Horses are a lot like kids. When one gets sick, they share with all those they encounter. Influenza (flu) and herpesvirus (rhino) are common respiratory viruses in horses. The risk of catching and transmitting these diseases increases with the stress of transportation and showing. And should a horse fall ill while away from home, he can spread the virus to others at the show, in the trailer, or upon his return home.
The Good News
Veterinarians can identify sick horses in as few as 10 minutes, giving owners time to quickly establish biosecurity and quarantine measures to prevent the spread of disease to others in the barn. The Stablelab® SAA stall side test checks for any early indicators of infection before leaving home or in advance of returning from a show.
The hand-held diagnostic blood test measures and quantifies serum amyloid A (SAA) levels in the horse’s blood. SAA is a major acute-phase protein produced by the liver that is a reliable biomarker for inflammation due to infection¹. The SAA levels quickly and significantly increase in response to an infection.
SAA has been shown to be 30 times more sensitive than a thermometer in identifying subclinical infection. Knowing a horse is sick before registering a fever² provides critical time to get a head start implementing a plan of action for additional diagnostics, treatment, monitoring and possibly isolating infected horses faster.
Prevent and Protect
Ultimately, everyone’s goal is to minimize infectious respiratory disease outbreaks by taking both preventative and proactive measures.
Prevention starts with speaking to your veterinarian to ensure that your horse is vaccinated according to the AAEP Guidelines. Core EQ Innovator is the only vaccine that contains the five core disease antigens (WNV, EEE, WEE, tetanus, rabies) that every horse needs in a single injection.
If your horse goes off property or lives with any horses that do, ask your veterinarian to administer Fluvac Innovator® EHV-4/1 (flu/rhino) at least two weeks prior. This will give you confidence that you are providing the protection to help your horse stay healthy.
Before you go, be aware of any known outbreaks. Check in with the state veterinarian and/or the Equine Disease Communication Center to learn about infectious diseases in the area.
Set Up For Success
Don’t let a respiratory disease derail your riding and show season. Be proactive with your biosecurity plan and identify sick horses before they even start showing signs with Stablelab. Talk with your veterinarian and learn more at zoetisequine.com.
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¹ Jacobsen, Stine. Review of equine Acute-Phase proteins. AAEP Proceedings vol 53 2007. Pages 230 – 235.
2 Oertly. et al. The accuracy of Serum Amyloid A in determining early inflammation in horses following long-distance transportation by air. AAEP Proceedings, 2017. Pages 460-461.