CEM — Contagious Equine Metritis
CEM is a transmissible, exotic, venereal disease of horses caused by the bacterium Taylorella equigenitalis. Thoroughbred horses appear to be more severely affected by the disease than other breeds. Because animals may be asymptomatic, the disease is difficult to detect and control. There is no evidence that CEM affects people.
CEM is a serious disease because it is highly contagious. When coupled with the fact that mares can be bred at only certain seasons, CEM can have a devastating effect on equine reproductive efficiency. Should CEM become established in the United States, the horse industry would suffer great economic losses.
CEM is commonly transmitted directly during natural sexual intercourse between undetected CEM-positive breeding mares and stallions. Transmission may also occur indirectly by artificial insemination or fomites, such as contaminated hands or instruments. Outbreaks usually occur at breeding facilities following international horse shipments.
Undetected carrier mares and stallions are the source of infection for acute outbreaks of the disease. During the breeding season, a carrier stallion may infect several mares before the disease is suspected or diagnosed.
The mare cannot be successfully treated until the CEM bacteria clears from the uterus, a process that may take several months. The external genitalia of the mare and the stallion can be treated with disinfectants and antibiotics. Once daily for 5 consecutive days, the external genitalia should be gently scrubbed with 2-percent chlorhexidine in a mild detergent solution and rinsed with warm saline. The external genitalia should then be coated with an antibiotic ointment, such as nitrofurazone. Due to the effectiveness of this treatment, surgical removal of the clitoral sinuses is rarely required.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects cattle, horses and swine. The virus that causes vesicular stomatitis has a wide host range. This disease also occasionally affects sheep and goats. Many species of wild animals, including deer, bobcats, goats, raccoons, and monkeys have been found to be susceptible hosts. Humans can also become infected when handling affected animals.
Vesicular stomatitis is most likely to occur during warm months in the Southwest, particularly along riversides and in valleys.
While vesicular stomatitis can cause economic losses to livestock producers, it is a particularly significant disease because its outward signs are similar to those of foot-and- mouth disease. The clinical signs are also similar to those of swine vesicular stomatitis and vesicular exanthema of swine. The only way to tell these diseases apart is through laboratory tests.
There is no specific treatment or cure for vesicular stomatitis. Owners can protect their animals from this disease by avoiding congregation of animals in the vicinity where vesicular stomatitis has occurred. Mild antiseptic mouthwashes may bring comfort and more rapid recovery to an affected animal. Good sanitation and quarantine practices on affected farms usually contain the infection until it dies out of its own accord.
EP — Equine Piroplasmosis
EP is present in South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern and Southern Europe. This disease is caused by two parasite organisms, Babesia equi and Babesia caballi. Although EP is primarily transmitted to horses by ticks, this bloodborne disease has been spread mechanically from animal to animal by contaminated needles.
EP can have a mortality rate as high as 20 percent among susceptible horses in areas where the disease does not exist, such as the US horse population. Infected horses that survive the infection may carry the parasites for prolonged periods of time but the potential of the disease spreading by tickborne transmission, mechanical transfer or biting insects is minimal if appropriate risk mitigating factors are in place. An effective drug therapy treatment exists for B.caballi; however, a compatible chemotherapeutic drug to treat B.equi is still under development.
Some of the above information was taken from the USDA WebPages. For more detailed information please click here