On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, an attending veterinarian confirmed an outbreak of botulism in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada, according to a Equine Disease Communication Center outbreak notification.
A 12-year-old Arabian/Quarter Horse cross gelding and a 26-year-old Arabian gelding were euthanized. An 8-year-old Standardbred mare, 7-year-old and 10-year-old Zonkey jack and jenny are showing clinical signs including inability to swallow, muscle fasciculations/tremors, and increased recumbency. One horse also presented with a stiff strided gait and another with colic. 8-20 horses were exposed but no quarantine is in place as botulism cannot be spread from horse to horse.
Botulism is a progressive, flaccid paralysis resulting from Clostridium botulinum toxin production and absorption that can be rapidly fatal if not aggressively treated from the first signs of intoxication.