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Herd Health Management


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Title: Herd Health Management

Herd Health Management
  • Equine Science II

Know Your Equine
  1. The equine should be in good body condition and
    move freely
  2. Normal vital signs may vary from one equine to
  3. Determine normal vital sign when the equine is at

  • Recognize changes
  • Loss of appetite is one of the first warnings
    that something is wrong.
  • Observe changes in the color, texture, amount,
    etc. of manure.
  • Dullness of eyes and coat, a runny nose or a
    persistent cough can all be indications that
    something is wrong.

  • The normal rate an equine breathes while at rest
    is 8-16 breaths per minute.
  • Any kind of distress or activity increases a
    equines respiration rate.
  • When respiration rate exceeds the heart rate, the
    equine has a serious problem. Normally the heart
    beat about four times per breath the equine takes.

  • Respiration rate can be determined without
    special equipment by
  • Counting the number of times the flanks move in
    and out per minute. (Flanks move in and out with
    each breath).

  • Counting the number of times the nostrils flare
    and contract per minute. (the nostrils flare and
    contract with each breath.)
  • Holding the hand in front of the nostrils to feel
    the breaths that the equine takes may also help.

  • The normal temperature range is 99.5-101.5
    degrees F.
  • 102 degrees F is a mild fever, 104 degrees F is
    moderate and 106 degrees F is a high fever
  • The chance for recovery by an equine with a high
    temperature is low.

  • Rest equine with a 102 degree F temperature and
    call a veterinarian when the temperature rises to
    103 degrees.

  • Use a veterinary thermometer to check a equines
  • Always take the equines temperature rectally.
  • Allow three minutes for accurate reading
  • Use the string attached to the thermometer to
    secure and retrieve.
  • Inserting the thermometer full length helps
    prevent breaking

  • Procedure for taking equines temperature
  • Shake the mercury down to the 95-97 degree range.

  • Dip the bulb of the thermometer, bulb first, full
    length into the rectum
  • Fasten the thermometer to the equines tail using
    the clip-on string.
  • Remove after 3 minutes, read and then wash the
    thermometer with soap and cool water
  • Finally, dip the thermometer in a disinfectant
    solution and rinse it again

Heart Rate
  • Normal heart rate varies
  • Adult 28-40 beats per minute
  • Newborn foal 80-120
  • Older foals 60-80
  • Yearlings 40-60

  • Establish the normal rate for the equine by
    checking the rate when the horse is calm, cool,
    and relaxed.
  • The heart rate may have to be checked several
    times to identify a comfortable range for the
    normal rate
  • An ill equine may have a heart rate from 80-120
    beats per minute for long periods

  1. Determine a equines heart rate by counting the
    pulse for 30 seconds and multiplying by 2

  1. Locate an artery at one of the following points
  • Lower jaw
  • The cheek 4 below eye
  • Under the tail close to the body
  • Inside foreleg
  • Inside left elbow
  • Against chest wall
  • Behind the knee
  • Inside or outside of the pastern

  • Press the fingers against an artery and count
    each throb.
  • Use a stethoscope just behind the equines left

Why First Aid
  • The nature of equine makes them accident-prone
    and they are subject to
  • Kicks or bites from other horses, falls and
    injuries sustained by running through or over
    obstructions when frightened

  • Equines are naturally curious and may be injured
    as a result of pawing objects or sticking their
    heads through holes in fences or stall walls.

  • Equines may develop unsoundness from injuries
    because of stress and strain to tendons,
    ligaments, muscles, bones, etc. and are caused
  • Overworking or over exercise from trainers,
    riders, etc.
  • Improper exercise (too little followed by too

  • First aid measure are needed for open wounds so
  • Excessive bleeding which can result in death is
    controlled. (Some controlled bleeding is good
    because it helps flush the wound of contaminated

  • The contaminated wound becomes a clean wound.
  • The wound heals rapidly

  • Other reasons for first aid treatment include
    reducing pain, calming the animal until a
    veterinarian can arrive, and preventing further

Common First Aid Treatments
  1. Abrasions (skin scrapes) are superficial wounds
    caused by falls or tack and are treated by gently
    and thorough washing of the area with lukewarm
    water or a saline solution and when possible
    applying a light bandage.

