Horse may be infected with contagious disease - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Horse may be infected with contagious disease

April 17, 2006

Sumter County - The Terrell County Sheriff's Office has issued an arrest warrant Don Bridges of Dawson for felony cruelty to animals. Now, one of his horses may have brusilosis, a contagious disease that can cause infertility, and cause major infections of the skin and bones.

In most car impound lots, you'll find horsepower, but not typically in the form of a horse, but along with cars and bikes, that's just what you'll see in Sumter County where a horse was brought over from Terrell County.

"Very severe. No doubt when you have bone exposure to that degree of wounds that it's very severe. Probably one of the most severe I've ever seen," says Veterinarian Kyler Crawford.

And that's why this horse is here. Its infection is so contagious, that it can't be placed with other animals, and it can't fit anywhere else. Dr. Crawford, treated the horse. He says the owner may not have intentionally neglected the horse, but that the injuries were left untreated for too long.

He says, "Just looking at the wound, it makes me wonder what other kind of care may have been neglected. Occasionally accidents do happen, but we don't need to ignore them. We need to take care of them and go from there."

But where this horse will go from here isn't known yet. Tests results are pending. Even if it doesn't have Brusilosis, it may have to be put down due to infection.

Brusilosis can pass to humans, but only from direct contact. If this horse tests positive, other horses that were kept in the same area, may also have to be tested for the disease. Deputies were planning to arrest Don Bridges today.

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