Well, Australia is looking a little glum of late, with 'Equine Flu' hitting the headlines.
Has anyone here in the forum had experience with it, in particular do you vaccinate?
I *assume* it's a little like the 'flu vaccination for people, in that an inactive/dead virus is administered, to trigger the body's immune system (?). Cynicism about missing the flu and ending up with a cold aside - do you immunise your horse and why/not?
At present we're in lockdown and I'm planning on adding a nice solid multi vit/mineral to the ration and had hoped that this would suffice (along with good animal husbandry generally) as a preventitive.
Insurance company doesn't require any vaccinations for my policy to remain valid.
Will be checking with the vet over the weekend as there's no word of urgent vaccination requirements and our barn hasn't notified me that an immunisation is required.
Last edited on Thu Sep 6th, 2007 12:30 pm by Kallisti
The vaccine is not available in Oz and as I understand it, there won't be any (legal) imports at this point in time, since the government/DPI is trying to eradicate the virus...
I've lived in Europe for most of my life. We did not vaccinate our horses against influenza and never had any troubles, mainly 'cos we didn't show/compete (well - we did, but only in events organised at our barn).
Had we competed on a regular basis, we certainly would have vaccinated. Infact, for a lot of events you had/have to show proof of vaccination in order to be able to participate.
When I asked the vet here in Oz for a 'proof of vaccination', he gave me a blank stare.
If EI can't be eradicated here, people will have to really change their attitude fast!
But lets hope it won't come to that...
Keeping my fingers crossed and my horsies on the property...
PS: EI is highly contagious, so if a horse at your barn gets it, chances are your vitamins won't prevent an infection.... (but might help your horse to pull through easier)
Had a great chat with my barn owner last night - I'm pleased to say that they're acting in what I consider a very responsible manner, looking beyond short-term financial gain.
Here in VIC the lockdown has been lifted as I understand it, for agistment barns (the government cannot enforce it for a long period, without risking being sued for restricting trade). Pony Clubs, Shows etc cancelled (as far as the horses go).
I chatted with my Barn Manager, who said that as an agistment stables, with the legislative ban lifted, they could begin to invite horses onto the property - they are not under restrictions because they are left out of the loop of the 'organisations'.
As it happens at our barn, the horses are not allowed to leave unless permanent, people having lessons on their own horses are not allowed onto the property and people who have had contact with other horses are being severely restricted also - if you have horses but ride a schoolie, you have to stay away. They've purchased gear for the farrier to use on site and he's only visiting one property per day.
On the other hand I'm hearing about people who have opened their gates again, with an attitude that 'it's already here, we may as well let all the horses contract it and be done with it'.
Two polar views as far as I can see - I hope that the businesses can hold out for an extended period, even though I understand that it's impacting on their financial position significantly. I'd urge people to support their barns if at all possible, for being responsible in this regard.
We also discussed how secondary issues - bacterial infection, pneumonia, respiratory complications - are the real concern, rather than 'flu itself. Can you confirm the figure we'd heard, that around 20% of infected animals end up with complications?
Yet to speak to the vet for an update, but will let you know if I hear anything further.