Two Oregon Horses Confirmed With Equine Influenza

Neither horse was fully vaccinated against EI.

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Benton County, Oregon
Both horses reside at a private facility in Benton County. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
On Nov. 9, an attending veterinarian confirmed two Paso Fino geldings, both of which reside at a private facility in Benton County, with equine influenza (EI). Both were undervaccinated against EI.

The first horse, a 9-year-old, had arrived at Oregon Horse Center (OHC) in Lane County for an event the previous Tuesday, Nov. 2. On Friday, Nov. 5, he became lethargic with 105-degree F fever and clear nasal discharge. He was transported home immediately.

The second horse, an 8-year-old with no travel history, began showing similar signs on Sunday, Nov. 7. The horses are under voluntary quarantine at their home facility.

About Equine Influenza

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that infects horses, ponies, and other equids, such as donkeys, mules, and zebras. The virus that causes it is spread via saliva and respiratory secretions from infected horses. Horses are commonly exposed via horse-to-horse contact; aerosol transmission from coughing and sneezing; and contact with human’s contaminated hands, shoes, or clothes or contaminated tack, buckets, or other equipment.

Health Alert: Equine Influenza

​Clinical signs of equine influenza infection can include a high fever (up to 106°F); a dry, hacking cough; depression; weakness; anorexia; serous (watery) nasal discharge; and slightly enlarged lymph nodes. Consider monitoring your horse’s health at shows by taking his temperature daily, which can help you pick up on signs of infection early and take appropriate measures to reduce disease spread.

Vaccination is an important and inexpensive way to protect your horse. US Equestrian requires proof that horses have had an equine influenza vaccination within the six months prior to attending organization-sanctioned competitions or events. Your veterinarian can help you determine what other vaccines your horse might benefit from.

In addition to vaccinating, following strict biosecurity protocols can help reduce your horse’s chance of infection and disease. Such measures include quarantining new equine arrivals at barns, disinfecting buckets and equipment, and preventing nose-to-nose contact between horses.


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