Biological Hazard in Canada on August 29 2016 07:24 PM (UTC).
A Middleton, Nova Scotia, veterinary practice is warning animal owners about a respiratory infection that's been affecting horses at agricultural exhibitions in the Annapolis Valley area. "In the last 24 hours, we have seen quite a few sick horses. These horses were all at the Annapolis valley exhibition, or in contact with horses that were," says Middleton Veterinary Services on its Facebook page. "Please check them daily for the following clinical signs: lethargy, loss of appetite, mucopurulent nasal discharge, cough and fever." Exhibitions seem to be the source. Veterinarian Nicole MacHattie said [Sun 25 Aug 2016] she has treated 10 sick horses in the last 2 days. Of those, 3 had been to the Annapolis Valley exhibition, she said. "Then they came home and got their 3 friends [also horses, I presume. - Mod.SH] sick. They picked it up presumably down there, because that has been the common denominator." The event took place 15-20 Aug 2016 in Lawrencetown. Horses attending the Digby County Exhibition, held 24-27 Aug 2016, have also shown signs of the respiratory illness, MacHattie said. One man she knows had 8 horses down with the infection. Until test results are in, it can't be certain whether the illness is bacterial or viral but the animals appear to be responding well to antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, she said. None have died, as far as she knows. It doesn't bode well for horse owners who want to exhibit at future events. It can take up to a week for the animals to show signs, MacHattie said. Any horse that's been exposed shouldn't be taken anywhere else "for a solid week so they don't spread it." Rural exhibitions run close together which can increase the number of exposures to the sickness. The Tremont World Fair and Berwick Gala Days are coming-up, said MacHattie. "They both have horse shows. There's a lot of people that just go to those but then again, you risk exposing your horse to a horse that might have picked something up in Digby and isn't going to be showing signs yet," she said.