By Anna Hellman

Especially when travelling, horses more susceptible to contracting illnesses. Travel is known to be stressful for horses. Stress lowers the immune systems defenses therefore allowing horses to more easily contract contagious diseases.  On very long travelling journeys, horses can lose up to 5% of their body weight, making them especially vulnerable to disease. Whether you are going to a competition or to a vet appointment, it is necessary to take the appropriate precautions to ensure that your horse returns home healthy.

  • Bring your horse’s regular feed, hay, and water. Maintaining this consistency will prevent digestive upsets that would occur from switching feeds.
  • At the new travel location, do not let your horse drink theContagious Disease Prevention When Travelling With Your Horse

    water; bring your own from home. Horses are typically more reluctant to drink while travelling especially if the unfamiliar water smells or tastes differently from what they are used to.

  • Do not loan or borrow buckets, hoses, tack, and equipment. Bring your own. Germs are less likely to be spread when you use your own buckets, hoses, etc.
  • Before using a stall, make sure that it is clean. Remove any buckets/tubs that were used by previous horses. You should even consider disinfecting the stall.
  • Don’t let horses touch noses. For example, EHV (equine herpevirus) is spread through direct horse-to-horse contact by nasal secretions.
  • While travelling and upon returning home, make sure to consistently take your horse’s temperature. Early signs that your horse has contracted an illness will include an elevated temperature. Always consult a vet if concerned.
  • Upon returning home, quarantine your horse for 2 weeks. The symptoms of contracted illnesses will surface during this 2-week period.

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