Update on Suspected Botulism Outbreak
Map of Vermilion County, LA, where there is a botulism outbreak.
A farm in Vermilion Parish County, Louisiana, has been experiencing a suspected botulism outbreak since December 3, and more horses have become ill. | Wikimedia Commons

A Quarter Horse breeding farm in Vermilion Parish County, Louisiana, has had many horses become acutely sick since December 3. Two horses died within 48 hours of onset of clinical signs. Ten others were euthanized due to rapid decline. Preliminary investigation suggested that contamination of a common feed source is responsible. Botulism is the suspected disease.

As of December 14, confirmation of diagnosis is still pending. Currently, there are nine horses hospitalized at LSU. Additional horses showing more mild signs are receiving care on the affected property. Investigation of feed is ongoing and has been transferred to the FDA.

Veterinarians with suspected cases should report them to Dr. Johnathan Roberts (jroberts@ldaf.state.la.us) and Dr. Rose Baker (baker3@lsu.edu).

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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