Pigeon Fever

What is Pigeon Fever?

Pigeon fever is a complication that usually affects horses.  This is carried by flies and it is usually more prominent when it is hot outside and there are a lot of flies.  If a fly is carrying the disease and they bite a horse, breaking the skin, the horse can get pigeon fever.  This article is going to explain the disease in more detail so that you know what to look for and how to handle it.


You should check your horse for pigeon chest.  You may also look for swelling of the horse and complications with the horse’s legs.  If you do notice any of these symptoms and you are concerned that your horse has pigeon fever, you are going to want to separate your horses from one another. You will then need to contact your vet so that he or she can tell you what you should do for your horse to help him or her heal and feel better.

There are a few options that you have related to helping your horse.  You may need to start an antibiotic but your vet is going to tell you if that is the way to go and if so what type you will need.  You may also need to heat pack the area to help the infection become drawn out of the horse. The vet is going to be able to instruct you on these measures as well.


You may or may not realize that if pigeon fever has been found on your farm once, the likelihood of it returning is actually very great.  You are going to need to work with your vet to determine how you can best keep it from returning and spreading.  There may be ways for you to control the flies on your farm and this is going to be the best place to start.  You will want to talk to the vet about this as well.  You can invest in fly eating wasps.  These insects may be able to help keep the flies on your farm down but you may want to talk to the vet about these as well.  Controlling pigeon fever may also be accomplished by keeping all of your barn stalls clean and removing all manure for the stalls.  You may also want to invest in a compost so that you can take care of the manure before it has time to attract a lot of flies.

Pigeon fever can be very frightening if it gets out of hand.  It could infect your entire farm if you are not careful.  You need to be on the look out for it and keep your eyes open for any signs or symptoms of it.  This is especially true if you have had an outbreak in the past.  If you are not sure if your horse has pigeon fever, you are going to want to contact your vet as soon as you notice a problem. You do not want to wait until it is too late and other horses are harmed.

However, controlling pigeon fever is going to start with you.  You are going to need to keep the stalls clean at all times.  This is the first step to avoiding this problem. You are going to want to educate your entire family about pigeon fever so that they know how to recognize the signs and symptoms as well.  They are also going to need to know the importance of keeping all areas cleaned.  Explain to them that this is a disease that can get out of hand very fast if you are not proactive.