  • Equine who suffer wounds more serious than
    abrasions or superficial cuts must be treated by
    a veterinarian, but first aid used for all open
    wound should be used until a vet arrives.
  • Move the equine to a quiet area and calm it down.

  1. Hose the wounded area to remove dirt, clay and
    other contaminants. (Excessive pressure may force
    foreign materials deeper into the wound.
  2. Clean the wounded area with either saline
    solution (1 tsp of salt in 1 pint boiled water is
    .84 salt solution) or diluted solution of mild
    skin antiseptic in warm water (1 iodine-based
    washes such as Povidone Iodine or Chorhexidine)

  1. Remove foreign objects from puncture wounds and
    apply a poultice to draw out contaminating
    materials and keep the wound open
  2. Applying firm, direct pressure with a sterile pad
    to the wound and holding it in place to control
    arterial bleeding (spurts our of the wound and is
    bright red). Reconstituted cellulose and
    absorbable gelatin sponges help blood clot and
    may be left in the wound since they are absorbed
    by the body.

  1. Check each hoof for any foreign object lodged in
    the sole or frog, remove the object and observe
    the equine for signs of lameness and rest the

  • First aid treatment for closed wounds, injuries
    or swelling include
  • Application of cold is a common first aid
    treatment because it reduces pain, swelling,
    bleeding and inflammation
  • Cold treatment should not continue past the first
    24-48 hours
  • Apply cold treatment for 20-30 minutes and then
    wait one hour before starting another 30 minute

Bruises and Fractures
  1. Call a veterinarian
  2. If leg fracture is suspected, immobilize the leg
    with a pillow held in place as tightly as
    possible by wrapping bandages tightly around the
    pillow and leg.

Strains and Sprains
  1. Muscle strains/sprains to tendons and ligaments
    may be treated with an alcohol rub or liniment
  2. After the application of liniment, the owner or
    caretaker should wrap the horses legs in rest

Bandages used for wounds, sprains and support
  • Bandages may protect a wound from dirt, decrease
    movement of the wounded or affected area, allow
    faster healing, cover medications, minimize
    swelling and provided support.
  • Bandages consist of padding material and an
    adhesive, elastic or not-elastic wrap

  1. Vet rap is a self-adhering, elastic bandage with
    contouring qualities which can make it useful for
    bandaging difficult areas, pressure bandages and
    ice packs

  • A stable bandage extends from below the knee or
    hock to the fetlock and is used to support the
    lower leg support the leg opposite an injured
    leg or for wounds. Apply a stable bandage by
  • Wrapping padding snugly around the leg from just
    below the joint to below the fetlock and cover
    with wrapping flannel or knit wrap starting near
    the middle of the cannon bone.

  1. Tuck the end of the wrap under the edge of the
    padding, and wrap once around the leg to just
    below the fetlock joint.
  2. The bandage should wrap below the back of the
    joint but rise higher in front, causing an upside
    down V on the front of the joint.

  1. Cold water bandages are used to apply cold
    pressure to cool a warm strained leg. Apply a
    cold-water bandage by applying cold water to the
    leg or soaking padding in ice water and applying
    padding directly to the leg without wringing it

  1. Wrap the padding snugly with a knit leg wrap.
  2. Run cold water over the bandage frequently and do
    not let the bandage dry out

  1. Bandages should be changed when they are no
    longer functional the leg is swollen above or
    below the bandage the equine shows signs of
    pain the bandage slips out of position or the
    bandage becomes dirty.

Hoof Anatomy
  • Parts of a horses foot
  • The hoof wall is a horny substance made of
    parallel fibers protected by a varnish-like
    coating called periople that also holds moisture
    in the hoof.
  • The hoof wall functions to provide a weight
    bearing surface, protect the internal structure
    of the foot and maintain moisture in the foot.

