A quick update on the well-publicized outbreak of equine flu.
Equine flu will present itself as:
- nasal discharge,
- lack of inclination to eat
- a high temperature (greater than 38.5oc),
so we would ask owners to look out for these symptoms in their horses. While it might easily pass from horse to horse, the risk of very serious illness is low. The likelihood of catching it is very much increased when horses are mixed hence the current hold on horse racing in the UK.
So, what can we do to reduce the risk?
Sensible measures to avoid mixing of horses and equipment would be very wise. This is likely to include avoiding competing, quarantine of new horses to the yard and avoiding contact on the yard with other owner’s horses.
Vaccination is likely to play a significant protective role in this outbreak. Fortunately, the brand of vaccine used by Mount Vets is one advised by the British Show Jumping Association in relation to this outbreak. We would strongly advise all owners of unvaccinated horses (horses never vaccinated or not vaccinated within 12 months) to promptly consider vaccination. In animals who might be considered higher risk, for example those on a yard, owners may benefit from bringing their annual booster forward should their last vaccination be more than 6 months ago. This would bring you in line with the FEI regulations for competition horses.