In­fec­tious-Dis­ease Pre­ven­tion Tips

Trail Rider - - SEASONAL GUIDE -

As a trav­el­ing eques­trian, you likely trailer your horse fre­quently in the fall. Year-end shows are held at this time of year, and cooler tem­per­a­tures mean trail rid­ers can go on long rides. Trai­ler­ing, too, is eas­ier, as your horse will tend to face fewer heat-re­lated is­sues.

Un­for­tu­nately, fre­quent travel can lead to a higher risk of in­fec­tious dis­ease. Sev­eral equine in­fec­tious dis­ease out­breaks have oc­curred in 2016. Quar­an­tine mea­sures and other steps to help pre­vent the spread of dis­ease as­so­ci­ated with th­ese out­breaks have grabbed the head­lines for good rea­son. You might be won­der­ing what role vac­ci­na­tion has or could play in pre­vent­ing th­ese sit­u­a­tions. What went wrong, if any­thing?

An on­go­ing equine res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease sur­veil­lance pro­gram may shed some light on this sub­ject. The sur­veil­lance pro­gram — be­ing con­ducted by Merck An­i­mal Health in part­ner­ship with the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia-Davis School of Ve­teri­nary Medicine — is un­cov­er­ing sober­ing in­for­ma­tion that un­der­scores the im­por­tance of ba­sic biose­cu­rity in pre­vent­ing the spread of in­fec­tious dis­ease. Some of th­ese find­ings were re­cently pre­sented at the In­ter­na­tional Equine In­fec­tious Dis­ease Fo­rum in Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina.

“Vac­ci­na­tion with in­ac­ti­vated in­fluenza vac­cines alone may re­duce clin­i­cal signs of dis­ease and shorten the re­cov­ery pe­riod, but may not pro­vide com­plete pro­tec­tion, as hoped or of­ten ex­pected,” says Wendy Vaala, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, Merck An­i­mal Health as­so­ciate direc­tor of life-cy­cle man­age­ment, who pre­sented the find­ings.

For ex­am­ple, since the sur­veil­lance pro­gram be­gan in 2008, 36 per­cent of equine in­fluenza virus (EIV) pos­i­tive cases have been from vac­ci­nated horses.

The study has also de­bunked the longheld be­lief that many in­fec­tious up­per-res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases, such as in­fluenza, are more com­mon in young horses. De­mo­graphic data col­lected from pos­i­tive cases as­so­ci­ated with re­cent in­fluenza out­breaks show an age range from 8 months to 22 years, and a di­verse horse pop­u­la­tion rep­re­sent­ing a va­ri­ety of dis­ci­plines and travel pat­terns.

“Vac­ci­na­tion is still one of the best means of pro­tec­tion against in­fec­tious dis­ease,” says Dr. Vaala. “How­ever, with highly con­ta­gious dis­eases, such as stran­gles, equine her­pesvirus, and in­fluenza, vac­ci­na­tion alone will not pre­vent dis­ease

A roundup of sea­sonal tips, check­lists, and guides, in­clud­ing fall rides, ap­parel tips, and ex­pert ways to keep your horse healthy all sea­son long.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.