Daily Press, Aug 5, 2014 (emphasis added): MYSTERY ILLNESS — Alyssa Langel['s] three-year-old horse… has large patches of skin exposed. [Owners] remain unsure what caused many horses to manifest swollen eyes and lips, as well as blisters… They heard of a similar outbreak affecting other horse communities in California.
Kendall Melline, owner of sick horses: “It’s devastating… my national champion… her entire body, her entire first layer of skin is going to fall off.”… She’s not seen any improvement… and is very concerned.
Melline: “Her eyes are swollen almost completely shut… I’ve heard about 70 other horses have come down with something like this.”
Stephanie Dorn, owner of sick horses: “I don’t know what this even is… She has mouth sores all over… her lips are just swollen humongous… I’ve never seen anything like this… Nobody will even tell us what it is… it’s heartbreaking.”
Chuck Burt, feed store owner: “Speaking with professionals, veterinarians and toxicologists up in UC Davis, it is a mystery”… “It’s the first time I’ve seen it. It’s the first time a lot of people have seen it.”
Deborah Jasper, owner of sick horses: Four of her horses showed burns… one [has] high levels of protein in the liver, which may lead to organ damage… “This has been a nightmare.”
The Horse, Aug 7, 2014: The horses can also experience liver damage…
Press Enterprise, Aug 12, 2014: [Brian Cockerton's] two horses had… rashes and burn lesions … lesions spread over most of the horses’ bodies [and they're] in pain. “It’s horrible… dozens of cases [are] affecting horses in a widespread area of Southern California in at least the past 2 1/2 weeks…. There may well be many more unreported cases, [an official] added… hair and skin – later began falling off in big patches [and one] fainted twice while being washed… A farrier told Cockerton he hasn’t seen anything like it in 40 years of shoeing horses.
Press Enterprise, Aug 12, 2014: Toxicologists have not definitively identified [anything in the horses' food, said state official Dr. Kent Fowler], describing it as a “very odd occurrence.”
ABC News, Aug 4, 2014: Mystery at the Racetrack; 10 Horses Dead this Season — A growing mystery at… Del Mar in Southern California…. ‘Chattering Gambler’ died of an apparent heart attack, the 10th to die since the racing season opened 3 weeks ago. 3 from natural causes… “When you have 10 horses dying, and can’t pinpoint one thing or another, it’s a mystery.”… These mystery maladies could be a public-relations nightmare… >> Watch here
Published: August 15th, 2014 at 12:29 am ET