  1. The coronet, or coronary band is an area directly
    above the hoof wall that serves as the source of
    growth for the hoof wall.
  2. The pastern- The part of the horses leg between
    the fetlock and the coronet that affects the
    stride of the horse.

  1. The sole of the foot is a horny substance that
    protects the sensitive inner portions.
  2. The frog is a triangular shaped formation in the
    sole of an equines foot. The frog of a healthy
    hoof must remain elastic as it acts like a shock

  1. The hoof is designed to change shape when weight
    is applied. As weight is applied the sole
    flattens and the hoof expands laterally at the

Growth of the Hoof
  • The growth rate of the hoof is about 3/8 per
    month depending on exercise and general health of
    the equine.
  • Hind hooves grow faster than front hooves because
    they have less weight to rise.

  • Unshod hooves grow faster than shod because the
    nails and shoe of a shod hoof limits movement.
  • The hooves of mares and geldings grow faster than
    stallions because they get more exercise than

  1. The hoof grows at a 45-55 degree angle with the

Important Points in Foot Care
  • Foot care is often neglected as a horse
    management practice. Foot care includes
  • Routine cleaning with a pick. Pick from the heel
    to the toe of the foot to prevent injury.
  • Trimming the hooves every 4-6 weeks so they
    retain proper shape and length.

  1. Correcting minor imperfections by trimming such
    as splayfoot, toed in and toed out.
  2. Treatment of foot diseases and injuries. Thrush
    is a bacterial infection that penetrates the
    frog, making it soft and mushy. Thrush is related
    to lack of cleaning. Wet conditions cause rapid
    drying out of the horses foot.

Reasons for Shoeing
  1. Protect the hooves from excessive wear.
  2. Provide better traction.
  3. Help correct defects of stance or gait such as
  4. Help cure diseased or defected hooves such as
    inflamed tendons.

  1. Shoes can provide relief from the pain of injured
    parts such as bruised soles and hoof wall cracks.

  1. Shoes do not make walking easier shoes do not
    improve agility shoes do increase shock and road
    concussion and nail holes made in attaching shoes
    weaken the hoof wall, may cause separation and
    may provide entry for infection

  1. A proper fitting shoe should follow closely the
    outline of the trimmed hoof at the toe and around
    the wall to the bend of the quarter. Then it
    should widen gradually until it extends laterally
    1/8 beyond the hoof wall at the heel. This
    provides support for the expanded hoof when the
    horse places weight on the shod foot.

  1. The branch of a properly fitted shoe should not
    project beyond the upper part of the hoof at the
  2. The last nail should be placed on the widest part
    of the hoof. Placing the nail too far to the rear
    hinders the lateral expansion of the foot at the

Common Dental Problems
  1. A common problem is painful sores in the equines
    mouth as a result of sharp edges of hooks on the
    molars caused when the equines molars do not
    meet evenly.
  2. Wolf teeth (one to four small teeth that may
    develop in front of the molars) can cause bit

  1. Canine teeth on older equine can get too long,
    hit the opposite gum and cause sores.

  1. Temporary teeth (caps) that fail to fall out may
    stick to the equines gums while the permanent
    teeth are coming in and can make chewing

  • Parrot mouth is a common problem that results
    when the lower jaw is too short and affects the
    equines ability to graze.

  • Chipped or broken incisors may result from the
    bad habit of cribbing.
  • Cribbing a bad habit of equines living in stalls
    that results from boredom.
  • Cribbing occurs when an equine grabs objects with
    their teeth, arch their necks and swallow air.

Recognizing Dental Problems
  • Observe the equine while it is eating to learn if
    it has problems chewing. Signs are
  • The equine moves food around it its mouth a lot
    prior to swallowing and food falls from the
    horses mouth as it eats.

  • The equine refuses to eat

  • Make an examination of the equine's mouth by
  • Grasping the equines lower jaw with one hand to
    open the mouth.
  • At the same time use the other hand to pull and
    hold the equines tongue to the side of the mouth
    so that visual inspection can be made.

