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.