Happy Summer, All!
I trust you’re all enjoying time with your horses. I’m in the midst of preparing for an annual Camp held at the USET each summer. The last few years, in the wake of EHV-1 outbreaks, all riders attending have become very aware of Bio-Security issues. The USET venue requires special forms and paperwork. But ALL of us should be aware of basic measures that will help keep our equines safe.
These protocols, actions can help prevent our horses from contracting and/or spreading infectious disease. These diseases can drastically affect our equine industry from closure of farms, shows, exhibitions and/or transport.
It’s important to remember to
· Do NOT share equipment like buckets, feed tubs, brushes.
· Do NOT place hose ends into buckets, do not hand graze your horses when not at home. Wash your hands between horses.
If you are traveling:
· Stay away from places where there’s been a disease outbreak.
· When possible, use your own trailer and avoid shipping horses from other farms. Make sure your trailer is clean and well ventilated.
· For short trips, bring water from home (as possible) in case there’s only a communal trough.
· For longer stays, consider bringing your own hose. But in any case do not dip buckets from a communal trough. Do not let horses drink from the trough. Do not put a communal hose nozzle into your bucket.
· At show grounds: spray or disinfect stalls prior to putting your horse in stall.
· Monitor your horses appetite, feed and water intake and fecal output.
· Take their temperature daily and contact your vet if the temp becomes higher than about 101.5.
· Minimize interactions between your horse and horses from other barns. E.g., no nose to nose contact, no drinking from same bucket as these all increase risk of transmitting disease.
· Try to discourage people walking through show barns from petting your horse/s. Usually a polite sign works well.
· Of course, be sure your horse/s are up to date on vaccinations.
Bio-security measures for your own barn depend on your facility and the equine traffic in and out of your barn.
· Quarantine all new horses
· Maintain accurate health records
· Enhance resistance to infectious disease by providing good nutrition, provide housing with optimal air quality and reduce stress where possible.
Remember the old saw “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Have a good, safe and healthy summer of fun!