The Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF), in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS), has confirmed the presence of Clostridium botulinum type C in alfalfa hay cubes linked to the death of at least 20 horses in Louisiana.
The incident evolved into a multi-state epizootic of botulism linked to the same alfalfa cubes. There were at least 28 similar horse deaths in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado, with many other horses becoming critically ill.
Equine Botulism is a condition caused from a bacterial toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. In this incident, the condition was likely caused from direct ingestion of the toxin produced by the vegetative bacteria through contamination of the alfalfa hay cubes.
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.