Publication - Advice and guidance

Dourine: how to spot and report the disease

Published: 30 Oct 2018

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of this infectious disease. 

Published:
30 Oct 2018
Dourine: how to spot and report the disease

Dourine affects horses, donkeys, mules, zebras and other members of the equid family. It does not affect humans.

Latest situation: there has never been a known case of dourine in Great Britain.

Clinical signs

The main symptoms are:

  • fever
  • swelling of genital areas or udders and the surrounding skin
  • fluid discharge from genitals (in mares)
  • lesions or damage to the skin
  • stiffness and weakness
  • lack of coordination
  • inability to move

Dourine is often fatal, although some animals show no signs and recover from the disease.

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence. 

How dourine is spread

Dourine spreads through sexual contact.

The disease is caused by a parasite which cannot survive outside the animal’s body. The parasite dies quickly in the carcass of affected animals.

Human health implications

There are no human health implications because the disease is not zoonotic.

How to control the disease

If dourine is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.

Legislation

The main legislation relating to the control of dourine is the Infectious Diseases of Horses Order 1987.

Biosecurity

You can help prevent disease by practising strict biosecurity on your premises. Our equine biosecurity guidance outlines practical, day-to-day actions that can be easily adopted in order to reduce the potential for the introduction or spread of disease-causing agents.

Contact

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.