PHELAN (CBSLA.com) — A mysterious condition has left dozens of horses sick and owners searching for answers the high desert.
KCAL9's Tom Wait met with several owners Wednesday whose horses have been affected by a rare condition.
Owners found that the condition caused their horses to have cracked skin, lesions and patches of pink across their bodies.
Kendall Melline first noticed her horse Bunny with symptoms about 10 days ago.
"It's devastating and traumatizing," said Melline. "I've got my national champion, who her entire body, her entire first layer of skin is going to fall off."
While the cause is undetermined, veterinarians believe that what the horses are eating may be the root of the problem.
Veterinarians tested the hay that Melline believed to have caused her horses' illness; however, no toxins were found in the test results.
According to UC Davis veterinarians, recent drought conditions may have altered the hay, causing illness to spread among the horses.
Owner Stephanie Dorn's horses have also been affected by the outbreak.
"I've been treating my first horse for about two weeks now, and my husband's horse came up with it last night," Dorn said.
Melline said she has not seen any improvement in Bunny and is very concerned.
"We're on a wait-to-see how this pans out because who knows if she'll still have her endurance career still ahead of her," said Melline.
Veterinarians say that this condition can be treated with antibiotics. They stress, however the importance of immediately reporting symptoms.
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