The recent equine influenza outbreak has been covered a lot in the media and we know that many owners are concerned. More information will likely become available over the next few days but the most important measures you can take as an owner are:
· maintain strict biosecurity measures (at home and when travelling)
· ensure your horse is up to date with vaccinations
Vaccination cannot always provide complete protection from a disease but it will generally significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms and also reduce the length of time a horse is unwell for.
This influenza outbreak was initially confined to unvaccinated horses with neighbouring vaccinated horses remaining unaffected. More recently, some vaccinated horses have been showing more symptoms than would be expected and so this is being investigated by the relevant authorities.
The best advice at the moment is that all horses should be up to date with flu vaccinations using a Florida Clade 1 serotype vaccine and high risk horses (those that travel and/or mix with other horses) should have an additional booster if they were last vaccinated more than 6 months ago. The vaccines used by Dryfe Vets contain this serotype.
For more information on the subject please visit www.equiflunet.org.uk (website by Animal Health Trust) and if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact the practice.