer to Industry Notices (link below) for more information.
The AGCO will continue to monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported.
For more information
Dr. Adam Chambers
Senior Manager of Veterinary Services