09/22/2009 11:00PM

Strangles tests negative at Hoosier


Test results for equine strangles have come back negative for all of the horses quarantined in Barn 5 on the Hoosier Park backstretch, according to a release issued by the Anderson, Ind., track late Wednesday afternoon.

Two horses displayed symptoms consistent with strangles in the barn on Sept. 11, resulting in the quarantine, and later tested positive for the disease. Those horses have been removed from the track grounds.

Strangles is caused by the bacterium streptococcus equi and affects a horse's lymph nodes in its upper respiratory tract. Strangles is not usually fatal to horse but can be in some cases.

Fifty-seven horses have been quarantined in Barn 5 but one of them died on Tuesday, according to the track's press release. The horse was transported to Purdue University Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, whose preliminary findings have determined the cause of death to be colitis, an inflammation of the colon.

The remaining 56 horses stabled in Barn 5 will remain quarantined and will be tested for strangles again on Oct. 1, two weeks after they were initially tested. If the second samples come back negative, the quarantine will then be lifted. The second set of test results is expected to be released on Oct. 6.

The quarantine is restricted to Barn 5 and all other horses on the grounds are free to come and go as their connections please. Hoosier will run its biggest race of the meet, the Grade 2, $500,000 indiana Derby on Oct. 3.