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Babesiosis, Equine Bilary Fever, Horse Tick Fiver
Equine piroplasmosis (EP) is an infectious, noncontagious, tick-borne disease of horses and other Equidae species. EP is caused by two intra-erythrocytic hemoprotozoans, Babesia caballi and Theileria equi (formally Babesia equi). These hemoprotozoan parasites are found throughout tropical and subtropical areas, and some temperate zones worldwide. Infections with B. caballi are usually less severe than when associated with T. equi. These parasites attack the horse's red blood cells (RBCs) and lymphocytes, leading to hemolytic anemia and associated systemic illness. Anemia is the hallmark manifestation associated with EP in horses. Incidences of EP have been documented worldwide, likely attributed to the frequency of international horse travel.
EP is diagnosed in horses through the use of microscopic examination, indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT), enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two competitive-ELISAs (cELISA) were produced for detecting the antibody to T. equi and B. caballi.
Transmission B. caballi and T. equi are transmitted by multiple Ixodid ticks of the genera Boophilus, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma and Rhipicephalus. In Europe, Dermacentor reticulatus tick species is the biggest vector of piroplasmosis. Horses are infected through the tick's saliva as it bites down and penetrates the skin to feed on the animal's blood. Another important way horses can become infected with either of the parasites is through blood contaminated needles and syringe reuse, or blood transfusion. Outbreaks have been documented in Germany, Switzerland, and Australia that were caused by contaminated medical equipment.
When horses are infected and later recover from an acute episode of EP, that horse will remain a carrier of the parasite for up to 4 years with B. caballi and for life with T. equi.
The incubation period for the acute form of the disease by B. caballi infection is 10–30 days and 12 to 19 days for T. equi infection.
EP is a reportable disease, meaning that if you suspect that your horse has this disease, by law you need to report it to your veterinarian, or a state or federal veterinarian.
Imidocarb dipropionate (Carbesia)
2.2-4 mg/kg administered IM at varying intervals, depending on the parasite the horse is infected with, and whether sterilization is required. The use of this drug is delisted for horses in Europe due to regulations involving horse meat residues. The drug should be used with caution in donkeys, which are susceptible to adverse reactions during treatment.
Diminazene aceturate therapy (Berenil)
11 mg/kg administered deep IM injections at varying intervals. The use of this drug is only used for the treatment of B. caballi, and has had variable success.
Consists of administering of IV fluids, blood transfusions, and anti-inflammatory drugs