TV: Devastating mystery illness hits California horses — “Nobody will even tell us what it is” — Skin falling off, covered in painful lesions, eyes swollen shut, liver damage, fainting — Expert: Never seen anything like it in 40 year career (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)
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… I’ve got my national champion, who her entire body, her entire first layer of skin is going to fall off.” […] She’s not seen any improvement in Bunny 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 one of America’s most popular horse tracks, Del Mar in Southern California. […] ‘Chattering Gambler’ died of an apparent heart attack, the tenth to die since the racing season opened at Del Mar 3 weeks ago. Three from natural causes […] “When you have ten horses dying, and can’t pinpoint one thing or another, it is a mystery.” […] These mystery maladies could be a public-relations nightmare for the track >> Watch it here