Correcting Dental Problems
  1. A veterinarian uses a special rasp called a float
    to file and remove sharp edges from an equines
  2. A veterinarian can pull wolf teeth.

  • Equine with parrot mouth should not be bred since
    parrot mouth is an inherited defect.
  • Equine may be prevented from cribbing by placing
  • Cribbing strap around the equines throatlatch.
  • The strap presses on the equines trachea when it
    arches its neck.

Internal Parasites
  • An internal parasite lives at least part of its
    life cycle inside the host.
  • There are more than 150 types of internal
    parasites that can infect equine.

  • No individual equine is ever completely free of
    internal parasites but relatively few internal
    parasites cause serious damage to the equine.
  • Most internal parasites live in the digestive
    tract, lungs, bloodstream or body cavity of the

  • The extent of injury from internal parasites
    depends on
  • The kind of parasite.
  • The number of parasites involved, and
  • The length of time the parasite lives in the host.

  • The general life cycle of internal parasites
    includes five stages

  • Stage 1- Eggs from the internal parasite pass out
    of the equine in the feces and is deposited on
    the pasture.
  • Stage 2- Eggs hatch on the pasture and become
    infective larvae.
  • Stage 3- The equine ingest the larvae on the
    grass stem.

  • Stage 4- The immature parasites migrate through
    the equines tissues.
  • Stage 5- The mature parasites live in the
    digestive tract and lay eggs.

  • The MOST abundant and harmful internal parasites
    affecting equine are

  • Large strongyles (bloodworms) pose the most
    serious threat to the equines health out of all
    internal parasites.
  • Migrate within artery walls from the digestive
    tract toward the heart.
  • May cause damage to arteries so the equine bleeds
    internally and dies.

  • Small strongyles spend their entire life cycle in
    the intestinal walls.
  • Cause ulcerations in the intestinal walls that
    may interfere with digestion.
  • They do not attach to the lining of the intestine
    and they do not suck blood.

  • Ascarids (large roundworms) are the largest
    parasite that infect equine.
  • May grow to 15 long and be the size of a pencil.
  • Affect young equine less than two years of age.

  • May damage the heart, liver, lungs, and cause
    lockage of the small intestine resulting in colic
    or death should the intestine rupture.

  • Pinworms are more of a nuisance causing digestive
    problems but resulting in little damage.

  • Bots are flies that lay eggs on various parts of
    the equine.
  • Eggs hatch into larvae and are ingested by the
    equine when the equine licks the area where eggs
    are laid.
  • Other eggs hatch and larvae crawl into the mouth,
    from the nostrils and lips where they mature in
    the gums and membranes of the inner lips.

  • When horsemen refer to bots, they usually mean
    the mature larvae that attach to the lining of
    the stomach.
  • Bots cause stomach problems and can block the
    entrance to the small intestine causing the
    stomach to rupture.

  • Management practices and treatment include
  • Proper manure disposal which includes
  • Timely removal on a weekly basis
  • Composting prior to spreading on pasture grazed
    by animals other than equine or spread on
    cropland or ungrazed areas.

  • Proper pasture management that includes
  • The use of temporary pastures where possible.
  • Frequent mowing and grain harrowing.
  • Rotational grazing when possible.
  • Separate pasture for young and old equine.
  • Avoiding overstocking.

  • Never feed equine from the ground. Always use
    troughs and mangers.

  • Regular use of dewormer under the supervision of
    a veterinarian.
  • Ivermectin, a form of avermectin, controls al
    common internal parasites.
  • Dewormers may be administered easily with little
    chance of injury by a paste.

  • The most effective way to administer a dewormer
    is by a stomach tube but usually a veterinarian
    is required for that procedure.
  • Feed additives are effective as long as the
    equine will eat the materials.

External Parasites
  • External parasites annoy equine and may infect
    equine with deadly diseases.
  • External parasites may leave a equine weak, lower
    feed efficiency and produce raw sores.

