Respiratory diseases can be very devastating for owners and horses alike. Now is a good time to remember that the bio-security measures we are taking for ourselves are good ones to remember during an equine respiratory disease outbreak.
What kind of equine respiratory disease outbreaks?
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) outbreaks, Strangles outbreaks, and Influenza outbreaks to name a few. You may have had personal experience with one or more of these types of respiratory outbreaks as some occur frequently in our area.
How is this relevant?
In many respiratory cases, your veterinarian will recommend quarantine of affected horses away from others and potentially quarantine of the entire barn to limit spread of the disease throughout the community.
Cleaning and disinfecting regularly is an important step to limit the spread of the disease throughout the barn as well. While we can't ask our horses to wash their hooves, we can wash our hands between horses, wear gloves, and utilize foot baths prior to entering and upon exiting stalls when needed. Many times, a separate set of cleaning supplies is recommended to be used when cleaning affected horses' stalls. This is done to limit the accidental spread of disease on inanimate objects like your wheelbarrow or stall pick. Some diseases can live in the environment for over 30 days in the right conditions!
Vaccination and bio-security are often our best defense against preventing the start and spread of these diseases.
Stay Home, Stay Healthy - for you and your horse.