Equine Influenza in Horses – Aloe Vera In Veterinary
Equine Influenza in Horses
Equine Influenza in Horses, this is not as common today as it was in the past, due to compulsory vaccination of racehorses and any horse that competes under British Horse Society rules.
Symptoms of Equine Influenza in Horses
Mainly an upper respiratory tract infection caused by a virus.
It can come on quite quickly.
The horse develops a frequent dry cough with discharges from the nose and sometimes the eyes.
The horse will have a fever that may reach 106°F (normal 100°F) and be dull and off its food.
Foals may develop signs of pneumonia. Some horses show stiffness of the limbs with reluctance to move.
This is a highly infectious disease that spreads rapidly through any population of horses.
The symptoms last for 2-3 weeks.
Treatment of Equine Influenza
Prevention is better than cure and therefore regular vaccination is important.
Because this disease is so infectious, isolation of cases is crucial as soon as a case is detected.
Horses that have been in contact usually show signs within 5-7 days.
The horse will require a lot of nursing and tender loving care (TLC).
A return to exercise should be delayed for at least a month after full recovery is apparent. Ensure the horse is kept warm, yet has access to fresh air.
Rest is vitally important, but limited walking in hand may be required to maintain circulation and avoid the complication of edema and lymphangitis.
Veterinary attention is required to ensure correct diagnosis treatment and to obtain advice on the control of the spread of the disease.
Aloe Vera gel should be added to the diet – initially in small quantities because the horses are often reluctant to eat.
Start on 50mls per day and work up to 250mls per day.
Giving 8-20 bee propolis tablets per day will also help the horse to combat the virus infection and reduce the chances of secondary bacterial infection.
During the early stages of the disease the nasal discharge is usually watery (due to viral infection) but later secondary infection by bacteria can lead to a nasal discharge with lots of mucus that is yellow-green in color (mucopurulent).
If this occurs antibiotics, mucolytics and drugs to dilate the respiratory tube and increase the expulsion of the discharge may be required from the vet.
The nasal discharges also tend to burn the skin around the nose.
This can be treated using Aloe Vera Propolis Creme.
Inhalation of expectorants (a preparation that aids the removal of secretions from the airways) not only break down the discharge and encourage them to come away but also can make the animal feel more comfortable.
Aloe Vera First solution can be inhaled as an aerosol from a spray or nebulizer more traditionally eucalyptus or Friar’s Balsam can be inhaled as a vapor or steam.
Interestingly a preparatory mixture of Friar’s Balsam listed in Veterinary Applied Pharmacology contains Aloe Vera as well.
A succulent laxative diet should also be provided to encourage appetite and regular bowel action.
This should be based on bran mash, finely chopped apple and carrot with the required amount of Aloe Vera gel added.
Change the horses’ water regularly because mucous frequently foul it.
Always replace uneaten food with fresh.
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