Did you know the Equine Influenza virus can travel up to 5km through the air?
It also travels easily via people, tack and yard equipment, not to mention nose-to-nose equine contact. Add to that the worrying statistic that less than 50% of Britain’s horse population is estimated to be protected from infectious disease via vaccination, and it’s not hard to see that your horse doesn’t need to be regularly competing or moving around to be at significant risk.
Equine infectious diseases can severely affect a horse’s health and performance and in some cases prove fatal.
Prevention is far better than cure and vaccination is a key element in the fight against disease. The cost of vaccinating against flu and tetanus is negligible compared to the cost of treating an affected animal; not to mention the recovery time needed post-illness. A horse that has suffered flu will need up to six weeks’ complete rest and may not be fully recovered for six months.
This year, we are including a vaccine against EHV-1 and EHV-4 in our vaccination offer.
Equine herpesvirus regularly affects thousands of horses worldwide and is prevalent in the UK horse population. The virus which has several serotypes can cause respiratory signs such as high temperature, lethargy and nasal discharge however it can also cause abortion in mares and in some cases cause severe life-threatening neurological disease. The virus can also be shed by ‘carriers’ in the horse population which shed during periods of stress.
Worried about the spread of infectious disease?
There are a there are a number of easy, sensible precautions you can take to help combat the spread of infectious disease in addition to vaccinating your horses:
Follow good hygiene procedures on yard: – as much as possible, use dedicated stable and grooming equipment, tack and rugs for each horse
Ensure stables are well ventilated – this will improve respiratory health and help reduce the spread of disease
Clean and disinfect stables and equipment between horse usage with disinfectants that will kill viruses
Avoid horse-to-horse contact with unknown horses, such as at shows or events or whilst out hacking
Don’t share water at shows or events
Isolate new arrivals for at least 14-21 days. Isolation areas can be as simple as an isolated paddock or stable but should ideally be at least 10 metres from other horses
Be vigilant for signs – early identification of potential disease enables swift treatment and reduces the chance of infection spreading
Be aware of horses at a greater risk – young horses, those kept in large groups and those who travel a lot are more susceptible