Equine Influenza

Equine Influenza in Arizona is a monitored disease.  This means at the Department of Agriculture we take reports of outbreaks to understand the spread of this disease and pockets throughout the state, yet as an agency do not quarantine the facility.  This does not mean that a farm owner or manager cannot impose a self quarantine on the facility so new animals are not infected.

What causes equine influenza? 

Equine influenza A2 virus (EIV) causes flu in horses.  In the literature you may see the  A2 EIV is also called subtype H3N8 (which, to scientists, relates it to the H3 flu viruses in other animals).

How does my horse get the disease?

Horses often get the flu much like humans do from other humans by coming in contact with an infected horse or from nasal secretions from an infected horse.  This often happens during times of stress such as at shows or other events where groups horses commingle.  These horses then may bring it home to and spread it through the facility. Young horses (ages 1 to 5) with limited natural immunity, unvaccinated horses, and those that come into frequent contact with large numbers of horses have the highest infection risk.

What can I do to protect my horse?

 It is recommended that you work with your veterinarian to determine the risk of your horse due to activities and tailor a vaccination program to protect your equine friend.

Download this free fact sheet to learn how to protect your horse from influenza, a highly contagious respiratory disease.

Download link available at the Source url. https://thehorse.com/156815/equine-influenza-protect-your-horse/

 

 

 

 

Rabies alert

This is a great time to remind everyone to have their animals vaccinated for Rabies.  This should include livestock like horses.

 

The following is a news release from Arizona Department of Health Services.  If you see any wild animals acting out of the normal contact Arizona Game and Fish.

 

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release | Dec. 13, 2017

Media Contact | Nicole Capone

Mobile | 480.980.2940

Gray Fox Rabies Activity Has Quadrupled in Several Arizona Counties This Year

Public Urged to Take Precautions to Prevent Rabies Infections

PHOENIX – Rabies activity in Arizona’s gray fox populations has quadrupled in the last year according to data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services. As of a report today, there are 24 rabid foxes in 2017, compared with 6 rabid foxes reported statewide in 2016. Six of these cases were confirmed in the past two months.

An outbreak of fox rabies is occurring in the east-central part of Arizona near recreational hiking trails and camping areas in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, which includes the Superstition Mountains Wilderness Area. Several foxes have been seen alongside trailheads and there is evidence that the outbreak may be spreading to more urban areas posing additional risk to people and their pets living in residential communities. So far in 2017, rabid foxes have been identified in Cochise, Navajo, Pima, and Santa Cruz Counties and now recently in Gila, Maricopa, and Pinal Counties.

“It is very important for people to take precautions such as keeping their pets on a leash and vaccinated against rabies, which is a very serious disease that can be fatal,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “People can still walk, hike, or camp in these areas, but should

be aware that rabid animals have been identified. It is important to make sure you and your pets are not

interacting with wild animals. When at home, pets should be supervised or kept in a fenced yard.”

Rabies is a virus spread by the bite of or contact with saliva of an infected animal. Rabies causes severe damage to the central nervous system and usually leads to death once symptoms appear. Human exposures to rabid animals are usually rare, but domestic animals, such as cats and dogs often come into contact with wild animals.

In Arizona, bats, skunks, and foxes are the main animal sources of rabies. The first sign of rabies is

usually a change in the animal’s behavior. Animals may act more aggressive or more tame than usual, be out during the day, stagger, tremble, or seem weak. Rabid animals may appear agitated and excited or paralyzed and frightened. Sometimes, rabid animals do not show any signs of illness before death from rabies.

ADHS advises that people do not touch, or feed wild or unfamiliar animals, even if they do not appear sick or aggressive. Any wild animal exhibiting erratic or aggressive behavior should be reported to local animal control officials or the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 602-942-3000. If you or your pet is bitten or has contact with a wild animal, seek immediate medical or veterinary attention and contact your county public health department.

For more information on rabies, go online to www.azhealth.gov/rabies.

State Lifts Quarantine at Turf Paradise

(Phoenix) Today the Department of Agriculture lifted the quarantine at Turf Paradise Racetrack. The quarantine was implemented on January 28th, after three horses arrived from Dona Ana County, New Mexico where 74 horses have been diagnosed with Equine Herpes Virus. The quarantine was lifted following an investigation and determination that no other horses were affected by the virus.

“We ordered the quarantine to protect Arizona horses from a potentially deadly disease,” said Mark Killian, director of Arizona Department of Agriculture. “While these restrictions seem severe, they were absolutely necessary and, as intended, successful.”

The New Mexico Livestock Board quarantined several locations, but the 3 horses at Turf Paradise left before the restrictions were in place. Only one of the horses that came from New Mexico developed the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus.

For the last 21 days, strict biosecurity measures have prevented the spread of the disease and no other horses have shown signs of infection or illness.

“The hard work of Turf Paradise management has prevented this isolated case from becoming an outbreak,” said Dr. Susan Gale, Acting State Veterinarian. “The quick action of the state and cooperation of Arizona horsemen, the Racing Commission and the track were key to our success.”

Equine Herpes Virus is only one of several dangerous diseases that threaten Arizona livestock. The department relies heavily on veterinarians and livestock owners across the state to watch for signs and contact the State Veterinarian’s Office with any concerns.

VSV Keeps Moving

An updated VSV Situation Report is available at USDA APHIS VS page:

  • Since the start of the outbreak, two hundred seventy-nine (279) VSV-affected premises (New Jersey serotype) have been identified and quarantined in 7 states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming).
  • As of last week, there are 140 affected premises remaining under quarantine in 5 states (Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming).

Fortunately here in AZ we are still without VSV cases.

What I do hear about frequently in the these days from my equine practitioner colleagues is the never-ending colics and laminitis war stories. It’s a harsh environment out there this time of year. Please stay alert and attentive.