Regional Horse Diseases

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Keeping your horses free of disease means understanding everything they could be up against. However, did you know that different diseases tend to have different geographic distributions? This is known as regional horse diseases. For example, the most recent outbreaks of Potomac Horse Fever in Canada have occurred specifically in eastern and southwestern Ontario, and parts of Alberta. Continue reading for more examples of common regional horse diseases. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Common Regional Horse Diseases

So, certain equine diseases occur and spread in different areas—why? It all has to do with the environment of that region. Regions with ecological systems supporting large mosquito populations will automatically place horses at greater risk for mosquito-borne diseases. These include both the western and eastern variants of the enchephalitis virus, and also the West Nile virus. This harkens back to our Potomac Horse Fever example. Eastern Ontario has large hatches of mosquitos which act as a vector for the disease and makes it more prevalent in that area.

What’s great about this is that if you know what equine diseases are more prevalent in your area the better you can avoid them. So, what about Colorado and its horse population? Unfortunately, Colorado is no stranger to regional horse diseases. There have been confirmed cases of equine infectious anemia (EIA), equine herpesvirus myeloencephalitis (EHM), and strangles in Colorado in the past. Strangles is highly contagious. It can spread rapidly from animal to animal and is one of the more common bacterial infections of horses. Check with your horse clinician and veterinarian to see if your area has reported any regional horse diseases. These professional will be able to tell you how to prevent your horses from catching these diseases.

Vaccinating Horses

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With vaccines rolling out to combat the pandemic, we are getting asked what about vaccinating horses? The answer is yes they need to be vaccinated, but not for Coronavirus. Horses contract diseases just like us. Horse owners vaccinate their horses against diseases. However, the diseases horses are susceptible to are different from the ones humans can contract. For more details, continue reading. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Vaccinating Horses

There are a number of vaccines for horses. Some of these include tetanus, rabies, eastern and western equine encephalomyelitis, and West Nile virus. Vets recommend these for all horses. Some horses do experience adverse affects to vaccines, but these are very rare. Also, the American Veterinary Medical Association says core horse vaccines are extremely important. They protect horses from diseases that are endemic to a region. Not sure which regional diseases your horses are susceptible to? Ask your vet. Colorado has a large horse population. Therefore, the state has a lot of great horse clinicians.

Horses contract diseases that aren’t regional as well. Therefore, there are some vaccines that your horses only need in specific cases. Vets administer these vaccines for horses that need them. The need for each of the risk-based vaccines varies from horse to horse. Therefore, vets tailor vaccination programs for each horse. These vaccines include the equine herpesvirus, equine influenza, Potomac horse fever, strangles, botulism, anthrax, rotavirus, and equine viral arteritis.

Preventing Horse Lyme Disease

horse lyme disease prevention

Equine Lyme Disease Prevention

Before reading, consider checking out our previous articles on Defining Equine Lyme Disease and Testing for Equine Lyme Disease. It is not an easy thing to care for a horse that has developed problems due to this disease. Horses that have developed neurological problems and uveitis tend to have a poor recovery. Very few horses with neurological signs are treated successfully. Unfortunately, most horses with uveitis lose their vision. No horse owner should have to go through that. This is why it is so important to prevent your horse from contracting the disease.

Lyme disease prevention consists of environmental management and controlling the risk of exposure. Mow all tall grasses, clear shrubs and bushes, and remember to keep your horses out of forests and woodland. Using fences to keep out animals carrying ticks is not always enough. Deer often transport ticks to horses, even if they do not have access to your pasture. Consider using feeding stations with insecticide-laden rubbing posts to treat deer for ticks that wander near your property. Also, use mulch between the woods and your pasture to create a buffer like a moat around a castle.

The Best Prevention Method is Simple

Regular grooming and careful tick removal is the best prevention method for equine Lyme disease. This helps prevent ticks from staying attached to horses long enough to transmit the disease. Remember to be careful when removing ticks from your horse to ensure that it does not survive and latch onto you instead. Also, apply a tick preventive such as a Permethrin spray to deter ticks from latching onto horses in the first place. Also, some veterinarians do administer a canine Lyme disease vaccine. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

Testing for Equine Lyme Disease

testing for equine lyme disease

Does My Horse Have Lyme Disease?

