Equine health information provided with reference to equine respiratory diseases. Respiratory diseases such as COPD, Strangles, equine rhinovirus inhibit proper delivery of oxygen to the lungs.
Infections and/or air irritants cause inflammation of the airway, contraction of bronchial muscles, and mucous accumulation in the air passages. These factors reduce the amount of oxygenated air that is able to reach the lungs. Generally symptoms include listlessness, discharge from the nose, eyes, or coughing at the slightest provocation.
Symptoms of equine health problems:
inflammation of the nasal passages and throat
Lack of appetite
A lump denoting an inflamed lymph node.
Incubation of respiratory viral infections in horses generally takes three to seven days after exposure before clinical signs will begin to show
A coughing horse should be isolated from others in the event that the problem is induced by a viral or bacterial infection.
Treat the symptoms and increase the comfort level of its victim.
Wait for flu to run its course
Rest - Exercised horses did not have the virus any longer than those given stall rest but the symptoms are exacerbated by exercise
Rectal temperature to check for fever
Risk of respiratory disease due to:
Dehydration - impairs pulmonary defense mechanisms that normally clear infectious material
Confinement in trailers with their heads elevated, they have decreased clearance of infectious material simply due to gravity
Particulate matter from bedding and feed
Overcrowding in trailer
Stress, rigorous competition schedule
More encounters with other horses
Rhino virus and influenza are common respiratory culprits among competition horses, due to their exposure to other horses and because of strenuous competition schedules and frequent trailering
Stable conditions leading to risk of respiratory ailments and poor equine health.
Situations that can stimulate an allergic respiratory condition
Dusty hay and bedding
Competition horses are most susceptible to viral infections because of their exposure to a great number of other horses at a given time.
Musty odor from mold
Strong ammonia fumes in the barn due to urine-soaked bedding
Riding arena adjacent to the stalls where the horses would be exposed to airborne particles and dust In turn, compromised lungs quality makes them more susceptible to viral attack.
Horses that are regularly stabled for long periods
Working a horse in dusty schools
Control and prevention
Affected horses should be isolated at least 3 weeks from other horses 30 40 yds
Minimize contact by feeding separately
Keep grooming equipment and tack for each horse
No horses taken off premises for minimum 3 weeks
New arrivals vaccinated and isolated for 2-3 weeks
Peat is a beneficial alternative stall bedding for horses suffering from COPD (heaves).
An early history of either infection or allergen exposure may set up the pattern of respiratory disease for the life of the horse
Vaccination of other horses if initial cases are quickly identified using vaccines containing several viral agents EHV-1 EHV-4
Feed horse with Head-down. Enabling a horse to clear dirt and dust from his nostrils and airways rather than inhaling irritating particulate matter into the lungs.
Shake open the flakes of hay and soak each thoroughly with water for affected horses
Routine prevention to maintain equine health.
New arrivals isolated for 2-3 wks
Avoid overcrowding of horses
Quality of barn air maximized by ventilation to reduce humidity and maintain good air circulation
Proper drainage and sanitation
Maintain cleanliness of barn floor, stalls, water buckets
Avoid dirt paddocks
Effective parasite control program
Don't groom or muck out your horse while he is still in his stable.
Follow the minimal dust rule when traveling. Ensure good ventilation and tie the horse up so that he is still able to lower his head
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