Bacteremia in equine neonatal diarrhea: A retrospective study (1990-2007)

A. R. Hollis, P. A. Wilkins, J. E. Palmer, R. C. Boston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bacteremia in sick foals is associated with survival, but the association of bacteremia and diarrhea is not reported. Hypothesis: Neonatal foals with diarrhea will commonly be bacteremic. Animals: One hundred and thirty-three neonatal foals. Methods: Records of all foals < 30 days of age presenting with diarrhea between January 1990 and September 2007 were reviewed. Results: Sixty-six of 133 foals (50%) were bacteremic at admission, with 75 isolates from the 66 samples. The blood culture from a further 18 foals (13.5%) grew coryneform bacteria. Nine foals (6.8%) had 2 or more organisms grown on blood culture. One foal had 5 different organisms, interpreted as contamination. Forty-eight foals (36%) had no growth on admission blood cultures. No cultures isolated fungal organisms. Excluding coryneform bacteria, 43 isolates (57%) were Gram-negative organisms and 32 isolates (43%) were Gram-positive organisms. The most common isolate was Enterococcus spp. (22 isolates, 29%), followed by Pantoea agglomerans (13 isolates, 17%). IgG concentration at admission was not associated with blood culture status. Blood culture status was not associated with survival to hospital discharge. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Bacteremia is common in neonatal foals with diarrhea. Decisions regarding antimicrobial selection should be made with these differences in mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1209
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Colitis
  • Foal
  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • Septicemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary

Cite this