Following an encouraging return to racing earlier this month, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has since announced new flu outbreaks in 17 counties in England and Scotland, with 19 non-thoroughbred horses testing positive.
The AHT has confirmed a new strain of flu is responsible for the outbreak, saying: “It is clear that this strain of the virus is not going away and is taking advantage of any opportunity given to it to spread among our horse population.”
With many equine events already underway, and the British eventing season starting next weekend (2-3 March), there is a much greater chance of your horse catching the flu if you’re attending events. To help limit your horse’s chance of exposure, or to help a poorly horse who’s already caught it, check out our five-step guide to handling equine flu.
5 steps to dealing with equine flu
If your horse was vaccinated more than six months ago, boost your horse’s vaccination, and encourage other horse owners to do the same. Symptoms of flu should be milder in vaccinated horses, and they usually recover faster than unvaccinated horses do.
Immediately isolate new or unwell horses away from the main yard to help prevent equine flu from spreading. Make sure you know your own biosecurity policies, and ensure these are communicated to everyone at your yard. You can trust us to deliver BedKind to horses who need it, whether they have equine flu or not, because we ensure our delivery lorry is scrubbed down with antibacterial and antiviral washes to limit the chance of any potential cross-contamination.
3. Allow rest
Rest is crucial! For every day that a horse has been showing the symptoms of flu, vets recommend a week of rest. To support their recovery, vets also recommend that you keep your horse in a well-ventilated environment and switch to dust-free bedding such as BedKind, to alleviate the symptoms of affected airways and reduce the risk of secondary infections.
Do everything you can to avoid moving your horse or attending an event. Where originally the flu showed up only in the racing community, it’s now spread to non-racing horses, so it’s believed that bringing horses and ponies together at events like hunts meet could be related to the outbreaks. We advise that owners do not take their horse to an event or competition if any horses at their yard appear to be unwell, as the symptoms of equine flu show up 1-3 days after infection.
We encourage vets and horse owners to be open and communicate if they have a suspected or confirmed outbreak, to help minimise the spread of flu to others. If you know someone affected by the outbreak of equine flu, why not recommend BedKind bedding to ensure they give their horse the best recovery possible?
One of our most recent testimonials shows just how well suited BedKind is to help with poorly horses:
“I first fell for BedKind last year because of Hollyfield needed surgery last year after an injury. I wanted to give his recovery the best chance possible, and I knew that my bedding choice would be important to minimise infection. My vets were using cardboard bedding, largely because it’s virtually dust-free – not to mention its many other benefits – so we had to try it!"
Lissa Green Eventing - Oxfordshire
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If you have any other questions about BedKind, please get in touch by using our handy contact form, giving us a quick call on 01234 862169, or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.