CEM Investigation Expands to 20 States: Virginia Horse Farms Quarantined

(State of Virginia news alert)

Dr. Richard L. Wilkes, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), today placed full or partial quarantines on farms in Floyd and Goochland counties. Mares at these farms have had contact with a stallion in Kentucky that tested positive for Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM).,State animal health officials are trying to verify the location of one other Virginia mare that may have been exposed to the same stallion.

Since the CEM positive stallion was identified in Kentucky last week, animal health officials have identified 20 other states that may have mares that have been exposed to infective semen.

“We don’t know yet if the Virginia mares are infected,” said Wilkes, “but since CEM is not normally found in the US., we have placed the two farms under quarantine to protect other horses while we test the individual mares.”

CEM is a highly contagious venereal disease, which usually results in temporary infertility. Its effects are restricted to the reproductive tract of the mare. Transmission is usually due to sexual contact or artificial insemination but can occur by other types of contact. The disease is diagnosed using special bacterial culturing techniques and has a 100 percent success rate for treatment.

In severe cases, symptoms include an obvious discharge from the vagina. In other cases, mares may be infected with less obvious symptoms or no symptoms at all. Infected mares may fail to become pregnant after breeding or rarely, may abort their foals. Infected stallions usually do not show any symptoms.

The State Veterinarian has quarantined the farms to prevent spread of the disease while exposed mares are evaluated. On farms with isolation capability, only that isolated area is quarantined. Farms that cannot isolate the individual mare are under full quarantine, which restricts movement of any horses on or off the grounds.

For more information on the Virginia suspect cases, click here.

For more information on CEM, click here.

Scroll down to read more posts on this blog containing information from the state of Kentucky, where the infected stallions have been breeding.




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