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Equine Flu Update:

To date, the Animal Health Trust have confirmed 31 outbreaks in both England and Scotland. The following counties are affected (18): Essex, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Somerset, Middlesex, Sussex, Central Scotland, Kent, Leicestershire, Worcestershire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Shropshire, Norfolk and Staffordshire.

The virus has been isolated and confirmed to be a new strain of the virus (specifically Florida Clade 1 H3N8). However, the current vaccine is proving to be effective with vaccinated horses showing only mild signs of illness and recovering more rapidly in comparison to unvaccinated horses.

Familiarise yourself again with the following clinical signs. If your horse is displaying any of the below signs, please isolate the horse and contact your vet immediately.
*Lethargy
*Fever
*Dry Cough
*Nasal Discharge

Following AHT's lead, we recommend the following protocol:
1. Vaccinate - We stress the importance of getting your horses vaccinated to protect themselves and the horses around you. Please refer to our risk categories in our previous post as we do also advise horses in high and medium risk categories to be vaccinated within the past 6 months.
2. Isolate + Quarantine any new or unwell horses.
3. Investigate - Be aware of any event you are taking your horse to and ask what security measures they are taking.
4. Communicate - Please be open with your vet if you suspect a case of influenza.
5. Mitigate - Only travel with your horse if you have all the facts of your destination and are happy that it's a low risk.
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Sometimes the horse wants to check out his x-rays too... 😆 ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Waterlane Equine Vets

*Advice regarding the recent reports of Equine Influenza outbreaks*

Confirmed cases of Equine Influenza have been reported in Essex, Suffolk, Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Lincolnshire. Crucially, both vaccinated and unvaccinated horses have been affected. Whilst it is important not to panic, the cancellation of all racing fixtures today by the BHA is an indication of the significance of such episodes.

What is Equine Influenza?
EI is a highly contagious and continually evolving respiratory virus that damages epithelium in the upper airways leaving the horse susceptible to opportunistic bacteria. This secondary bacterial infection is what makes the virus dangerous to those with weak immune systems. The virus can be spread by direct (i.e. horse to horse nasal contact) and indirect (i.e. via horse to human/equipment to horse) contact and is also airborne so under favourable weather conditions can spread up to 5km.

What are the Clinical Signs?
The clinical signs appear 2-3 days post exposure and include, but are not limited to, lethargy, nasal discharge, dry cough and fever. In vaccinated horses the clinical signs may be milder or even completely absent. Horses will shed the virus in their environment for around a week. If you think your horse is displaying any of the above clinical signs please contact your veterinarian immediately and quarantine the individual.

How do we diagnose EI?
A nasal Swab and blood samples will be collected from your horse and submitted to the laboratory for testing.

Why are vaccinated horses at risk?
Vaccinated horses have various levels of immunity to EI depending on age, health status, and when the last vaccine was performed. Please refer to the below risk categories to determine if your horse is at risk and may require a ‘booster’:

High Risk:
- Race / Competition / Hunt horses or those that are constantly travelling
- Livery yards with high movement of horses
- Unvaccinated horses or those that have not completed the primary course or continued with their vaccination protocol
- Horses with a reduced immunity i.e. older (above the age of 18) and younger (under the age of 5) horses, stressed or ill horses

We recommend that horses in the high risk category follow current FEI regulations of an EI booster given within the past 6 months. We also strongly recommend that any unvaccinated horses should begin their primary course.

Medium Risk:
- Horses at moderate sized livery yards with occasional movement of horses and where all horses are vaccinated
- Horses kept at home that are hacked in close vicinity of other horses

Low Risk:
Horses kept at home, up to date with vaccinations, never taken off property and at least 5km from the nearest livery yard

Prevention
Vaccinating against the disease is obviously key to helping prevent outbreaks, but establishing a ‘herd immunity’ is important as opposed to just vaccinating horses that leave the premises - those that do not leave the premises and are left unvaccinated are very much at risk of being infected by other horses passing the virus on. These horses are known as ‘carriers’ i.e. they can still spread disease although may not show any clinical symptoms themselves. Biosecurity measures are also equally important - basic hand washing, limiting the use of shared equipment and prompt response to any horses that are showing signs of infection are just some of the simple measures that you can take.

If you have any further queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the office on 01452 770268.

Thank you to the Animal Health Trust for the poster attached below.
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When the temperature drops and the snow arrives we often see an increase in impaction colic cases - mainly due to horses not drinking enough or not getting the required level of exercise due to the poor weather. Keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort and remember these top tips for looking after your horse in cold conditions:

❄ Horses don't like drinking cold water so where possible offer them tepid water to encourage drinking
❄ Some horses will enjoy 'bobbing for apples' which will also increase water intake
❄ Remember that troughs will re-freeze quickly so check them regularly and consider putting a buoyant object in the trough to try and reduce freezing
❄ Don't break the ice on the whole trough - instead break a drinking hole and leave the rest if the ice in place for insulation!
❄ Watch out for signs of impaction colic which can occur when horses do not drink enough (water is needed to help move material through the small intestine) - monitor droppings and signs of your horse looking dull or uncomfortable
❄ Wear rubber gloves over your normal gloves to create a waterproof layer and added insulation!
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3 weeks ago

Waterlane Equine Vets

We would like your feedback please! We have some exciting changes coming to WEV over the next couple of months and we want to know what you would like to see on offer from us. One thing we are looking at is introducing some evening appointments one night during the week or some Saturday morning slots - would this be of interest?? If so please vote for which option you would prefer! And if you have any other suggestions please let us know! ... See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Waterlane Equine Vets

Some very important facts to consider when weighing up whether to keep your horse's vaccinations up to date! We occasionally have clients that say they don't want to vaccinate their horse because it never leaves the field - but this doesn't mean your horse is not at risk!
www.facebook.com/1770008849957785/posts/2080509288907738/#DidYouKnow the equine influenza virus can travel up to 5km? To achieve an effective level of herd immunity against equine flu, vaccination rates need to be 70%. Currently less than 50% of horses are vaccinated against the disease #KBHH #HealthyHorseFocus
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4 weeks ago

Waterlane Equine Vets

We are involved in this scheme and would be happy to help you and your yard to maintain the highest standards. Contact the practice for more details #KBHHYardExcellenceMake disease prevention on your yard a New Year’s goal for 2019 by signing up to our KBHH Yard Excellence Scheme. Speak to your vet for more information ow.ly/6yGE30n4pwN #KBHHYardExcellence ... See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Waterlane Equine Vets

Just for fun 😂When your date isn't what you expected...

©️Emily Cole Illustrations
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Lovely to see our bobble hats getting plenty of use by some of our clients! They have proved to be very popular so we have had to order more due to demand! 😃 ... See MoreSee Less

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