In accordance with current guidance from the AHT, Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine are recommending booster vaccinations for any horses that have not been vaccinated in the last 6 months.

We strongly encourage owners to be extremely vigilant and aware of the clinical signs of flu which include harsh, dry coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy and an increase in temperature (>38.5°c). These clinical signs may be mild and not all horses will present with all of these. If you are concerned please isolate the horse immediately and contact us as soon as possible. We can visit the horse and take a swab and blood sample and send it for testing, free of laboratory charges, to the Animal Health Trust’s equine influenza surveillance scheme which is funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

Equine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the equine influenza virus. The virus is spread from horse to horse via respiratory droplets by direct contact as well as coughing and via indirect contact where appropriate biosecurity is not being followed. The virus relies on this transmission to new horses to survive and one of the most notable features of flu is the very quick spread of clinical signs in groups of horses and its ability to spread large distances in the air. We encourage owners to consider existing biosecurity arrangements in your yard. Horses that have been vaccinated recently should not be travelled/ compete for at least 7 days, as this is when your horses immunity is at its strongest. It is important to note that some vaccinated horses have still tested positive for flu but vaccinations ensure that the symptoms are mild. Our advice is that any horse that has a raised temperature (>38.5°c) has a at least a week’s rest for every day they have a temperature.

Please see the factsheet below for further details.

Attachments:
Download this file (What to do with equine flu.pdf)Equine Flu factsheet[ ]414 kB