A survey of cases of equine pythiosis received by the Laboratório Regional de Diagnóstico, Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, from January 1979 to July 2011, was made to determine the epidemiological conditions in which the disease occurs in southern Rio Grande do Sul. Samples from 1888 horses were received; 435 samples were from the integumentary system, of which 63 (14.5%) corresponded to pythiosis. The affected animals were of both sexes and their age ranged from 8 months to 22 years. Crioulo was the most prevalent breed. Most cases of pythiosis were sent to the laboratory between March and June. The evolution of the lesions due to pythiosis ranged from 2 weeks to 1 year. The municipalities with the greatest number of cases were Pelotas (22/63), Santa Vitória do Palmar (15/63) and Rio Grande (8/63). With respect to the climatic data, in most cases the maximum temperature in the probable month of infection was above or close to 30°C during at least one day. The observation of cases in the colder seasons of the year could be due to the stagnant water temperature higher than the temperature of the air, which allows the development of infective structures of Pythium insidiosum.
Pythium insidiosum; epidemiology; pythiosis; horses