Detecting and diagnosing equine Lyme disease can be very challenging. There is little to no scientific literature on the subject and therefore a lack of an experimental model for equine infection. Also, a positive lab test is not definitive enough to lead to a positive Lyme disease diagnosis. Because of this, equine Lyme disease is often over diagnosed. Though, you should still get your horse tested. However, lab results show the horse has been exposed to the disease at some point and has produced antibodies against it. With all these problems with diagnosis, here are a few sure-fire steps to figure out if your horse has the infection:

  1. First of all, is your horse is located in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent?
  2. Also, look for the clinical signs consistent with Lyme disease. You can find them in our article Defining Horse Lyme Disease.
  3. You might have to rule out other causes of the clinical signs your horse is showing. These signs tend to overlap with many other equine diseases.
  4. If your horse is in a Lyme Disease region and is showing common clinical signs of the disease that cannot be attributed to something else, then have your horse tested.

Testing Methods

Laboratory tests consist of blood and tissue testing from the affected area. Veterinarians test horse blood in several different ways. These include the indirect fluorescent antibody test, Western blot test, or whole cell immunology. However, blood testing alone can be inconclusive without tissue testing. The broad-spectrum tetracycline and similar antibiotics are the most commonly used drugs to treat equine Lyme disease. For more information check out our other articles on Lyme diseases in horses. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

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Lyme Disease In Horses

Lyme disease in horses

Lyme Disease in Horses

Horses are exposed to many things because they are large mammals that spend most of their days out in the elements. Unfortunately, one of these things is diseases. You have probably heard about Lyme disease. It is transmitted by ticks to humans, cats, and dogs. You might not know however, that this disease can also affect horses. In humans, infections can lead to a wide range of clinical signs, including rashes, arthritis, and cardiac issues. For our house pets, Lyme disease can cause problems with the kidneys. Lyme disease in horses causes neurological issues, uveitis (eye inflammation), muscle atrophy, and behavioral changes, just to name a few.

In Colorado and other western states, Lyme disease is carried by the Western black-legged tick. These ticks have a two-year life cycle and feed on the blood of mammals to survive. Adult ticks are more active in the spring and fall. They climb to the top of the grass when temperatures rise above 40°F. When horses lie down in the grass or walk through tall grass, their hair brushes up against the leaves. This is typically how a tick attaches to the horse.

Equine Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or the CDC), reports that black-legged ticks are endemic in 14 states in the Midwest and along the East Coast. These areas have a cooler climate, therefore humans and house pets are unlikely to get the disease. Also, their geographical range appears to be expanding. However, horses live primarily outdoors, and are naturally at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease.. In fact, horses might be more widely exposed to the disease than we realize. For information on equine Lyme disease, stay tuned for more upcoming articles on our blog. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

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Equine Herpes Virus Prevention

Equine Herpes Virus

When it comes to the equine herpes virus, you should think about what your horse is doing. Some horse owners out there may have only one horse, but many Colorado horse owners own multiple horses. In the case of multiple horses on the same ranch, you should also consider what the horses around are doing, too.

If you only have one horse, then it goes without saying that your horse is at less of a risk of contracting the equine herpes virus. Likewise, horses that only ride at your house are at less risk. Horse that leave the ranch periodically to compete and has a more social lifestyle with other horses are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.

Vaccinate your show horse at least seven days before a show. Two to three weeks before is even better. Some horses may have an active herpes infection and you might not even know. When you go to vaccinate them their body will react. Their legs will swell up and there is a chance they will develop a fever.

Equine Herpes Virus is very serious.

Know your horse’s baseline temperature. Monitor your horse’s temperature daily during and after a competition. Don’t share water troughs, buckets, or sponges. Don’t use communal hoses. This might sound stingy, but use your own and don’t share it to reduce your horse’s risk of contracting EHV.

Clean and then disinfect hay nets, bags, or troughs after use, and don’t share them between horses. The EHV virus can live in this type of environment for a time under ideal conditions. That can set you up for future infection. You can use any disinfectant. Even commercial household cleaners like bleach wipes can kill EHV.

Clean and disinfect areas in the trailer where a horse’s nose or nasal discharge might be. If you handle multiple horses, wash your hands before moving from one horse to the next. For more information on EHV, contact your local horse rescue center and talk to a professional Colorado horse handler.

