ARTICLE: Summer is flu season for horses - take precautions!
Outbreaks of Equine Influenza have already occurred in our practice area this summer.
This viral infection and a similar infection caused by Equine Rhinopneumonitis virus are passed by aerosol transfer between horses but also by fomites such as rags, buckets, trailers, and hands. Prevention by vaccination is important for horses in stables with in and out traffic, in show barns, and for horses in contact with horses going out to shows or other equestrian events. Owners taking horses out for shows or even trail riding should avoid nose-to-nose contact with other horses and also avoid public water tanks. Vaccination protocols can be found HERE. Horses that are showing signs of influenza or rhinopneumonitis can be diagnosed rapidly by our clinic via PCR (requires only a nasal swab.) In the face of an outbreak, the duration of signs and amount of virus shed can be reduced by vaccination in infected or suspect horses. (Also see THIS article on other summer risks for your horse.)