Five Horses at UNR Get Salmonella

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One of those five horse was euthanized a couple of weeks ago. Three of the other four are considered healthy. They are all in isolation at various facilities around town.

Now, it's the University's job to quell just the latest negative story to come out of the Ag College.

For the College of Ag, the most troubling part of this salmonella outbreak is how in the world did the horses ever get it?

"A good guess would be that one of the horses that is positive now was a carrier and brought it into the facility. It's possible that two to three of them have had it for a long time."

Just to be sure, David Thawley, the Dean of the College Ag, says they have tested the entire facility, even pigeons. Those samples have come up negative. But it is still under lockdown, with strict rules for people coming in and out.

The concern is still that the bacteria can spread, especially in these dormitory like conditions. Even the horses that have tested negative could still be carriers.

"One negative test isn't 100% assurance that the animal is negative. They can shed sporadically. So we're going to need to go back and test the negative horses over a period of time."

Two of the four horses carrying the bacteria are university owned. The other two are private, as was the one who was euthanized.

Now in isolation, vets usually let the horses ride out the infection rather than treat them with medicine.

"By giving animals or humans antibiotics, you're often killing off the good bacteria and maybe doing more harm to them than you are to the bad bacteria."

Tuesday night at 6:30, the Ag College will be holding a meeting to update the horse owners on the situation. Dean Thawley believes that the college has taken all necessary measures -- with professional input -- to handle this latest problem.