What's the Treatment for the Australian Horses Sick with Equine Influenza?


The other day a blog visitor asked what drugs would be given to a sick horse in the midst of the Australian Equine Influenza (EI) outbreak. The answer is not simple but I went looking for an official answer.


Serendipitously, the New South Wales state government issued new guidelines for treatment yesterday. Here's a link to download a pdf (Adobe Acrobat) file about EI treatment: caring-ei-horses-1.pdf

The following broad points are for suggestion only; each sick horse should be treated as an individual with a treatment plan specific to its needs and environmental limitations.

--It is important to match treatment for equine influenza with the severity of the infection.

--A veterinarian may recommend anti-inflammatory drugs for stallions or pregnant mares with a very high fever, to avoid testicular problems in stallions or abortion in mares.

--Supportive treatments such as cough suppressants can help reduce complications.

--Antibiotics may be an appropriate treatment of secondary bacterial infections, particularly if fever persists for longer than four to five days and is accompanied by abundant and thick nasal discharge.

--There is currently no specific antiviral treatment registered for use for treatment of equine influenza.