  • Some common external parasites that attach equine
  • Ticks can cause damage and transmit disease such
    as African equine fever.

  • Lice are most often found on neglected equine.
  • Two types of lice live on equine The biting
    louse and the sucking louse.
  • Lice spread quickly from equine to equine.

  • Mites cause the condition mange or scabies in
  • Mange is very contagious
  • Separate equine with mange from healthy equine
    and use different grooming equipment

  • Gnats are bloodsuckers and cause extreme itching
    after they bite.
  • Mosquitoes carry viruses and bacteria which cause
    diseases such as equine infectious anemia
    (sleeping sickness).

  • Flies are annoying to equine and carry stomach
    worms from equine to equine.
  • Female screworm flies lay eggs in fresh wounds on
    animals that hatch into larva that feed on the
    tissue resulting in large sores.

  • Management practices and treatment for external
    parasites include
  • Regular removal of manure, dirty stall bedding
    and materials which encourage the breeding of
  • Maintaining fresh water supplies to discourage
    breeding by external parasites.

  • Use chemicals according to label instructions as
    repellants and control methods.
  • Use regular insecticide application on infected
    animals according to label instructions.

  • Use biological controls such as predator wasp to
    reduce the need for chemical controls.
  • Use mechanical controls such as a face mask made
    from scrap leather or commercial vinyl masks to
    keep face flies away.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA)
  1. A viral diseases that affects the equines immune
    system resulting in recurrent fever, weight loss
    and anemia.
  2. Once an equine is infects, it remains infected
    for the rest of its life.

  • Chronically infected equine may go for years
    without showing signs of anemia only to have the
    sign recur when stress, environmental conditions
    or other disease affects the equine.

  1. Horseflies and deerflies are the major natural
    transmitters of the virus from one equine to
  2. Detection- A blood test called the Coggins test
    is used to detect the presence of EIA.

  1. Equine must have a negative Coggins test before
    they can compete or be placed in events in North
  2. Prevention involves isolation from equine that
    are not infected and protection from biting,
    flying insects.

  • Treatment
  • There is no effective treatment or vaccination
    for the disease
  • In some cases, equine with EIA are required to be

Equine Influenza
  • There are two common features of this viral
  • Extremely rapid spread of infection
  • Frequent, dry cough

  • Equine with influenza have an elevated
    temperature of 102.5-105 degrees F which persist
    up to 5 days
  • The death rate from influenza is very low

  1. The virus is spread to other equine when the
    equine exhales or coughs and may be carried by
    handlers on equipment that have been in contact
    with an infected equine.

  • Prevention
  • Use two intramuscular injections of influenza
    vaccine scheduled 2-4 weeks apart followed by a
    booster shot at 3-4 month intervals for horses at
  • Isolation of infected equine and screening
    animals prior to transportation will reduce the
    spread of the disease.

  • Treatment
  • One week of stall rest is recommended for each
    day the equine has an elevated temperature due to
  • Maintain a dust free environment during the
    illness and recovery by wetting hay and providing
    clean bedding.

Equine Rhinopneumonitis
  1. This is a respiratory disease caused by EHV
  2. The infection is accompanied by a gold colored
    nasal discharge among foals.

  • The virus associated with this disease also may
    cause abortions in pregnant mares and occasional
  • Equine may develop a temperature of 102-106
    degrees F which lasts for 12-48 hours.

  1. Equine become infected when they inhale the virus
    exhaled by sick or even apparently healthy equine
    that are infected.

  • Prevention requires a combination of
  • Sensible management practices
  • Mares should be isolated and separated from other
  • Thorough cleaning and sanitation in the event of
    dead or aborted fetus

  • Vaccination
  • Vaccinate pregnant mares in the 5th 7th and 9th
    month of pregnancy.
  • Young equine should receive two injections
    followed by a booster according to manufacturers

  1. Treatment is limited as there is not specific
    anti-viral therapy available.

  1. A highly contagious bacterial infection most
    commonly found in young equine from one to five
    years of age.
  2. Early signs of strangles include fever,
    depression and loss of appetite due to difficulty
    with swallowing.

