Equine Salmonella

By Susan Aielo • Published: February 14th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

We hear warnings about Salmonella in everything from strawberries to dog food. But what does it mean when your horse tests positive?

Up to two percent of healthy horses in the U.S. carry this organism undetected until travel or other stresses bring on illness. Salmonella is a common cause of diarrhea that can either run its course or develop into seriously debilitating disease and blood infection.

Treatment for sick horses includes IV fluids and other supportive care, while antibiotics are typically reserved for seriously ill animals at risk for blood infection. Infective organisms can survive in the environment for a year or longer, so measures such as thorough stall cleaning, isolation of sick horses and good personal hygiene by animal handlers should be used to control the spread of infection to people or other animals.