Just like humans, horses can use a boost to their immune systems. Merck Animal Health shared some tips on how you can take care your horse and prepare for the upcoming fall and winter season:
- Consistent Veterinary care - a minimum of an annual physical and dental exam that includes vaccinations and a deworming evaluation.
- Up-to-date vaccinations especially in the Fall for mosquito born viruses like Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis and West Nile Virus. Other vaccinations like equine influenza virus (EIV) and equine herpesvirus (EHV) should also be discussed with a veterinarian.
- When needed deworm, Fall is prime-time for parasite transmission.
- Provide good nutrition and exercise regularly.
- Reduce stress for horses especially for those that travel.
- In addition, add biosecurity as a year-round consideration:
- Minimize nose-to-nose contact with other horses.
- Don’t share items, including lead lines, halters, water buckets or tubes of oral medications.
- Monitor your horse’s temperature daily so you’ll know what’s “normal”. Deviations from normal might signify an infectious illness.
- Contact your veterinarian, if you note a rise in temperature.
- Regularly clean your tack, equipment, and stalls
- .Practice good hand hygiene. (Hand sanitizers work well in the absence of soap and water.)
When you’re at home:
- Separate and monitor horses after returning home (two weeks is a good rule of thumb).
- Isolate new horses, and monitor them daily for fever and signs of infectious disease.
- Include all horses in your vaccination program. A single unprotected horse in a herd can serve as a reservoir of infection to others.
- Practice good hygiene and cleanliness.
Like people, horses need to be nurtured to flourish.
For full article: Fall Health Tune-Up - Strengthening Your Horse’s Immune System
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