  1. As strangles progresses, the lower jaw and
    throatlatch region may become hot, swollen and
    painful with abscesses forming and rupturing onto
    the skin.
  2. Pus from ruptured abscesses may contaminate water
    buckets and communal feeders for months.

  1. When strangles develop and abscesses from on
    internal organs, mortality may be as high as 10.

  • Prevention and treatment are used in conjunction.
  • Treat ruptured abscesses with a mild antiseptic
    solution to hasten healing

  • Administer Procaine penicillin G as an antibiotic
    treatment until clinical signs no longer exist
    for five days.
  • Isolate affected animals from all other equine
  • Vaccinate with 2 or 3 injections one month apart
    and apply a booster annually.

Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)
  1. EVA is a viral infection that causes respiratory
    illness with nasal and ocular discharges,
    swelling (stocking up) of the hind limbs and
    other areas of the body and sometimes abortion.
  2. EVA may be passed by respiratory transmission
    when equine come in close contact.

  • Equine invariable make uneventful clinical
    recoveries even without treatment
  • Perhaps EVA is most pronounced as a breeding
    disease through the venereal spread of the
    disease by acutely affected stallions.
  • Viral persistence in the stallion can range from
    several weeks to the entire lifetime of the
  • Mares can be infected either at time of natural
    breeding or artificial breeding.

  • Prevention
  • Immunize the breeding stallion population with
    MLV vaccine.
  • Immunize all mares if they are inseminated with
    EVA positive semen.

  • Treatment
  • There is no specific anti-viral treatment for
    equine with EVA
  • Infected stallions should receive forced rest if
    they show symptoms of the disease.

Eastern, Western and Venzuelan Equine
Encephalomyelitis (EEE, WEE, and VEE)
  1. EEE, WEE, and VEE are viral infections that
    result in the inflammation of the brain.

  • The viral infections are spread by insect
  • The virus may live in reservoir hosts such as
    birds and rodents for long periods of time
    without harming the host.

  • The virus is transmitted and spread by mosquitoes
    (vectors) to equine and humans.
  • The viral infection is not transmitted between
    equine and humans.

  • The disease has high mortality rates
  • EEE is 75-100
  • WEE is 20-50
  • VEE is 40-80

  1. Complete recovery is rare with equine frequently
    continuing to exhibit clumsiness, depression and
    abnormal behavior.
  2. Signs of EEE, WEE, and VEE include aggression,
    propulsive walking, excitability, and a number of
    things that indicate the equine is confused.

  • Prevention focuses on mosquito control.
  • Use insecticides and repellants when possible and
  • Eliminate standing water
  • Screen stalls, use fans to move air, and limit
    the use of incandescent lights in stall areas

  • Brings equine inside prior to dusk
  • Vaccinate with 3 injections at 3, 4, and 6 months
    of age and give a booster at the beginning of
    insect season

  • Treatment
  • There is not specific treatment available

Equine Colic
  1. Colic is the behavioral signs of abdominal pain
    in equine characterized by various activities
    including, but not limited to tail twitching
    head tossing kicking toward the belly with one
    of the hind limbs pawing the ground grinding
    the cheek teeth and frequent attempts to lie down
    and roll on the back, etc.

  • True colic is due to intestinal obstruction or
    disease which causes pain
  • 95 of all colic cases are from two causes
  • Spasmodic causes where their is intestinal spasm
    caused by numerous things such as stress,
    anxiety, diet change, parasite damage, dewormers,
  • Large intestinal impaction (constipation) caused
    most often by improper diet and exercise (Human
    management is often culprit)

  • Prevention
  • Use a parasite management program to avoid
  • Careful rotation of pasture helps reduce levels
    of parasites
  • Avoid overstocking pastures
  • Use Ivermectin as a deworming compound
  • Pay attention to the equines diet

  • Treatment
  • Place the equine in a safe environment
  • Treat with analgesia for pain relief
  • Treat with mineral oil as a laxative

  • Remove feed until the equine has improved and
    then reintroduce feed gradually
  • Do not allow the equine to eat too much hay or
    roughage (lightly grazing the pasture is

  1. Characterized by the hoof collapsing as a result
    of laminitis (inflammation of the supporting
    tissue between the hoof wall and pedal bone)
  2. Causes lameness in the horse and if left
    unchecked can cause permanent lameness or even
    require euthanization.

