The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) is encouraging horse owners to practice proper health safety measures to mitigate the risk of pigeon fever. The NDA has confirmed 23 cases of pigeon fever this year to date in multiple counties. Eighteen of those cases have been diagnosed since September 1. It is common for the disease to spike this time of year.
EDCC Health Watch is an Equine Network marketing program that utilizes information from the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) to create and disseminate verified equine disease reports. The EDCC is an independent nonprofit organization that is supported by industry donations in order to provide open access to infectious disease information.
About pigeon fever
Pigeon fever is a bacterial infection that affects cattle and horses. It can cause large abscesses, most commonly on the chest and under the belly. Horses become infected when bacteria enters through broken skin, such as small scrapes or wounds. Peak season for infection is late summer through fall.
Good horse health safety practices are key to limiting the spread of pigeon fever. These practices include:
- Fly control;
- Not sharing water buckets or equipment; and
- Avoiding tying horses in high-traffic areas.
If a horse owner suspects that their animal is affected, they should contact their veterinarian.