Top 5 Ways to Protect your Horse from Disease in a Horse Camp

We are forever grateful to know many people that know so much about our equine friends.

Here, Dr. Brooke D. Martin, DVM, share her secrets for keeping your horse healthy when traveling with other people and animals. Have your own tips to share? Leave them in the comments! Thanks, Dr. Martin!

  1. Proper Immunization:  Keeping your horse current on vaccinations is number one in my book, because respiratory disease is the most common disease your horse may contract when placed in an environment where there is close contact with other new horses.  Vaccinations are very effective when given appropriately.
  2. Wash your hands!  Yes, you.  Your hands potentially spread communicable disease from horse to horse. Simply wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Don’t share community water sources if at all possible.  Use your own water bucket or trough if you can.  Most diseases are spread via oral and nasal secretions which can contaminate a community water trough very quickly.
  4. Monitor your horse’s vital signs and attitude:  If your horse demonstrates lethargy or loss of appetite check its rectal temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate.
    1. Normal rectal temperature – 99.0-101.5 F
    2. Normal heart rate – 36-44 beats per minute
    3. Normal respiratory rate –  8-12 breaths per minute
  5. Avoid sharing tack and grooming equipment: Things such as ectoparasites (lice, mites, etc.) and fungal dermatitis can be spread via brushes, combs, or saddle pads.  Upper respiratory disease and diseases such as vesicular stomatitis could be spread by sharing bits.
– Brooke D. Martin, DVM
Associate Veterinarian – Strain Equine Services. Like them on Facebook here.
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