The State Veterinarian has announced that several horses returning from out-of-state events have been sickened by equine influenza virus (EIV) in Tennessee.
Equine influenza is highly contagious, and the virus is spread by contaminated stable equipment and infected, coughing horses. Symptoms in horses may include fever, nasal discharge, cough, loss of appetite, and weakness. Sick horses cannot directly infect people with EIV.
“With EIV, it is much easier for horse owners to take preventive measures than to provide treatment,” Interim State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Balthaser said. “Maintaining hygiene procedures with stable equipment and vaccinating your horses is a great start for prevention efforts. Your veterinarian can help you decide the best vaccination plan for your horse.”
Other tips include:
· Isolate newly introduced horses or horses returning from events for two weeks.
· For events or stables, restrict entry to healthy horses only.
· Don’t share equipment or supplies between horses, especially if one spikes a fever, has nasal discharge, or is coughing.
The C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory now offers a full line of equine disease testing, including WNV, equine infectious anemia (EIA), equine herpes virus (EHV), equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and equine influenza virus (EIV). Contact your veterinarian for more information.