A boarding facility in Pierce County is under a voluntary quarantine after a horse there tested positive for equine influenza, according to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC). The owner of the facility and a private veterinarian are currently monitoring the situation.
This is the eighth facility in the state of Washington to voluntarily quarantine due to equine influenza since the beginning of October.
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Equine influenza is caused by a virus. Clinical signs include fever, lethargy, muscle pain and weakness, nasal discharge and dry cough that can persist as long as six weeks after all other clinical signs have abated. Treatment is primarily supportive care, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to control fever and muscle pain. Antibiotics are indicated only to treat secondary complications, such as pneumonia.
Equine influenza is highly contagious. The virus easily spreads from contact with contaminated surfaces and via airborne droplets exhaled by an infected horse. With an incubation of only a day or two, an entire herd of horses can be feverish and coughing before the initial case is even diagnosed. Diagnoses is made by isolating the virus from nasal swabs.
Click here to learn more about protecting your horse from influenza.
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