Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) in Horses



While the infection is more of an inconvenience than a cause for serious worry, it is still beneficial to the animal to have the infection treated. Fortunately, contagious equine metritis is fairly easy to treat. The organism that causes it seems to respond rather well to most antibiotic treatments, as well as to disinfecting washes of the genitalia. The organism can easily hide in the folds of the genitals, making it difficult for the disease to be completely eliminated on the first go-round.


Both stallions and mares can be treated with clorhexidine solution and nitrofurazone ointment, which will be used to cleanse and treat the genitals until the infection has passed.


Living and Management


Because of its highly infectious nature, CEM is a serious issue among horse breeders. Allowing the horse enough time to rest and thoroughly heal from the effects of this affliction is a must, and isolation from other horses, particularly of the opposite gender, is essential.


It often takes more than one try to get the organism expelled completely from the system, so giving enough time to the treatment of this infection is important for controlling the spread of this disease among your equine population.




Prevention is the main way to control this sexually transmitted disease. There are tests available to identify CEM, so making sure that all of your horses are checked, and any horses brought into your group for mating purposes are tested will help to drastically reduce the effects of this disease on the horse population as a whole.