Health alert issued to Maine horse owners

Posted Jan. 28, 2009, at 3:08 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s state veterinarian is alerting horse owners and breeders that horses may be exposed to a contagious venereal disease detected in 10 stallions outside the state.

Dr. Don Hoenig said Wedneday that a stallion stabled in Wisconsin is suspected of exposing seven Maine mares, none of which has tested positive for contagious equine metritis, or CEM.

The disease, which can be spread during breeding, is not fatal but can render mares infertile or cause them to miscarry.

Hoenig said CEM can be treated with antibiotics and disinfectants, and there is no evidence that it affects humans.

The seven potentially exposed mares in Maine have been placed under quarantine.

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