Botulism Outbreak in Four States Linked to Alfalfa Cubes

Map of CO, LA, NM, and TX, where horses have botulism
Horses in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas have become sick with suspected botulism linked to alfalfa cubes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in cooperation with the departments of agriculture in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas, is investigating cases of illness and death in horses. The FDA is aware of at least 98 horses in these states who have developed neurologic symptoms. At least 45 of these horses have died or were euthanized due to declining health. Their symptoms are consistent with botulism.

The FDA is cautioning horse owners not to feed Top of the Rockies alfalfa cubes with the date codes 111222, 111322, 111422, 111522 and 111622. Manzanola Feeds of Manzanola, Colorado, has recalled these cubes directly. The company directly distributes the alfalfa cubes to feed stores and co-ops in 10 states. Further distribution is possible, so it is important to check the date codes if you have this product.

The FDA is currently conducting further testing to pinpoint the exact cause of the horse illnesses. Horse owners should immediately contact their veterinarian if their horse ate this product and shows signs of neurologic illness. Symptoms can include muscle tremors, difficulty eating or swallowing, difficulty standing or collapse.

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.



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