Equine Influenza Outbreak

newforest

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From this article I gather none of them are connected to each other.

Is this just a usual pattern of flu outbreaks being highlighted now due to media attention? Alot of the horses mentioned are not vaccinated.
We get flu every year.
What's interesting is one yard is in lock down anyway, so where have they picked it up from?
And it's slightly mutated I think.
 
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carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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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.
Realistically though we can't vaccinate them all. There are horses for whom the vaccine really is too high risk, and then there are the wild herds too. And we can't even enforce a decent standard of care in far too many cases, so how would we enforce a vaccination programme?
 

Ale

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Realistically though we can't vaccinate them all. There are horses for whom the vaccine really is too high risk, and then there are the wild herds too. And we can't even enforce a decent standard of care in far too many cases, so how would we enforce a vaccination programme?
Okay taking those groups into account, would the virus survive if most of the horse population was vaccinated?

Out of interest what group of horses cannot have the vaccine and what are the issues? Genuinely something I know nothing about.
 

carthorse

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Yes it would survive because it mutates & also the vaccine doesn't cover ever strain.

My welsh cob has metabolic issues that have caused laminitis - EMS & IR. If he's vaccinated against flu it causes laminitis within a couple of days & given that he already has severe rotations another bout could easily kill him as it could take him past a point of no return (he's already nearly come through the sole once & x-rays showed he was like a ballerina en pointe). There is nothing that can be given with the vaccine to stop this reaction so the risks really are to great. I've also known a grand prix dressage horse that reacted slightly to 12 monthly jabs die from laminitis when he had to go to 6 monthly to meet FEI rules - if the owner had known in advance how badly he'd react to the extra jab he wouldn't have competed FEI. So yes so metabolic horses are at risk from vaccination & i'd be wary of increased vaccination in any horse that shows a reaction to 12 monthly vaccination, plus very old or young horses or ones with a compromised immune system.
 
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Kite_Rider

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For what it's worth and I'm not trying to play things down here, but, as with humans the animals most likely to suffer from complications are those who already have a weakened immune system or other health issues such as COPD for example.
A normal healthy vaccinated horse probably isn't at any more risk than they would be in any other year, I think a bit of mild panic is setting in over something which yes is potentially life threatening but it's not new.
And yes @carthorse is spot on, flu of any kind be that human, equine, pig, bird whatever is always mutating that's why they give different vaccines each year to try and keep up. If you think about the way a virus works it the virus way of ensuring it's own survival.
There is always going to be a risk of them getting flu, same as with us, the best we can do is take reasonable precautions.
@Huggy if it makes you feel any better I'm still hacking out, we have four livery yards within 5k of us, in fact I ride past two of them regularly depending on which direction I go out, maybe I'm not taking this seriously enough though.
I have kind of the same thoughts about it as I do human flu epidemics, Im in the 'at risk' group and am supposed to be vaccinated every winter, I don't for my own personal reasons but I make sure to eat healthy, live healthy, exercise regularly, wash my hands regularly, if I come into contact with someone who is clearly showing symptoms of a cold or flu I dose up on 'First defense' asap and I cross everything that my body is healthy enough to withstand the worst of it and then I get on with my life.
 

Jessey

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I'm with you there @Kite_Rider, I think we need to be aware, take care and implement reasonable bio-security but it isn't something totally new that we need to panic over.
Re increasing vaccinations, I don't vaccinate against strangles as its not very effective and only last 4-6 months so I choose not to, if the flu vaccine ends up on par with that I'd have to have a serious think, at the moment I won't be going to 6 monthly.
 

Dolly gray

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Always used to vaccinate for flu but that was when it was coupled with tet.geadually dropped it out still have the tet.but have decided to have Dolly done on Monday our vet is giving an amnesty on the booster only have to pay for vets visit.
 

Pete's Mum

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I've not seen any vet's suggest 6 monthly vaccinations should become a regular thing, but just during this period, if your horse hasn't been vacinnated in the last 6 months consider having it done for additional protection.
 

Ale

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Yes it would survive because it mutates & also the vaccine doesn't cover ever strain.

