Horse Flu Advice
If your horse is not acting its usual self and seems reluctant to leave the warmth of the stables, it may be suffering from a bout of equine flu. There’s no need to panic if your horse is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, as all horses (like humans) will be susceptible to the dreaded lurgy from time to time. However, you should try and act swiftly to stop a horse flu outbreak reaping havoc through the stables. Read the information below to learn more about horse flu.
Coping with Horse Flu
When equine influenza strikes, there are plenty of measures you can take to remedy the problem. But first it’s important to recognise the classic symptoms of equine flu.
Horse flu is very different to human flu, but both are rarely fatal unless left untreated or underlying health conditions are present (this could further weaken an immune system). Commonly in horses, a multitude of viruses will attack the respiratory system, causing a bout of equine flu. Luckily, equine virus rarely mutate, so treating equine flu is far easier than tackling the ever-changing viruses that can attack the human body.
Signs of equine flu are pretty similar to the normal human reactions – a high body temperature, little desire to eat and a reluctance to exercise. Check muscle definition – if the horse seems stiff, it may be exhibiting early symptoms. Most of the time, basic care will help guide the horse back to good health and little intervention is needed. Clean bedding and a healthy water supply will help calm the horse. The flu is likely to last for a couple of days, but if the horse shows little sign of recovery after a week, seek further medical advice.
Try and stem the rate of infections by housing horses suffering from influenza separately from healthy horses in the stable. The illness can be spread through coughing, allowing viruses to thrive throughout the stable via water droplets. Therefore, keep as much fresh air as possible flowing through the stable, ensuring the horses remain warm and comfortable all the while. Once horses return to full health, ease them back into their daily routine gently – they should not carry out vigorous exercise until about 2-3 weeks after suffering from influenza.
Finally, a large equine flu outbreak in the stable should help to raise your awareness of the importance of vaccination as a preventative measure against equine flu. To impede a mass outbreak from occurring again, call in the vet, and they will be able to inform you further on the types of flu vaccination available and the frequency with which they need to be carried out.