To our equine clients and community:

The University of Florida Large Animal Hospital is currently treating a number of horses with suspected botulism. Botulism is a disease caused by ingestion of botulinum toxin, one of the most potent toxins known. It can affect all mammals, however, horses are one of the most susceptible species. While botulism is not contagious between horses, it can affect multiple horses on the same property. Sources of botulinum toxin include round bales, alfalfa blocks, soil, and contaminated grains.

Clinical signs of botulism include laying down more than normal, difficulty eating, trembling, low head carriage, and in many cases, death.  Prompt treatment with botulism antitoxin is critically important for the survival of affected horses, and any horses noted to have clinical signs consistent with botulism should be examined by their veterinarians immediately.

Further information on botulism in horses can be found on the University of Florida Large Animal Hospital website, Botulism in Horses and other Mammals.

 Please call us at (352) 392-2229 with any questions or concerns. 

Thank you for keeping our equine community safe and healthy!

UF Large Animal Hospital