My welsh cob has metabolic issues that have caused laminitis - EMS & IR. If he's vaccinated against flu it causes laminitis within a couple of days & given that he already has severe rotations another bout could easily kill him as it could take him past a point of no return (he's already nearly come through the sole once & x-rays showed he was like a ballerina en pointe). There is nothing that can be given with the vaccine to stop this reaction so the risks really are to great. I've also known a grand prix dressage horse that reacted slightly to 12 monthly jabs die from laminitis when he had to go to 6 monthly to meet FEI rules - if the owner had known in advance how badly he'd react to the extra jab he wouldn't have competed FEI. So yes so metabolic horses are at risk from vaccination & i'd be wary of increased vaccination in any horse that shows a reaction to 12 monthly vaccination, plus very old or young horses or ones with a compromised immune system.
I believe it can only mutate when in a host and if the majority of horses were vaccinated their bodies would eliminate the virus before it had a chance?

Thank-you for all the information, I had no idea. It's interesting to learn about this side of the vaccine as it wasn't something I've found much to read about.
 

Pete's Mum

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@Ale My friend's pony cannot have the flu jab as he spent likeva month in an intensive care unit literally fighting for his life. He had underlying respiratory problems (although completely under control as he's the kid's riding pony) & the flu jab was just too much for him.

On an unhorsey note, my boyfriend has to be very careful what type or brand of flu jab he has too and is kept in hospital for 48 hours after having it, so there can be complications in people too. But he's a specialist medical case all of his own!
 
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Huggy

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For what it's worth and I'm not trying to play things down here, but, as with humans the animals most likely to suffer from complications are those who already have a weakened immune system or other health issues such as COPD for example.
A normal healthy vaccinated horse probably isn't at any more risk than they would be in any other year, I think a bit of mild panic is setting in over something which yes is potentially life threatening but it's not new.
And yes @carthorse is spot on, flu of any kind be that human, equine, pig, bird whatever is always mutating that's why they give different vaccines each year to try and keep up. If you think about the way a virus works it the virus way of ensuring it's own survival.
There is always going to be a risk of them getting flu, same as with us, the best we can do is take reasonable precautions.
@Huggy if it makes you feel any better I'm still hacking out, we have four livery yards within 5k of us, in fact I ride past two of them regularly depending on which direction I go out, maybe I'm not taking this seriously enough though.
I have kind of the same thoughts about it as I do human flu epidemics, Im in the 'at risk' group and am supposed to be vaccinated every winter, I don't for my own personal reasons but I make sure to eat healthy, live healthy, exercise regularly, wash my hands regularly, if I come into contact with someone who is clearly showing symptoms of a cold or flu I dose up on 'First defense' asap and I cross everything that my body is healthy enough to withstand the worst of it and then I get on with my life.
All in all, I don't think it's not taking it seriously enough. Even if it were less than 5km, airborne is airborne, so to speak, and we have forest ponies roaming within 200 yds of our yard gate, so not going out would be a futile gesture really. I agree, taking sensible precautions, such as just monitoring the horses in your care, and any you come in contact with, is all you can do. I was out this morning, and people are hacking as usual.
 

carthorse

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One on our yard had a booster yesterday, though her owner was saying it wasn't even 6 months ago she was vaccinated. Today she was really under the weather - heavy laboured breathing, hot to touch, off her hay, shifting on her feet & dull. This is a normally healthy horse who doesn't show a reaction to annual vaccination.
 
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newforest

Keep it simple
Mar 15, 2008
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One on our yard had a booster yesterday, though her owner was saying it wasn't even 6 months ago she was vaccinated. Today she was really under the weather - heavy laboured breathing, hot to touch, off her hay, shifting on her feet & dull. This is a normally healthy horse who doesn't show a reaction to annual vaccination.
Exactly like mine. I nearly called the vet out. It looked like colic but it wasn't.
 

Lissie

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Jan 18, 2016
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Now reported cases in Shrops. I've stopped hunting as lot of hunters aren't vaccinated. Lottie is vaccinated and has had a 6 months booster, it's more that I don't feel it would be fair on other people on the yard. We have a foal and an elderly pony here so are in the more at risk group.
 
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Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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Have you seen that BE has announced new rules in relation to EI? The change:

The most recent booster injection must have been given within the six calendar months prior to the horse arriving at the competition.

The rules don't mandate that the horse must be given a six monthly booster - they still say it must be given within 12 months of the last, so I should think a lot of competitors will be timing their annual booster to just before the start of the season, which makes sense I suppose.
 
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