As horse lovers and owners, our equine companions' health is paramount. In the beautiful environs of Clallam County, Washington, two horses recently tested positive for equine influenza after being bought from a local livestock market. The patients are currently under veterinary care. This development underscores the need for greater awareness and management of equine diseases, notably equine influenza.

Understanding Equine Influenza

According to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC), equine influenza is a respiratory disease known for its contagious nature, affecting horses, ponies, and other equids. The disease spreads via the saliva and respiratory secretions of infected animals. Symptoms often include a high fever, coughing, and nasal discharge. When left untreated, the disease could escalate to severe complications like pneumonia and secondary infections. Easy to see why this disease is a nightmare for any horse owner!

The Significance of Bio-security Protocols in Horse Care

Prevention they say is better than cure and nowhere is this more critical than in managing equine influenza. Practicing good bio-security protocols, such as regular washing of hands and equipment, becomes incredibly vital. It is also essential to isolate new horses for a minimum of 30 days before integrating them into the herd, giving new meaning to the saying "every man for himself".

Avoid Buying Horses from Livestock Markets

Just as you wouldn't buy sushi from a questionable stand, purchasing horses from reputable sources rather than livestock markets could help significantly reduce exposure risks to equine influenza. If you're still learning, you can click here to check out common questions and answers about equine influenza so you can have the best defenses ready.

Keeping the Horse Community Informed

The EDCC Health Watch, an affiliate of the Equine Network marketing program, provided this information on the recent cases in Washington. The EDCC is a nonprofit organization committed to providing accurate, timely information to help prevent and manage disease outbreaks in the equine industry. We need all the helping hands we can get!

Education and Awareness - A Shared Responsibility

We are all stakeholders in the equine industry, and as such, the task of halting equine influenza's spread falls on our shoulders collectively. By working together—prioritizing bio-security, education, and awareness—we can ensure the well-being of our horses and the entire equine industry. After all, a healthy horse is a happy horse, and who doesn't want that?

All referenced links and information are from the reports of the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) and an article originally titled "2 Washington Horses Positive for Influenza".