January 5th, 2023

From Rusty Ford:

This is advance notice to our Kentucky equine stakeholders that a barn at The Thoroughbred Center (TTC) in Lexington has been placed under quarantine after a horse was confirmed to have strangles. National notification through the Equine Disease Communication Center will be sent out later this afternoon of what looks to be an isolated incident.

We did yesterday afternoon receive laboratory confirmation that a 2020 thoroughbred gelding presenting with a fever of unknown origin has tested positive for strangles. The horse had shipped into the training center from an out-of-state farm on the night of 12/28 and on 12/29 presented with fever. Initially testing negative for strep equi, as well as EHV, the horse remained confined to stall rest. On the evening of January 2nd a second fever was detected and the horse was referred to a Lexington area equine hospital where a diagnosis of strangles was made on January 4 . The patient remains in isolation at the referral hospital today.

Based on the presentation and laboratory test result, the barn at The Thoroughbred Center was secured and placed under an order of quarantine yesterday (1/4/2023). The barn currently houses 13 horses under the care of two trainers. Testing of the exposed horses is being planned and is expected to be carried out over the weekend with results anticipated to be available on Monday afternoon.

I was on the premises earlier today and found the 13 horses in the affected barn to be bright, alert and no fever detected. Working with the training center, time has been defined for these horses to exercise and train. Our epidemiologic investigation is continuing. Information gathered to this point, does give us confidence this initial horse is the true index, and had not been in the general population of horses since it’s arrival at TTC.

Beyond the quarantined barn, we see no need to impose additional restrictions on any other barn at TTC. I will be back at TTC tomorrow am and will provide updates in the coming days as test results or other epidemiologic information is learned.

E.S. Rusty Ford
[email protected]
Equine Operations Consultant
Office State Veterinarian
KY Department Agriculture