The equine cold, also known as equine influenza is very similar to the human cold. It is more challenging than the human cold. It starts with a rise in temperature, lassitude, and a runny nose and is very infectious. The influenza-causing virus causes an upper respiratory infection in horses. Being very infectious, timely diagnosis and treatment are required for horse colds. The following account tells you how to treat a horse with a cold and ways to diagnose and prevent it as well.
Diagnosing Horse Cold
Be careful about the symptoms of a horse cold. They include loss of appetite, and energy, breathing problem, constant coughing, fever, nasal dripping and mucus, hard movement, and overall lethargy. The level of symptoms will differ depending on the length of period the horse has been infected with the virus. Don’t ignore even the mild symptoms. Approach a veterinarian to be certain about equine influenza. He will take a swab of the nasal mucus to test the presence of the infectious virus. He can also take a blood sample to test the same.
Treating Horse Cold
To provide effective treatment to your horse so that it could be relieved of the cold, you can take the help of ample methods that are easily available. If tests show that your horse has caught the infection of equine influenza, feed your horse with generous quantities of fresh food and water. It should be on a daily diet of warm, moist bran mashes. The doors and windows should be opened once a day and they should be thoroughly groomed without being allowed to get cold. The most crucial part of recovery is rest.
Thus, keep the horse confined to a small pen or stall to thwart over-exertion, and do not take it to work. Make the horse hand-walk if exercise becomes necessary. The Veterinary Practice News says that for each day a horse has a fever, a full week of recovery is desirable. Antipyretics may be prescribed by a veterinarian for a horse that has an intense fever. Since pneumonia can be the consequence of the cold, antibiotics can also be helpful to assist the recovery course.
The cold will run its course in about ten days but a recovery period of about a month is required to bring the horse gradually back to work. The cold is usually accompanied by a cough. No attempt should be made to bring the horse back to work if it is still coughing. The symptoms can be relieved by applying an electuary to the tongue or by steaming the horse’s head.
Preventing Horse From Cold
If the equine cold is suspected, take the horse to a secluded area to avoid the disease from being spread. Maintain a quarantined area for infected horses throughout their recovery period. This lowers the threat of spreading the disease. Use bleach or a disinfectant to clean areas that may be touched by the infected horse or it may have leaked fluids. Do not forget to wash your hands after touching a contaminated horse.
Sanitize and sterilize common areas and products like boots, brushes, and food bins. The equine influenza vaccine acts as the best method of prevention. The vaccine asks for a periodic booster shot to sustain the immunity levels. This step is particularly vital for horses that travel and get in touch with other animals and germs habitually.
From the point of view of a horse owner, try to manage the season of winter to avoid your horse from getting cold and suffering. You can save your horse from the cold by taking good care of its food, water, shelter, and routine health care. If you have made preparations in advance, whether the winter is mild or severe, it will not trouble your horse with a cold. The above account has also cited ways of treatment of an equine cold. Thus, you will not have to face the problem of how to treat a horse with a cold, in case your horse catches it.
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