Pigeon Fever Reported in Florida HorsesBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · July 2, 2012
Pigeon fever, a disease not actually related to pigeons and most often occurring in hot and dry regions of the country, has been reported in Florida this year. The infection is caused by Corynebacterium pseduotuberculosis; is not listed as a reportable disease; and has not been associated with restrictions on travel or activities involving horses.
The malady usually causes large swollen areas in the muscles of a horse’s chest, leading to a puffy, pigeon-breasted appearance, hence the common name. In early disease stages, fever, lethargy, and weight loss may be noticed weeks or months before the large, deep abscesses form.
Pigeon fever has also been reported in Texas and Louisiana this spring. It is not unknown in these states, but cases are on the rise over numbers noted in previous years.