Q:I show during the spring and summer season and wanted to know how I can safeguard my horse before putting him in a wooden, concrete or metal stall that could have contained a sick horse the weekend before – without burning his lungs from dousing the stall with bleach?

A:Cleaning is most important so being sure all left over bedding is removed is the first step, then physically scrubbing stall surfaces with soap and water followed by rinsing will remove about 90 to 95% percent of the bacteria and viruses. However the only way to inactivate the other 5 to 10% of the disease agents not removed by cleaning alone is with a disinfectant. Options are mentioned in articles on The Horse that are mentioned in the webinar; one is Bye Bye Bad Bugs. It is important to follow all label recommendations regarding effectiveness and safe handling of disinfectants and information regarding how long you need to wait before putting the horse into the stall. Other options depending how long the show is, such as keeping your horse at your trailer or in your own portable stalls, are some things some folks have done. Be sure to use your own water buckets and not share tack.

Learn more about disease prevention and read more Q&A with Dr. Traub-Dargatz in our free on-demand webinar: Disease Prevention!