Infectious diseases could be lurking nearby ready to strike your horse down. As horse owners, you need to get the latest updates and find out what your horse is at risk for. Take your research a step further and learn how these diseases are spread and what you can do to prevent them. These top 10 are commonly seen in the equine industry.
1) Equine Influenza: This disease is contagious and can be spread through inhalation of infected nasal or oral drops from another horse. You’ll notice a dry cough, fever, weakness, nasal discharge, and loss of appetite.
2) West Nile Virus: Through the bite of an infected mosquito, this disease can cause fever, impaired vision, instability in the hind limbs, convulsions, and general weakness.
3) Potomac Horse Fever: Suspecting horse owners will notice depression, fever, limited gut sounds, and diarrhea. This disease can be acquired from infected aquatic insects.
4) Rabies: While not as common as seen in other types of animals, your horse is at risk if bitten from an infected fox, dog, raccoon, among others. It will attack the central nervous system.
5) Strangles: This highly contagious disease is a fear among many barn owners. It can be spread through contaminated feed and water buckets, pastures, and stalls. Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw with thick nasal discharge is commonly noticed.
6) Tetanus: From bacteria in the soil, this disease can cause extreme stiffness in the muscles. The bacteria thrives in deep puncture wounds.
7) Equine Herpesvirus: Another contagious disease, it can be passed through nasal discharge and abortion products. It has multiple types and can affect the respiratory system or cause reproductive problems.
8) Lyme Disease: It is contracted from infected ticks. Obvious symptoms of this disease include lameness, joint pain, stiffness, weight loss, and fever.
9) Equine Encephalomyelitis: Mostly acquired from mosquitoes, this disease impacts the nervous system. Proper vaccination can help prevent your horse from getting it.
10) Equine Infectious Anemia: Also known as Swamp Fever, this awful disease is transmitted through bloodsucking insects. Symptoms include weakness, fever, swelling in limbs, and anemia.
Don’t let your guard down. Keep your horse protected by staying informed, following preventive measures, and keeping a close eye on him.