Equine Influenza Outbreak

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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I think one that was put down was older from something I read, so I guess immune system can already be low due to age.
I've got a lesson booked in a few weeks time. They have said that they will be checking passports for vaccinations for horses visiting the yard, as they do have liveries there, and hire out there arena daily. They must be up to date. Any newly started horses must have had two required. That's fine. But I dont know whether to go. There are currently no confirmed cases in my area currently but you never know. It's not for a couple of weeks.
 

Pete's Mum

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There's a confirmed case in Sussex now (reasonably close to us I presume, as it's in the catchment area of one of the vets).

@Kite_Rider I think the rationale behind the 6 month re-vacinating isn't to do with the effectiveness per se, but more to do with the different strains in the vaccine - similiar to the flu jab in people. It won't necessarily stop a horse catching flu (just as I could still get flu despite having a yearly flu jab) but it will lessen the symptoms and side effects for the horse if they do get it.

ETA: I was worried about Pete with his history of laminitis, but *touch wood* he was fine & I discussed it with the vet beforehand. It might be worth having a chat with the vet? Mine aren't at all pushing for it unnecessarily, but they did recommend it based on our circumstances.
 
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carthorse

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I agree about discussing it with your vet, general advice is just that - general. I think, and my vet agrees, that for Little Un the risk of possibly getting flu is far less than the risk of laminitis, and the consequences of another laminitis bout are likely to be more severe. Specific advice on an individual case despite practice advice being to vaccinate. Am I happy about it? No, but it's the best I can do given his history.
 
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newforest

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According to the article I read it said that the reason behind getting your horses re vaccinated if they were outside the six months was because the vaccine becomes less effective the longer it is in the horses system, my thoughts there are if it isn’t as effective after six months why is it only given yearly? I’m very surprised the pharmaceuticals haven’t jumped on that and vets too, big bucks for them if we all needed to get vaccines done twice a year.
I’m torn really, Belle is healthy, never goes out competing, in fact none on our yard do and I’m petrified if I give her another booster it might tip her over the edge into lammi but if I don’t then she might get the flu and Sod’s law would end up really Ill or dead.
Not as effective doesn't mean it's not in the system.
Mine was done six months ago and I won't be doing anything else to top that up.
The jab made her ill last time and Strangely enough I debated on not doing the flu jab next time around. Um, I may be sticking with it!
 

Ale

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From what I understand..

A vaccinated horse still gets the virus, it still inhales it and it then begins to damage the cells of the respiratory tract and replicate. A horse that was recently vaccinated has a higher level of antibodies so the virus is very quickly destroyed. This means there is a smaller time frame in which that horse can expose other horses to the virus. A horse vaccinated over 6 months ago has less antibodies, so it will take longer for the body to destroy the virus. Meaning the horse has longer to infect other horses, who then go on the infect other horses and so on.

Vaccinating more frequently doesn't seem to really change much about how the individual horse deals with the virus, and I think (from limited knowledge) most show very little symptoms, or even none. In one of the reports the virus was found in horses vaccinated more than 6 months ago and they were showing no symptoms.

I 'think' the idea of bringing the vaccinations to 6 months is more to do with containment. Reducing the spread. This makes sense in racehorses as they come into contact with a huge number of horses from a huge number or yards.
 
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carthorse

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The downside to part of that argument Ale is that some vaccinated horses have produced positive swabs but not shown any symptoms, so in theory those horses could be out & about passing on the virus with no-one any the wiser. I'm not saying it's right or wrong to vaccinate, just that both approaches have problems & vaccinating won't necessarily stop it spreading.
 

chunky monkey

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Also what about the jockeys, they go off on there days off doing point to point etc on other yards. Could they transfer it on there riding boots, jodhpurs.
 

Bodshi

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Pete's Mum

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Not as effective doesn't mean it's not in the system.
Mine was done six months ago and I won't be doing anything else to top that up.
The jab made her ill last time and Strangely enough I debated on not doing the flu jab next time around. Um, I may be sticking with it!
I think it depends on the strain as well - my understanding is that some of the strains in the vaccines from a year ago, are simply not present (although any flu vaccine should provide some cross cover).

I do think whether to vaccinate or not should be a decision taken in conjuction with your vet based on your horses's circumstances. If Pete had a history of reacting, I might not have bothered :)

I know people on my yard are not, but in those decisions have been made with their vets.

My trainer and other para-professionals are all implementing enhanced bio-security measures, and from what I've seen, most other professionals around us are too.
 
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domane

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Also what about the jockeys, they go off on there days off doing point to point etc on other yards. Could they transfer it on there riding boots, jodhpurs.
I've heard that they are keeping their riding clothing restricted to the yard. They are having to change into "off-duty" clothes to visit the pub after work, so I'd like to think they are also changing clothing if changing yards too.
 
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Laura82

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we have a case confirmed in Stirling in a non racehorse so its getting closer. Our yard is going into a kind of shut down with no new horses being allowed on. Another yard near by has a rider who regularly goes on endurance rides and she has stopped for the time being.
 

Huggy

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So I'm a bit lost now. Our 3 are all vaccinated (3 weeks ago). It can travel airborne 5km. We're in the middle of the New Forest, with 100's of forest ponies all around us. Dozens of livery yards within spitting distance. Surely it makes no difference if I hack out locally? Just want to be sure, as the yard down the road has not had any lorries bringing horses for lessons and clinics.
 

horseandgoatmom

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The report on our human vaccine for this season came out last nite.
I guess its about 53%.

Humans and horses I'm sure it's hard
to get it right things mutate so fast.

And even with vaccinations you have to use care and caution.
Horses and humans
 
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horseandgoatmom

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It can go even further.
How many people. Go from the barn to the feed store or tack shop.....

Professionals are more likely to go
From farm to farm.

There are sooooo many other
Possibilities.

The 5k thing scares me.

Until hearing that I would have thought
If your not going places and not contacting strange horses there is not much of a worry.
 

Bodshi

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I haven't actually seen any evidence in writing as to how far the virus can travel airborne. Does anyone have anything?
 

Huggy

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I haven't actually seen any evidence in writing as to how far the virus can travel airborne. Does anyone have anything?
Britishhorseracing.com "the virus is airborne over reasonable distances" clear as mud really.
 
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Ale

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The downside to part of that argument Ale is that some vaccinated horses have produced positive swabs but not shown any symptoms, so in theory those horses could be out & about passing on the virus with no-one any the wiser. I'm not saying it's right or wrong to vaccinate, just that both approaches have problems & vaccinating won't necessarily stop it spreading.
Couldn't agree more, I think all horses should be vaccinated, but I'm not sure we need to start vaccinating them every 6 months unless they come into contact with alot of other horses as it then reduces the amount of time they are contagious and lessens the spread.
 
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