Beware of Contagious Equine Metritis

NYS Ag Commissioner sounds alarm over spreading horse disease.

Published on: Jan 23, 2009

Thursday, New York State Ag Commissioner Patrick Hooker alerted horse owners and breeders to the potential exposure of their horses to Contagious Equine Metritis, a venereal disease of horses. Nine known stallions outside of the Empire State have tested positive for CEM. They’ve exposed hundreds of other horses, including nine New York mares.

Contagious Equine Metritis is spread when horses are bred, or congenitally from mares to their foals. Horses involved in artificial breeding can also be exposed. Infected stallions seldom, if ever, show outward signs of infection, but may be carriers.

To date, USDA animal health officials estimate more than 300 horses in 38 states have potentially been exposed. Once identified, they’re placed under strict restrictions by state and federal animal health authorities, pending three consecutive negative test results.

The following stallions have tested CEM-positive:

• Gentlemen Send Roses, a Paint Horse from Indiana
• Hot Lopin Sensation, a Quarter Horse from Kentucky
• Indian Artifacts, a Quarter Horse from Kentucky
• Invited Back, a Paint Horse from Indiana
• Nanning 374, a Friesian from Wisconsin
• Potential Asset, a Quarter Horse from Texas
• Potential Investment, a Quarter Horse from Kentucky
• Repeated in Red, a Quarter Horse from Kentucky
• Zips Heaven Sent, a Paint Horse from Indiana

The disease may render mares infertile or may cause spontaneously abortion. But It can be treated with antibiotics and disinfectants.

If your mares have been exposed to one of them or were artificially bred by one of them, contact your local veterinarian. For more details and updates on Contagious Equine Metritis, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/cem/index.shtml.