  1. The leading cause of founder is gastrointestinal
    disturbance from any number of factors such as
    colic, grain overload, lush grass, excessive cold
    water, etc.
  2. Other factors that cause founder are exhaustion,
    excessive concussion (road founder) contact with
    black walnut shavings, etc.

  • Prevention
  • Control diet
  • Avoid overworking the equine

  • Treatment
  • Identify cause and direct treatment toward
    alleviating the problem
  • Increase blood flow to the laminae through the
    use of drugs and IV fluids
  • Use aspirin or heparin to thin blood

  • Use anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs
    (Ketaproten) to reduce laminar swelling
  • Pack the frog and sole to increase support
  • Use specialized shoes to relieve pressure to the
    hoof area.

Tetanus (Lockjaw)
  1. Caused by a neurotoxin that allows uncontrolled
    muscle contraction and muscle spasms
  2. Affected horses most often have sustained a wound
    from 2 days to a month prior to the onset of
    tetanus however, tetanus bacteria also live in
    the equines digestive tract

  • Tetanus has become less common due to
    vaccination, but is still highly fatal
  • Equine usually die from suffocation, cardiac
    arrest or starvation since their muscular system
    does not function

  • Prevention
  • Vaccination with two doses of toxoid vaccine
    given one month apart followed by a booster shot
  • Equine that are injured should receive the toxoid
    booster if there is no record of prior shots

  • Treatment
  • Administer penicilln
  • Aggressively clean the wound
  • Administer tetanus anitoxin
  • Use tranquilizers and muscle relaxes to relieve
    spasms and muscle pain
  • Provide IV fluids and nutritional support

Potamac Horse Fever (PHF)
  1. PHF is a disease which in its extreme form
    results in profuse, watery diarrhea, fever, shock
    and laminitis
  2. The occurrence of PHF disease is consistently
    within 5 miles of a river

  • PHF is caused by an organism that can survive
    within living cells and must be transmitted
    through blood cells by insects such as ticks
  • Equine with PHF are not considered contagious to
    other equine

  • Prevention
  • Vaccinate with two injections one month apart
  • Give a booster injection annually in May or June

  • Treatment
  • A veterinarian should use tetracycline
    (anti-microbial drug) for 4-5 days
  • IV fluids, frog pads, sole support, and
    anti-inflammatory drugs also help

Borreliosis (Lyme Disease)
  1. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted
    primarily by certain ticks
  2. Rare among equine and only a problem where Lyme
    disease is found among human populations
  3. Arthritis is the most commonly reported sign of
    Lyme disease in equine

  • Prevention
  • Careful grooming to remove ticks
  • Avoiding tick-infested areas

  • Treatment
  • Use antibiotics such as tetracycline and
  • Prolonged treatment of 10-30 days usual

West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • Viral infection that can cause inflammation of
    the brain and often mimics EEE in equine
  • First introduced in western hemisphere in 1999
  • Equine are more often affected by WNV than any
    other domesticated animal

  • WNV is spread by mosquitoes when they bite an
    infected bird and then bite a human or an equine
  • Equine are not contagious and do not pose a
    health risk to other animals or humans
  • About 30 of horses who show clinical signs
    either die or have to be euthanized

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  1. Clinical sign of WNV may include circling,
    aimless wandering, head pressing, impaired
    vision, hyper excitability, etc.

  • Prevention
  • See mosquito and control techniques listed for
    EEE, WEE and VEE
  • A veterinarian should vaccinate with protocol
    and follow with a booster injection three weeks
  • Treatment is still developing

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