Equine Influenza: Why vaccinate?
Equine influenza is a debilitating respiratory disease caused by the highly contagious and ever adapting influenza virus. It can travel up to 2Km on the wind and has caused epidemic outbreaks worldwide with huge economic consequences to the equine industry. (The Australian outbreak in 2007 cost $AU 1.6 billion, took 10 days to spread and 5 months to control). FEI and Jockey Club Rules were introduced to try and reduce the constant, potential threat to the equine industry.
Clinical signs vary in severity but can include fever, lethargy, anorexia and a dry, harsh cough. Death is uncommon but can occur in youngstock and older or immunocompromised animals.
Horses with “flu” require complete rest for at least 3 weeks but may need up to 3 months to recover fully.
Due to the ability of the virus to change and mutate, it is important that our horses are vaccinated against the current strain causing disease. For this reason Hall Place Equine use the most up to date vaccine on the market to provide the best possible protection for our clients’ horses. (See vaccination protocols below)
Tetanus or “Lockjaw” is caused by a bacteria that lives in the soil which enters the horse’s body through wounds, however small. Toxins released by the bacteria then enters the horse’s bloodstream causing clinical signs starting with general muscle stiffness and progressing to a stiff jaw and inability to chew with a heightened state of anxiety. The disease usually results in death over 5-10 days due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles. This disease is easily preventable by appropriate vaccination.