Stables

Common Sicknesses In Horses

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There are quite a few sicknesses in horses. I am going to list them by the name and then give you how it is transmitted, then the Symptoms, then How Contagious it is, and Treatment. If you are anything like me I want to know those 4 things. No story in between just the basic information, so here it is

Tetanus “Lock Jaw”

How it is Transmitted:

  • It is caused by Clostridium Tetani. It is transmitted by an open wound, mares reproductive tract, and the umbilical cord of a foal. 

Symptoms:

  • Colic, Spasms, Sweating, Muscle Stiffness, and hard for your horse to open its mouth.

Contagious Level:

  • Exposure to Tetanus is higher in bad living conditions.

Treatment:

  • Sedatives are given to help with muscle spasms, they are also given antibiotics to kill the Clostridium. A Tetanus Antitoxin is also given to bind and neutralize the Tetanus.

 

West Nile Virus

How it is Transmitted:

  • Mosquitos that pick up the virus from birds and rodents and transmit it to horses when they bite them. The chance that your horse will contract the virus is higher in areas with more mosquitos.

Symptoms:

  • Fever, Rear Leg Weakness, Paralysis, Wandering, Seizures, Blindness, and Coma.

Contagious Level:

  • Horses can not pass the virus on so it can not be transmitted horse to horse.

Treatment:

  • There isn’t a specific treatment for this virus. Vets usually give anti-inflammatory and intervenous fluids.

 

Influenza “Horse Flu”

How it is Transmitted:

  • It is spread with direct interaction with another horse that has Influenza.

Symptoms:

  • Influenza will show up 3-5 days later and present in a high fever, coughing, discharge out of their nose, and swelling of their lymph nodes. This is a sickness that is more common in horses that are moved around and around new horses all the time. Influenza is very contagious.

Contagious Level:

  • Influenza is very contagious.

Treatment:

  • No specific treatment is known. You need to separate the sick horse from the healthy horses and administer anti-inflammatories for the fever and encourage drinking of water.

 

Potomac Horse Fever

How it is Transmitted:

  • The disease is carried by Water Snails and then released by the Water Snails into the water and grass that the horses ingest. So, horses that are by bodies of water are more likely to get Potomac Horse Fever.

Symptoms:

  • Diarrhea, Colic, Laminitis, Edema, and Fever.

Contagious Level:

  • It is not contagious from horse to horse.

Treatment:

  • Your horse will be given an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory to help. To help with Laminitis you can ice your horse’s feet.

 

EHV- 1, 4-Rhinopneumonitis

How it is Transmitted:

  • It is transmitted by direct and indirect (buckets, brushes, blankets, etc.) that have come in contact with a horse that has the disease. Horses that get moved around a lot are more susceptible to this sickness.

Symptoms:

  • Fever, Coughing, Depression, Nasal Discharge, and Inappetence.

Contagious Level:

  • It is very contagious

Treatment:

  • There is no specific treatment for this disease. If caught early enough antiviral drugs can be given to help with the prevention of neurological damage. I.V. fluids can be given to prevent dehydration and anti-inflammatory can be given to help with the fever.

 

Rabies

How it is Transmitted:

  • This disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal.

Symptoms:

  • Disorientation, Running Aimlessly, Increased production of Saliva.

Contagious Level:

  • This has a moderate contagious level.

Treatment:

  • There is no treatment for Rabies.

 

Encephalitis “Sleeping Sickness”

How it is Transmitted:

  • A mosquito that bites an infected horse bites then bites an uninfected horse will then make that horse infected.

Symptoms:

  • Depression, Moderate-high fever, Seizures, Paralysis of the face, and Behavioral Changes.

Contagious Level:

  • This cannot be transmitted from horse to horse.

Treatment:

  • There isn’t a specific treatment for this disease, but you can focus on preventative measures.

 

Strangles

How it is Transmitted:

  • This is transmitted by the contact of the pus or nasal discharge of an infected horse. This can be from bedding, water troughs, buckets, etc.

Symptoms:

  • Nasal Discharge, Pus, Fever, Swollen Lymph Nodes, Fast Breathing, and Weakness.

Contagious Level:

  • This is very contagious and very important to seclude contaminated horses away from healthy horses.

Treatment:

  • There is only supportive treatment like anti-inflammatory for fever, and draining of abscesses.

 

Cushing’s Disease

How it is Transmitted:

  • It is caused by a tumor that causes overproduction of a hormone called cortisol. It is more common is older horses and in ponies.

Symptoms:

  • Your horse will drink a lot of water, eat a lot of food, lose weight even though they are eating a lot, frequent urination, they will show signs of laminitis.

Contagious Level:

  • Cushing’s Disease is not passed from horse to horse.

Treatment:

  • You can have surgery done, and give your horse medication, and have a farrier look at your horse’s feet.

 

Equine Infectious Anemia

How it is Transmitted:

  • This is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes, horse flies, etc.

Symptoms:

  • Fever, Sweating, Weight loss very quickly, anemia, swelling of legs, and even death.

Contagious Level:

  • This is very contagious.

Treatment:

  • There is no cure for Equine Infectious Anemia. Your horse will remain contagious for the rest of it’s life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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