It’s been in the headlines lately- the coronavirus! People across the world are being infected by this nasty virus. Animals, such as horses and dogs, are even at risk. Surprisingly, equine coronavirus has been around for a few years now. Make sure you know how this virus operates!

The Equine Disease Control Center in the United States has said the frequency rate is low. It’s important to know there has not been any cases of these diseases being transmitted from livestock to humans.

How It Spreads

Equine coronavirus spreads through the manure of an infected horse. It’s either ingested directly from the field or through a contaminated object.

Not all infected horses will show clinical signs, but they can still shed the virus in their manure. On average, the infected horse can spread equine coronavirus for 3 to 25 days. A typical outbreak lasts roughly three weeks.

Symptoms of Equine Coronavirus

The virus is not usually life threatening to horses, rather presents itself as a mild infection. Several laboratories in the United States can test for the virus. Watch your horse for the following:

  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Colic
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Low white blood cell count

In complicated cases, your horse may experience dehydration, protein loss, and neurologic signs.

Treatment is based on your horse’s symptoms. Make sure to contact your vet immediately!

Prevention of Equine Coronavirus

Proper safety measures should be set in place to avoid an outbreak in your barn. All new horses should be isolated for 30 days. Furthermore, sick horses should be removed from the herd. When caring for a sick horse, make sure to use disinfectants. Unfortunately, a vaccine doesn’t exist for equine coronavirus.

Researchers are busy studying this disease. It appears the best approach is prevention though!

Don’t forget to check out ‘Top 5 Horse Diseases That Can Kill‘.