What is equine flu?
Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection. An infected horse will show signs and be infectious for about a week.
One outbreak can affect tens of thousands of horses!! Although rarely fatal, it can have a huge impact on the equine community, competitive events and can cause severe problems in pet horses if not recognised.
What are the signs of infection?
▪️Thick yellow/green nasal discharge
▪️Very harsh dry cough
▪️Increased body temperature (can last up to 10 days)
▪️Quiet, sluggish, dull, depressed
Secondary infection can occur if a horse has a compromised immune system which can be very severe, leading to pneumonia.
What do you do if your horse is showing signs of equine flu?
Call us as soon as possible!
The virus is shed the most in the first few days so the sooner you call the better! Blood tests and nasal swabs are necessary for definitive diagnosis.
What is the treatment?
🚫Stop working your horse immediately to reduce respiratory stress.
🚫Horses should be rested for one week for every week of fever, with a minimum of 3 week’s rest.
🚫Some drugs may be dispensed depending on severity of clinical condition.
🚫Avoid dust in the environment, bedding and feed (particularly hay) to minimise the risk of bacterial infections of the lungs and airways.
🚫Isolation strategies may be suggested to limit the spread of the disease.
A primary course of two injections given between 21 and 92 days apart.
A third injection given between 150 and 215 days (5-7 months) after the second injection.
Boosters are then required annually.
▪️Equine flu outbreaks are being reported in the UK and Europe.
▪️There has been over 160 confirmed outbreaks in the UK since the beginning of January!
▪️This includes Staffordshire!
Be vigilant and if your horse is unvaccinated… vaccinate today!💉
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