The Large Animal Clinic at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis, CA is limiting equine appointments after equine influenza spread to eight horses in recent days.
Horses at the clinic are being tested daily, while infected horses are being treated in an isolation unit. UC Davis states if infected horses were no longer under treatment, and their owners could keep them quarantined, they were released.
The Large Animal Clinic is only seeing emergencies and critical recheck appointments until the equine hospital is completely free of the horse flu. Those appointments are being handled by different staff members than those working in the isolation barn.
Horse flu symptoms may include a fever, coughing, nasal discharge, and lethargy. Equine influenza is very contagious. Due to aerosols generated by a horse’s cough the flu can travel up to 50 yards.
Equine influenza viruses do not infect people, dogs or other animals. Often seasonal, the virus often affects the highly mobile, competition horse population and those in barns with high horse traffic. It has a low mortality rate.
Veterinarians recommend horses be vaccinated against equine influenza unless they live in a closed herd.