Using Computer Simulation to Prevent Equine Disease

Researchers used computer simulation models to assess the risk of disease spread from horse events and the effectiveness of various control protocols in the face of the outbreak at a home stable.
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Prevent equine diseases
Horse shows can be festering ground for many equine diseases that owners can unknowingly bring back to their own barn. | Photo: Kevin Thompson/The Horse

Horse shows are a huge part of the horse industry. Some competitors travel to multiple arenas, grounds, and private facilities each year, some across state lines or even national borders. Those competitions can be festering ground for many equine diseases that a horse owner can unknowingly bring back to their own barn. As such, owners should take steps to prevent equine disease spread during and after competitions.

In a new study from Kelsey Spence, PhD, and her colleagues from the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, in Canada, computer simulation models were used to assess the risk of disease spread from horse events and the effectiveness of various control protocols in the face of the outbreak at a home stable.

“A computer simulation model is essentially a virtual representation of a situation we could see in real life,” said Spence. “We end up with a virtual scenario that tries to represent what we see in real life

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Chris White, DVM, was raised in central Maine and competed in barrel racing his entire childhood. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College, in Prince Edward Island, Canada. His interests include performance horse medicine, ophthalmology, and dental care. He has practiced in Upstate New York, New England, and Atlantic Canada.

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