As most of you are now probably aware, there have been several cases of Equine Flu across the UK, throughout January & February 2019. Which has resulted in all races being cancelled and owners, yards and show organisers urged to be extra vigilant.
What seems to be most alarming about this recent outbreak, is that even vaccinated horses have been affected and owners urged to check passport and get boosters for their horses if they have not been immunised in the last 6 months. See BEF Guidance here
This strain is the Florida Clade 1 and both ProteqFlu and Equilis Prequenza vaccinations cover the FC1 Strain. So check your passports.
Equine Flu much like the Human Virus is constantly changing and adapting, which is why it can be so problematic. It spreads very quickly between unprotected horses and the virus can travel long distances in the air from coughing. People can all spread it on their hands, clothes or equipment.
A a horse transporter working across the UK. Protecting horses from infectious diseases like Equine Flu, Equine Herpes or Strangles has always been top priority for us. Especially as these are often contracted through contact, and can be airborne.
We have high standards of infection control and our horse boxes are cleaned thoroughly to minimise risk of contamination at all times.
For extra control measures during this time we will NOT be offering any shared loads unless from the same yard.
We will also refuse any transport if your horse is displaying any symptoms. (Please see below)
Again we ask to you be super vigilant as your horse’s welfare and health is top priority.
SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR ARE:
- A very high temperature of 39-41C (103-106F) which lasts for one to three days
- A frequent harsh, dry cough that can last for several weeks
- A clear, watery nasal discharge that may become thick and yellow or green
- Enlarged glands under the lower jaw
- Clear discharge from the eyes and redness around eyes
- Depression and loss of appetite
- Filling of the lower limbs
If you suspect your horse has equine influenza, you should contact your vet immediately.
As always if you are concerned you should follow strict hygiene and isolation procedures.
If you would like more advice you can see the BEF biohazard guidelines here