Sunday, August 08, 2010

Africanized Bee Swarm Kills Two Horses in California - Full Article

by: Pat Raia
August 02 2010, Article # 16755

A California rancher recommends horse owners examine their barns for Africanized honeybee hives after two horses stabled on her Menifee property died subsequent to sustaining hundreds of stings.

The two Tennessee Walking horses were stabled in a barn containing undiscovered Africanized bee hives at Wagon Wheel Ranch. On July 21 a ranch hand discovered the animals swarmed by the bees, said ranch owner Christa Caudle Schaffer. A veterinarian called to the scene treated the animals with epinephrine (a hormone that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to increase heart rate and dilate air passages) and dexamethasone (a steroid anti-inflammatory, immune suppressant drug). Both horses later died of anaphylactic shock, Schaffer said.

Chris Huth, DVM, said anaphylactic shock occurs when horses, humans and other mammals experience a severe reaction to an allergen such as bee venom. The condition causes hives, sweating, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, drop in blood pressure, and fluid accumulation. Severe cases can cause death in horses...

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