Horse Laminitis

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The staff at Colorado Horse Property knows how important your horse’s health is to you. One of the issues to look out for is known as horse Laminitis. Looking for a horse clinician? Check out our horse clinician directory for a vet near you. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Horse Laminitis is a serious health concern that could possibly end your equine’s career. In some cases laminitis may cause such severe pain that euthanasia is the only way to end your horses suffering. If that wasn’t bad enough, the statistics surrounding horse Laminitis are grim. Surveys show that this disease affects about 1% of all horses in America, leading to death.

The key to saving a horse that has contracted the disease is early, aggressive treatment. Though Laminitis has no cure, treatment can limit damage and may save your horse’s life, so call your veterinarian immediately if you see signs. In septic laminitis there’s typically a lag of 24 to 72 hours between the triggering event and the first signs, but the inflammatory response begins almost immediately. The faster you can halt it, the better your horse’s chances will be. We have a lot to read about the prevention of horse diseases.

Treating Horse Thrush

We at Colorado Horse Property know that taking care of your horses is probably the biggest worry that you have as an owner and though it can be very challenging it is very important to insure your animals are healthy all year long. Something that you should be looking out for is horse thrush. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Horse Thrush

Thrush is a bacterial infection that occurs in the tissue of the V-shaped structure in the hoof, more commonly known as the frog. The bacteria can penetrate epidermis of the frog causing the tissue to deteriorate. Horse owners can check for this by looking for a ragged frog that is producing a smelly discharge, or by looking for blood on the end of the hoof pick when cleaning the area.

The key to curing thrush and preventing if from coming back is to fix your horses frog. Farriers are the first defense against thrush from occurring, because they can trim your horse’s hooves so that the frog and the heel are on the same plane. This will help promote new, healthy growth of the hoof. Depending on how bad the thrush has infected the frog, you will probably want to treat the area by cutting away loose tissue and applying diluted bleach solution. Another thing you can do is replace straw bedding, which holds moisture and increases the chance your horse’s hooves will become infected, with sawdust or another similar alternative.

Horse Summer Sores

Horse Sand Roll

Taking care of your horses is probably the biggest worry that you have as an owner and though it can be very challenging it is very important to insure your animals are healthy all year long. Something that you have to look out for are horse summer sores.  Your horses naturally have stomach worms. Though they rarely cause your horse any harm. However, the worm’s larvae can cause problems. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Horse Summer Sores

Suffice to say, the larvae of these worms are what causes horse summer sores. Vets introduced the deworming agent ivermectin in the early 1980s. However, summer sores were a huge problem before then. Ivermectin, moxidectin and other drugs in their class are highly effective against the stomach worms. Don’t let this make you complacent about checking your animals for worms however. Though numbers of larvae reduced, the worms are not completely wiped out.

If you discover that your horse has summer sores, don’t hesitate to get them to your local large animal veterinarian. Most likely your horse will be prescribed topical or systemic glucocorticoids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. Treat your horse systemically with ivermectin or moxidectin to kill the parasites. This removes the adult worms from the stomach. But you are not out of the woods yet. Summer sores are a fly magnet, and flies will irritate the lesion and perhaps deposit more worm larvae. Reducing the places flies can breed, as in around manure, wet feed, or other wet organic material, is the best way to decrease the chance of this happening.

Horse Vaccinations

Are Riders Athletes

The first line of defense against diseases and viruses that your horses may pick up this year are vaccinations. Horse vaccinations will boost your animals immune system to protect them against contracting diseases. However, living in the United States doesn’t makes your animals less prone to international diseases.  Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Horse Vaccinations

Professional conducted a study of horses all around the United States in 2017. They found that nearly 400 of them had the West Nile virus. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching an animal suffer from a disease; one that can be prevented through a simple vaccination. Do the right thing and get your horses vaccinated. If you are in Colorado, consider visiting a professional at the Littleton Equine Medical Center or the Colorado Equine Clinic.

Other things you have to look out for are pathogens that mosquitoes carry. Also, these insects can potentially pass on to your animals. Mosquito populations tend to peak in the late summer and fall. Therefore, fall is often the time when we see more cases of mosquito borne diseases. This includes the horses diseases the Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis.

Traveling animals will be more horse vaccinations than those staying on the ranch. They come in contact with many different horses and environments like at rodeos of common horse shows and performances. Therefore, you need booster vaccines to help prevent highly contagious diseases such as equine influenza virus and equine herpes virus. Take your horses to the veterinarian at least once a year. Get a physical and dental exam, vaccinations and a deworming evaluation.