Biosecurity in the Barn
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" — Ben Franklin
Between diseases spread from horse to horse and those spread by insects and other vectors, it’s hard to keep horses safe and healthy. These are recommendations to help prevent the most common infectious diseases.
Horse to horse: Equine Herpes Virus, Equine Influenza Virus, Strangles
- Avoid nose to nose contact
- Do not share equipment
- Isolate new and sick horses for 14-21 days
- Require a Coggins (EIA) test and health certificate for all new horses
Environmental/Insect vectors: Potomac Horse Fever, West Nile Virus, Eastern & Western Encephalitis Viruses, Rabies, Tetanus
- Fans, fly sprays, fly protective wear
- Treat standing water
- Break up manure in pastures
- Perform annual to biannual fecal egg counts, deworm
- Protect feed and hay from wildlife
Additional measures include minimizing stress—rough handling, over-training, and overcrowding of pastures can contribute to stress and decrease immunity. Providing adequate nutrition is also important.
Check your farm's biosecurity risk using the University of Guelph's Equine Biosecurity Calculator!