The State Veterinarian's office has confirmed two cases of Potomac horse fever in Middle Tennessee — one in Rutherford County and the other in Dekalb County.
Potomac horse fever can cause horses to suffer from colic, fever and diarrhea. It does not transmit directly from horse to horse, and it is not a known threat to human health.
Horses may be exposed to the illness from bacteria in freshwater snails that they may consume when drinking from creeks or rivers.
Horse owners are urged by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to ensure the safety of their animals using best management practices, including consulting with a local veterinarian for appropriate vaccination needs and schedules.
Owners are advised to regularly disinfect stalls, water buckets, feed troughs and other equipment.
Experts also recommend eliminating standing water sources where disease-carrying insects may gather and breed.
At this time, it is best practice to avoid co-mingling owned horses with other, unfamiliar horses.