African Horse Sickness A Threat To More Than Just Horses

A veterinarian in Thailand is asking for help in fighting the outbreak of African Horse Sickness. Dr. Siraya Chunekamrai, vice-president of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and chairwoman of the Lampang Pony Welfare Foundation, says that 500 horses have already died from the disease and hundreds, possibly thousands, of additional horses are at risk.

Chunekamrai is spearheading vaccination efforts for equines in the country and has begun a fundraising campaign for the purchase of necessary items, including nets to protect horses from the biting midges that carry the disease.

Many of the threatened animals are essential to their owner’s livelihoods, which are already at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect of African horse sickness on this vulnerable population could be devastating.

Horses have no natural immunity to African horse sickness; to limit the spread of the disease, horses can be kept in stalls that have fine insect netting on them, but midges are able to get into the tiny gaps, so even the spaces where the netting meets the wall must be sealed. Spraying the netting and stable areas with pyrethroid insecticide can help. If a horse becomes infected, treatment options are limited and include isolation, rest palliative care and euthanasia. The mortality rate for the disease is nearly 95 percent.

Vaccinations are only being given to horses that have undergone testing to ensure they don’t have the disease. Infected horses have cardiac and pulmonary issues, and often have a fever, are depressed and show swelling above the eyes and lips.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post African Horse Sickness A Threat To More Than Just Horses appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.