Not many area residents are aware of the recent outbreak of Pigeon fever, but according to a local veterinarian, there have been more than 60 confirmed cases in Winslow and the immediate area.
Signs of Pigeon fever include lameness, fever, lethargy and weight loss. Abscesses and sores along the chest, midline and groin area usually accompanies the disease. Abscesses can develop internally.
The disease gets its name because infected animals commonly develop abscesses and multiple sores along the pectoral muscles, which swell and resemble a pigeon's chest.
The disease can occur in three forms, external abscesses, internal and limb infection. External abscesses are the most common and have a prognosis of full recovery. Internal abscesses are harder to treat.
The disease can live in the soil and enter the horse through wounds or broken skin, and may possibly be transmitted by flies. The disease can survive for several days in the environment, and lower temperatures prolong that time.