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Equine flu - guidelines for horse and pony owners

Equine flu – guidelines for horse and pony owners

Following British Horse racing’s decision to resume racing in a managed way, horse world leaders continue to monitor the situation and will provide information if the situation develops and once the full extent of the equine flu outbreak is known.

The Horse trust recommends that owners follow the guidelines below as a precaution:

Actions for owners to take:

* Be alert and follow recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this infectious disease.

* Isolate all new horses on your yard and be sure they are not incubating the disease, before they are introduced to horses already resident there. This virus can spread up to 100m as droplets in the air so make sure your isolation area is far enough away from resident horses.

* Be careful if you are travelling from yard to yard, change clothes and boots and use hand gels to make sure that you don’t spread infection. This disease can be carried on clothes, equipment and tools.

* Ensure that your vaccinations are up to date, ideally your horse or pony will have been vaccinated within the last six months, if your last booster was longer ago, please contact your vet for advice to make sure that your vaccination contains protection against this particular strain of the flu virus.

* Look out for signs of disease which can include high temperature, cough, snotty nose, enlarged glands (under the lower jaw), swollen or sore eyes, depression, loss of appetite and swelling in the lower legs.

* If you see any of these signs, isolate the horse and call your vet immediately.

* It is essential that any horses showing signs of possible equine flu, or horses that might have been in contact with suspect infected horses, do not travel anywhere else.

* If your horse has been in contact with a horse that may have been infected, take immediate veterinary advice.

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