Home / Animals / Foreign parasite discovered in Ocala, could harm horse business

Foreign parasite discovered in Ocala, could harm horse business

By

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A new parasite has been found in a horse from Ocala, which could mean big trouble for the North Florida horse business. The parasite also poses a potential danger for residents in and around Alachua County.

Known as Leishmaniasis, the parasite is normally found throughout Europe, the Middle East and parts of Thailand.

The parasite is treatable, but people should be concerned about it, said Sarah Reuss, clinical assistant professor of large animal medicine at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

She said it’s only contractable through sandflies and that there are precautions people can take to avoid getting bit by the flies.

Horses can recover from the parasite without medical attention, she said.

Some horse owners are already worried. Tarynn Adamy, owner of Dreamstone Farm, said she is concerned about how the parasite could affect business.

Adamy gives riding lessons and houses horses on her farm, which has a full stable barn and riding pavilion. She worries the parasite might scare off her customers, and said she’ll take precautions to keep her horses safe.

Katherine Hahn edited this story for online.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

Check Also

Snowman walks around while attached to a tree in front of an abandoned house. He is tethered to the tree 24/7, and his owner said he comes by to feed him once a day.

Citrus County Considers Anti-Tethering Law

Citrus County Commissioners consider an anti-tethering law that would outlaw the unattended chaining and tethering of dogs. The commission will vote Tuesday to bring it to a public ordinance.

  • As a past student of Microbiology, the probability of Leishmaniasis is not likely, yes there are sporadic cases with Equine and Bovine species . I would think that the possibility would be like that of Schistsomaisis which is a Water related Disease and this would be unlikely

  • What harm do these parasites cause?