Disease Problems of Horses
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ ( Publisher's URL )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001428/00001
 Material Information
Title: Disease Problems of Horses
Physical Description: Fact sheet
Creator: Hostetler, Roy
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1989
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Date first printed August 1965. Date revised June 1989."
General Note: "section 12 of 14 of 4HHSG01, which supersedes CO 201"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00001428:00001


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NAME_________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS_____________________________________________________________________________________ CLUB_________________________________________________________________________________________ 4-H HORSE PROGRAM HORSE SCIENCE This educational material has been prepared for 4-H use by the Cooperative Extension Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and State Land-Grant Universities in cooperation with the National 4-H Council and the American Quarter Horse Association. Trade or brand names used in the publications are used only for the purpose of educational information. The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of products or breeds of horses by the Federal Extension Service or State Cooperative Extension Services is implied, nor does it imply approval of products or breeds of horses to the exclusion of others which may also be suitable. This material was originally published by the National 4-H Council, 7100 Connecticut Avenue, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815. Programs and educational materials of National 4-H Council are available to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin or handicap. Council is an equal opportunity employer.


Horse Science: Disease Problems of Horses Pa g e 3June 1989An infectious disease is one caused by the presence inis received. These cases are known as acute or on an animal body of a living foreign organism, which byDuring the course of any disease many organisms its presence creates a disturbance leading to the developmentescape from the host. Sometimes they are eliminated with of symptoms.blood, or from an abscess. Sometimes they are passed out A contagious disease is one that may be transmittedwith droplets of moisture which accompany a cough or a from one animal to another by direct or indirect contact. Allsneeze as in respiratory infections. Sometimes the organisms contagious diseases are also infectious, but it does notare eliminated through fecal material or urine as in intestinal follow that all infectious diseases are contagious. Foror urinary infections. (The virus of rabies is eliminated example, tetanus, caused by organisms which live in the soilthr ough the salivary glands and usually enters the body of is infectious but not contagious since it is not transmittedthe new host through a bite or wound and is not normally directly from one animal to another.spread otherwise.) Some infectious diseases are highly contagious. SomeOccasionally an animal and the infected organism will are slightly contagious and a few are not contagious at all.reach the point where the organism is unable to cause How contagious a disease is depends upon how the diseaseserious damage to the host, yet the host is unable to organisms are eliminated from the body of the diseasedeliminate the organism. This situation may continue animal, their opportunity for reaching others and their abilitythro ughout the lifetime of the animal. Such animals are to produce disease in the new hosts.capable of shedding organisms causing disease in contact Disease-causing organisms vary greatly in their abilityanimals. We refer to these animals as carriers Carriers may to produce disease. When the ability to produce disease isnot show symptoms of disease but are a source of great great, the organisms are referred to as virulent .danger to others who lack the same amount of resistance. Animals also vary in their ability to resist or repelThe carrier is one of the great problems of control of many disease-producing organisms. An animal's ability to resist ainfectious diseases. Animals that are obviously diseased may particular organism is known as immunity The immunity ofbe recognized, but there is no simple way of recognizing an animal may vary from slight to absolute .carriers. Sometimes animals develop disease-resisting propertiesThere are many sources of infection for your animals. within their bloodstream. These properties repel theWe usually think of direct contact with the diseased invading organism. Sometimes these properties are strongindividual. enough to remain for the life of the animal (permanentDisease may also occur when inanimate objects carry immunity). Other times they pass in a few months or a yearinfection from one animal to another. This can occur in a (temporary immunity). Vaccination is a means of artificiallytrailer, a railroad stock car or trunk contaminated with the stimulating the immunity of the animal without giving itfecal material and not properly cleaned and disinfected. actual disease. To do this the virulence of organisms isContact with apparently healthy disease carriers is a lowered until it no longer possesses the ability to activelymajor hazard. These carriers may infect others directly or cause disease but can stimulate the development of immuneindirectly as readily as the obviously diseased animal. properties in the body of the host animal. These live but Infection from soil Certain organisms live in the soil attenuated organisms are known as a vaccine Other timesand are able to produce disease in animals if chance carries the organisms are completely killed and the products of theirthem to the ti ssues (example: tetanus). growth used to stimulate immunity. This preparation isDisease may be contr acted from food and water that has known as a bacterin .been contaminated by a diseased animal (example: Because disease-producing organisms reach a hostleptospirosis). animal does not always mean that the animal will developAir-borne infections occur when droplets of moisture disease. Sometimes the animal's resistance is high enough orare sn eezed or coughed into the air (example: strangles or the virulence low enough that the organisms are destroyedrespiratory infections). by the host. This process is continually going on asSome infections are carried by bloodsucking insects organisms capable of producing disease are constantly(example: Equine encephalitis or sleeping sickness). present. If something happens to lower the resistance of the Disease Prevention Most contagious diseases can be animal or to raise the virulence of the organism, then aprevented by: (1) avoiding contact with sick animals, (2) disease process can start. If the host and invading organismspreventing indirect contact by using clean trucks. Insist on reach a standoff, the infection makes little or no headwaynew grain sacks for purchased feed. Keep visitors from other but persists for a long time. This is known as a chronic stables with manure or dirty clothing from contacting your infection animal, his feed or water supply. Use private water pail at If the invading organisms rapidly overcome thefairs or shows, etc. (3) Raise your animal's resistance by resistance of the animal, then death usually ensues unlessgood feeding, sensible use and care and vaccination when rapid resistance to the organism is developed by the host orindicated. Normal use of the animal prevents completely suitable treatment isolated or


