Equine influenza is one of the most common infectious diseases of the respiratory tract. It does not constantly circulate among horses but rather is introduced sporadically by one infected horse. Some of the most important factors to keep in mind that can increase risk for this infection include, but are not limited to - age and constant contact with large amounts of horses.
Horses ages 1 to 5 are more susceptible. Older horses are usually less susceptible to infection but that can change in horses that are frequently exposed at shows or other athletic events.
To avoid entry of the virus into an equine population, it is recommended to quarantine any newly arriving horse for at least 14 days. All horses should be vaccinated against equine influenza, unless they live in a closed, isolated facility.
Symptoms to look for:
- Nasal discharge
- Distal limb edema may occur
- Cardiac myopathy has also been reported in affected animals
If you suspect your horse has been infected, please contact your veterinarian.