Equine Influenza Outbreak

GaryB

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Mar 23, 2015
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Sorry if this has already been posted elsewhere. Edited to say this is in the mainland UK - I sometimes forget we are international (sorry!)

There is an outbreak of Equine Influenza. Here is the mail from my vet:

As you may be aware, we are currently experiencing a spate of equine influenza outbreaks in the UK. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated horses have been affected. Vaccination is still the best method of preventing spread of the disease and protecting your horse. Horse's whom have had a booster vaccination in the last 6 months have higher antibody levels against flu and have been less severely affected than those who are unvaccinated or nearing their re-vaccination date.

We are advising all horses who have not been vaccinated in the previous 6 months to now be given a booster. This will boost the immunity of your horse and help further protect them in the face of this outbreak. Please monitor for any signs of equine influenza such as a cough, nasal discharge and a high temperature. Please see the link below to the Equiflunet webpage created by the animal health trust for further information on equine influenza: https://www.aht.org.uk/disease-surveillance/equiflunet/equiflunet-for-horse-owners?. British Eventing Official and British Dressage have now released a statement supporting our recommendations.
 
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Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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On an island
I stopped vaccinating for flu years ago because we were so remote, that was on mainland uk. I don't know if anyone here on Orkney is aware, most likely they are. Thanks for posting @GaryB definitely something to watch for the signs - however small the risk. I think if you re vaccinate you have to start from the beginning? Three in a row or something?
 

GaryB

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Mar 23, 2015
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Yes I think you are right @Trewsers The real worry is this seems to be airborne so it seems it can affect even horses that never leave the stables (I'm not sure how far it can travel).
 
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domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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I was told by a vet that it can travel up to 5 miles, Gary! I don't have Jack or Lexie covered for flu, but already plan to add them in in a couple of months - so that their boosters are all due at the same time in October. To be honest, I think it's a 50/50 chance of getting it even WITH vaccination cover at the mo.

Jen has posted that on advice from our vets, the yard is to go into a sort of isolation - no-one to travel to any lessons or competitions, but we're ok to continue hacking out until there is more info available.

We are going to buy a stock coat for the farrier to wear when he comes onto the yard.
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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I no longer vaccinate for flu, I know it's a gamble but the last 3 years I did I found Little Un would either border on or go down with laminitis. Once, or even twice, could be coincidence with a metabolic cob but 3 times? Then someone I knew lost a young grand prix dressage horse to laminitis following a flu jab, again he'd shown a degree of reaction before but when he starting competing in FEI competitions he had to be done 6 monthly and that was too much for his body. I decided at that point not vaccinating was the lesser risk.

@domane I thought it was 5km airbourne, but I could be wrong & either way it's a fair distance.
 
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GaryB

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Mar 23, 2015
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I'm getting Harvey done on Tuesday - he is due April 12 so its no too early, but he's outside the 6 months recommendation. 5km airborne is scarey - there are tens if not hundreds of horses in that radius of us :(

I see racing is now cancelled until at least Wednesday.
 

newforest

Tomorrow can change what happens today
Mar 15, 2008
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Debated on stopping the flu for mine because we don't go anywhere. But we do get the hunt nearby and we do pass other fields with horses that may or may not travel and pick up crap.

I think what pushed mine over the edge and she was off colour was the combined flu and tet.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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Only Buddy is vaccinated for flu none of the others. He is only one who goes out and about. We had a bad reaction to a flu jab years ago so stopped the others. We have a racing yard about a mile away but not much I can do about that..
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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That is scary if it's a 5 mile radius airborne. I had my 2 done on Tuesday, but if it affects vaccinated as well, my old boy would not do well - he's frail as it is. We're smack bang in the middle of the New forest, and lots of yards within spitting distance, I suppose it's cross everything and hope for the best.
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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I did an assignment on equine influenza recently for uni and it can indeed spread 5km in ideal conditions!
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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It's certainly worrying, the vaccinated horses tend to have less severe symptoms as with most vaccines, it's not completely preventative.
I have Jess and Hank vaccinated but not Dan, he arrived having only ever had tet so I just continued with it.
I guess twice daily temp taking would be a reasonable precaution if it was found locally, to catch it early. Our vets advised cases have been confirmed in Essex, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk and Yorkshire. Some samples testing positively in their lab.
 
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newforest

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It's certainly worrying, the vaccinated horses tend to have less severe symptoms as with most vaccines, it's not completely preventative.
I have Jess and Hank vaccinated but not Dan, he arrived having only ever had tet so I just continued with it.
I guess twice daily temp taking would be a reasonable precaution if it was found locally, to catch it early. Our vets advised cases have been confirmed in Essex, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk and Yorkshire. Some samples testing positively in their lab.
Outside racing?
 
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Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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The horses who had it but were vaccinated were only showing mild symptoms and Ale had the vaccine with the correct strain in back in June. My luck that if I don't get a booster he will get it but I'm just a little unclear on how serious it all is
 

OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
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Ginger is vaccinated as we compete BD,

Meant to be going to my first one this year on Sunday waiting to see if it cancelled.

I’m on a riding school so also waiting to see what their plan is.

I will not give a booster I still don’t believe that a injection has a 365 day life span. I gave just changed to titre for my dogs I wish they did the same thing for horses I see some vets already rubbing their hands in glee
 

newforest

Tomorrow can change what happens today
Mar 15, 2008
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Thanks for that @Jessey.

To me if vaccinated horses have caught it, then giving a booster might actually spread it- as with foot and mouth and the vet going from place to place carrying it on themselves. It can pass from human to horse through contact on tack, clothing.
Any county with an infected animals "should" cancel movement for at least two weeks. Looking at that chart it's spread over into the neighbouring counties.
Well if I were in those counties I wouldn't be going anywhere put it that way.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I'm in Suffolk (just, the river at my field is the Norfolk boundary), about 20 miles from Newmarket. I don't think I am going to get the boys done (Hank booster, Dan started) just yet, this 'outbreak' has been going on for months without any panic, it's only since the racehorses went to meets with it that it has made big news and I have no plans to go to shows or anything. If there is an increase in cases, then I might reconsider.
 
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