Horse Diseases and Humans

What can you catch from your horse?

If you work around horses long enough, you’ll be handling ones that have lameness, diarrhea, abortions, skin diseases, and even neurologic signs. Our first concern is generally for the

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What can you catch from your horse?

If you work around horses long enough, you’ll be handling ones that have lameness, diarrhea, abortions, skin diseases, and even neurologic signs. Our first concern is generally for the horse’s well-being, and the last for our own health, since, after all, who gets sick from a horse?

Zoonotic diseases are those that are transmissible between animals and people. This article is going to address only selected diseases that humans can obtain from horses by direct or indirect contact (see sidebar “Infectious or Contagious?” below).


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Written by:

Roberta Dwyer, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVPM, is an equine extension veterinarian and professor at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, where she also serves as director of the preveterinary advising program. She specializes in veterinary preventative medicine.

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