Risk Factors for Equine Infectious Disease Highlighted by Horse Health Week

Horse Health Week is back on 25th March and the brand behind the campaign, Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy (KBHH), wants horse owners to know the risks when it comes to equine infectious disease.

Vicki Farr, equine veterinary advisor at MSD Animal Health, says the results of 2017’s horse owner survey, which was a collaboration with Horse & Hound, showed many respondents were unaware of risk factors that expose horses to infectious disease.

“36 percent of owners choose not to vaccinate because their horse doesn’t leave the yard or meet other horses,” she explains. “But the flu virus can travel up to 5km in favourable conditions. So, even if a horse lives alone and doesn’t meet other horses or people, he’s still at potential risk of infection.

“Likewise, the bacteria which causes tetanus is found in the soil, so a horse doesn’t need to leave his field to be at risk of the disease.”

During Horse Health Week, there will be a daily quiz for horse owners to keep KBHH’s mascot, Buzz, happy and healthy with KBHH saddlecloths as prizes.

Horse Health Week returns at a crucial time due to the recent equine influenza outbreak. “The recent flu outbreak serves as a timely reminder that unvaccinated horses are at risk of serious disease and that immunity doesn’t last a lifetime. Owners should ensure their horses’ vaccinations are up to date,” concludes Ms Farr.

Learn more and join in with Horse Health Week during 25th to 29th March 2019 by following KBHH on Facebook and Twitter and by using the hashtag, #HHWKnowYourRisk.