The beauty and strength of your herd of horses can be destroyed in an instant if attacked by an infectious horse disease. These are illnesses that be contracted through contact between horses, or they can be transmitted by a host insect like a tick or mosquito. Because of the danger these illnesses present, carrying a comprehensive line of health insurance for horses gives the means to protect and treat your herd. However, long-term treatment success improves the earlier the problem is diagnosed. These are some of the common conditions associated with infectious diseases in horses.
Potomac Horse Fever
You will often see this disease the most during the spring, summer, or early fall. It is generally spread through water sources like creeks and rivers, and those who pasture their horses by these natural water sources are the most susceptible. The water may contain flatworms, which carries the disease. Early symptoms include fever, mild colic, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Equine Herpesvirus (EHV)/Rhinopneumonitis
Horse owners in the last few years have seen more outbreaks of EHV than usual, and it is often spread through horse shows, competitions, or auctions. It is highly contagious and attacks the respiratory system, but it can also cause paralysis and inflammation of the spinal cord. Signs of EHV include nasal secretion, lethargy, hind limb weakness, urine dribbling, and loss of coordination.
Equine Influenza (Flu)
This one of the more common diseases that infect the respiratory tract in horses. It is highly contagious and contracted through content with an infected horse or through a contaminated environment. Outbreaks occur rapidly, as the incubation period for the disease is up to three days. Early signs include fever, nasal discharge, and a harsh cough.
When it comes to the care and health of your horse, the more proactive you can be the greater your chances of success. Pay close attention to when something seems off, and get your animals the care they need.