Racing was shut down today as a precautionary measure to restrict the movement of thoroughbred racehorses and prevent any further spread of the equine influenza (flu) virus within the racing community.
This is a standard contingency in the event of an infectious disease within UK racing, in order to assess the scale and severity of the outbreak.
It is not currently being recommended that other, non-racing, equine events are cancelled but this might change depending on how the disease develops.
What to look out for?
Signs of flu may be mild and can include:
- Watery nasal discharge becoming mucousy later
- High rectal temperature
- Swollen glands (under the lower jaw)
- Loss of appetite
- Affected horses often don’t show all of these signs and infection can easily be missed
What can owners do?
If these signs appear then owners should isolate the horse and call the practice immediately.
It is essential that horses showing any of these clinical signs, and horses that have been in recent contact with horses showing these signs, do not travel to competitions or other events where there will be groups of horses.
Owners can discuss with the practice whether to vaccinate with a booster at this time.
There is evidence that, under a heightened risk, early boosters (eg. 6 month interval rather than 12 months) can be beneficial. Based on the virus type that has been identified so far, the advice is that vaccines that contain the Florida Clade 1 serotype are likely to be most appropriate.
Need to book a vaccination?
Call the Equine team on 01963 350308 to book your horse’s vaccination.