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EHV1 Virus outbreak at HITS


EHV1 Outbreak and Quarantine Information

Horse health & safety

 In this area, we will be posting alerts or any information we feel should be passed onto our customers.  If you have a link you would like to share, please contact me.

Toxic trees and plants

There is always a concern about toxic trees or plants being used for horse bedding.  Regardless of which manufacturer you purchase from, make sure you are aware what product you are getting. Take a look at the following links regarding toxic trees and plant that you may not be aware of.

Painkillers and Gastric Ulcers in Horses

If you've ever given the common oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone (Bute) to a horse, you've probably been warned that it can cause stomach (gastric) ulcers if you give too much or give it for too long. Thus, there's always interest in pain-relieving medications for horses that work while causing less gastric irritation or none at all.

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Foals Can Shed EPE Organisms to Uninfected Horses

Weanling foals that come down with equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) will recover if they are treated properly, so owners should look for this emerging disease in sick foals, said Nicola Pusterla, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

Signs of disease include lethargy, weight loss, fever, loose stool, and peripheral edema (throat latch, sheath, distal limbs). "The prognosis is good if foals are treated specifically for EPE," he said. Treatment includes fluids, plasma, and antibiotics. In addition, make sure they get good nutrition.

Pusterla and his colleagues recently studied Lawsonia intracellularis, the bacteria that causes EPE. They wanted to know how the disease progresses and whether infected foals shed the organism and posed a threat to herd mates. They infected three foals withL. intracellularis and studied how the disease progressed (clinical signs, clinicopathological findings, antibody titer, and fecal shedding).

They found that the foals shed L. intracellularis. Therefore, infected foals should be separated from the rest of the heard because they might expose susceptible herd mates, according to Pusterla.

"The disease has two faces, a clinical presentation that is really easy to diagnose and a subclinical form, which goes together with transient blood work abnormalities (low albumin) and fecal shedding of L. intracellularis," he said.

Experts believe that young foals are protected from the disease while nursing because they get protective antibodies from the mare, but once they stop weaning, they become susceptible to the disease, and the stress of weaning puts them at risk.

"Young adults can also contract the disease, however, this is a rare event," he said.

At the moment, there is nothing owners can do to prevent infection, but researchers are looking for a vaccine, he said.

The study "Oral infection of weanling foals with an equine isolate of Lawsonia intracellularis, agent of equine proliferative enteropathy" was published online ahead of print in the March Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.


Equine Encephalitis  9-30-09  Ocala Star Banner

Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis confirmed

The Marion County Health Department has confirmed a positive case locally of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The case is the second of the year and both were in horses. The latest case was found in a horse in the Silver Springs area, according to a news release.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that can be transmitted to humans and horses through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The health department advises the public to remain diligent in mosquito protection efforts. For more information, call the department at 629-0137.


    EHV-1 Outbreak: USDA Releases Final Situation Report 6-24-11

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released its final situation report on the equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak that affected the western United States and Canada starting in mid-May. The outbreak is believed to have stemmed from horses attending a national championship cutting competition held in Utah in early May. In its most recent report the USDA indicated that disease spread had been contained.

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Article on bedding - borrowed from

Horses’ Space. Horses confined to a stall will require more bedding in order to absorb urine and moisture than horses with lots of turnout. If your horse uses his stall primarily for feeding and protection from severe weather, he won’t need as much bedding.
Storage. Storage of bedding will be a major consideration for people short on land space, whereas those with storage room and easy access for delivery trucks may be able to buy bedding in bulk.
Dust. If your horse has heaves or other respiratory issues, or if you have allergies or asthma yourself, you’ll want an absorbent bedding with low dust, mold and foreign object count. Also, the greater the bedding’s absorbency, the lower the ammonia level will be in your barn, and breathing ammonia can damage lung tissue in you and your horse.
Managing Waste. If you compost your stall waste, you may prefer bedding that will compost faster and more completely. Our top choices in this category are pelleted wood bedding, alderwood green sawdust and shredded newspaper bedding 

If you apply your stall waste straight to your land, the big concern is the amount of carbon. Almost all beddings are carbon, and too much carbon dumped onto pastures will rob soils of nitrogen, turning pasture plants yellow. 

If you plan to give away your stall waste, do your homework. In some parts of the country, gardeners and farmers prefer stall waste with straw bedding. Elsewhere, herbicides associated with straw can cause problems, so growers (and commercial composters) may want to steer away from stall waste containing straw bedding.
Availability. Investigate bedding types and sources available in your area. For example, in a heavily timbered area you may find good sources of alder sawdust or pelleted bedding. Likewise, in another part of the country newspaper bedding might be more readily available. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask questions.
Horse Health. If you choose a non-traditional product, be sure to check with your vet or other knowledgeable resource because some materials (such as black walnut) are extremely toxic to horses. Chipped landscaping material from tree trimming services is not recommended as horse bedding. Many types of trees are toxic to horses when eaten, especially those used in landscaping (such as black locust, parts of oak trees, horse chestnut, etc.). Also, horses could eat the molding green material in the chips. Your horse may want to eat some beddings, such as straw, and you should evaluate any health risk.
Cost. Many products may be more expensive pound for pound, but if they are highly absorbent you won’t need to use as much. Buying in bulk may save you some money, too.