I’ve had a few enquiries from clients
regarding the Equine Influenza (Flu) outbreak and I appreciate that, over the
course of my work, I visit quite a few yards during any given week, which may
be cause for concern for some people. Obviously, each person has their own
concept of risk – I have had requests to cancel lessons whereas others are
happy to proceed with caution.
Let’s start with the fact that Equine
Flu is endemic in the UK, which is one of the reasons we vaccinate against it.
If your horse is not vaccinated, it is at a much higher risk of contracting and
dying from the disease and also transferring it to others. Horses that have
been vaccinated can still catch it, but the symptoms are likely to be less
severe. Veterinary advice is also to revaccinate your horse if it hasn’t been
done in the last six months. This is especially important if your horse is 4 years old or
younger. Vet advice also suggests that a horse is likely at the very least to
have a raised temperature (above 38.5°C), but also may be coughing, have a
snotty nose, loss of appetite and lethargy. Obviously, contact your vet if your
horse is showing any of these symptoms.
WHAT I WILL BE DOING:
- Ensuring my own ponies are
protected against the disease. Depending on the duration of the outbreak, this
may affect people planning to visit my yard with their horses. This will be
discussed on a case-by-case basis.
- Checking that client
horses are vaccinated and that the yard has no horses showing flu symptoms.
- Disinfecting clothing and footwear
prior to each separate yard visit and using hand gel before and after each
- Where possible, having minimal
physical contact with client horses.
WHAT I EXPECT FROM MY CLIENTS:
- Notify me if any horses at your
yard are showing symptoms of flu or if your own horse is unvaccinated.
- Consider whether travelling your
horse to another location is essential during this time.
- Ask me if you want me to show you
how to take your horse’s temperature - I have posted a video on my Facebook
page to show you if you have never done it before https://www.facebook.com/nellcandelaria/videos/421239545300383/
Some may consider these actions
excessive, however, from my perspective, the sooner the disease is contained,
the sooner we can recommence usual activities.