Control of Infection

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If infection with any of the three organisms is suspected in any mare, stallion or teaser on the basis of clinical signs, all breeding activities must cease immediately. The affected horse(s) should be isolated and swabbed by the attending veterinary surgeon.

If the CEMO, K. pneumoniae (capsule types 1, 2 or 5) or P. aeruginosa is subsequently isolated from any mare, stallion or teaser:

Seek veterinary advice immediately;

Isolate and treat the infected horse(s) as advised by the attending veterinary surgeon. In the case of the CEMO, the laboratory will have notified Defra, who may give directions which must be followed;

Arrange swabbing of any at risk horses, as advised by the attending veterinary surgeon or by Defra; 

  1. Stop mating, teasing and collection and insemination of semen immediately;

  2. Seek veterinary advice immediately;

  3. Isolate and treat the infected horse(s) as advised by the attending veterinary surgeon. In the case of the CEMO, the laboratory will have notified Defra, who may give directions which must be followed;

  4. Arrange swabbing of any at risk horses, as advised by the attending veterinary surgeon or by Defra;

  5. Disinfect all equipment used for breeding procedures.

  6. Inform all owners of mares booked to the stallion, including any which have already left the premises;

  7. Inform people to whom semen from the stallion has been sent;

  8. Inform the national breeders' association;

  9. Arrange for one straw from every ejaculate of stored semen from infected and at risk stallions to be tested by a laboratory. If a straw from any ejaculate is infected, all straws from that ejaculate should be destroyed;

  10. Any at risk pregnant mare must be foaled in isolation. The placenta must be incinerated. Foals born to these mares should be swabbed three times, at intervals of not less than seven days, before three months of age. These swabs should all be tested by aerobic and microaeophillic culture and/or by PCR;

    - Filly foals: swab the clitoral fossa.
    - Colt foals: swab inside the penile sheath and around the tip of the penis.

  11.  Do not resume any breeding activity until freedom from disease has been confirmed in all infected horses (see Freedom from Disease). The approval of the attending veterinary surgeon or, in the case of CEMO, of the APHA, should be obtained before resumption of breeding activity.

Remember: in any suspected or confirmed disease situation, the implementation of strict hygienic measures is essential.

In the case of the CEMO, if Defra do not believe voluntary compliance is sufficient to control infection, they will impose statutory requirements.