Horse Science: Disease Problems of Horses Pa g e 4June 1989100% protection from exposure. Therefore you should striveproviding their own w ater bucket at fairs or shows then to raise the resistance of your animal by keeping him wellmake the mistake of filling the bucket from a common nourished and in a good state of health. Do not allow antrough. animal to become too tired or to chill. Chilling might occurVaccination will raise an animal's resistance to many from riding for long distances in cold, windy, uncovereddiseases. Strangles (or distemper), tetanus (or lockjaw) are trucks or being tied in a cold rainstorm. Such stresses greatlyexamples. Your v eterinarian can advise you as to diseases lower an animals resistance to disease.common in your area that can be prevented by vaccination. Always provide clean drinking water, and when horsesGeneral information concerning common diseases of are gathered in large groups, water your horse from anhorses is presented in table 1. individual bucket, drawing the water directly from the tap,For add itional information of diseases of horses, contact not dipping it from the trough. Many people go to the bother your Veterinarian. of COMMON EQUINE DISEASESDisease Outstanding Symptoms Treatment or ControlEquine EncephalitisFever, impaired vision, irregular gait,Annual vaccination is recommended in areas (Sleeping Sickness)incoordination, yawning, grinding of teeth,where the disease is prevalent. No specific drowsiness, inability to swallow, inability to riseagent is available for treatment and treatment when down, paralysis and death.consists of supportive measures and good nursing. Consult your veterinarian. Strangles (Distemper)High temperature, increased respiration,Antiserum and bacterin are available. Provide depression, nasal discharge after 2nd or 3rd day,comp lete rest. Avoid stresses of cold, drafts, or swelling of lymph nodes which usually abcess.moisture. Fresh drinking water at all times. Encourage eating. Consult your veterinarian for systemic treatment and care of abcesses. Tetanus (Lockjaw)Follows infection of deep puncture wound,This disease requires professional treatment. incubation period from 1 week to several months.Mortality is high. Disease is widespread and it First symptoms stiffness and third eyelid mayis recommended that all animals receive draw over the eye when excited. Spasms occurprophylaxic vaccination. This is particularly after 24 hours, reflexes increased, animaldesirable in brood mares because of the added frightened or excited. Spasms of neck and backdanger of infection at foaling. muscles cause extension of the head and neck. Azoturia (MondayOccurs soon after being put to work, stiffness,Decrease grain feeding and allow exercise Morning Sickness)sweating, affected muscles, swollen, tense, maywhen animals are off work. Careful, slow assume sitting dog position.warm-up after rest. Animal stopped immediately after beginning of symptoms have a good chance to recover. Do not move the animal any distance. Blanket the animal to keep it warm and quiet. Call your veterinarian for systemic treatment. Laminitis (Founder)May be acute or chronic, follows feeding ofAcute case, apply cold pack to feet. Call excessive grain or lush pasture, fast work on hardveterinarian. Chronic founder, trim feet shoe roads, large amount of cold water while animal isto protect sole. Prognosis not good. hot, toxemias following pneumonia or metritis, acute case shows inflammation of sensitive laminae on one or more feet, feet warm, sensitive to touch, very lame, pain on standing, temperature to 106 sweating, chronic cases hoof becomes distorted, anterior hoof wall concave, wall becomes corrugated (rings parallel to hair line).


Horse Science: Disease Problems of Horses Pa g e 5June 1989NOTES


Horse Science: Disease Problems of Horses Pa g e 6June 1989NOTES


Horse Science: Disease Problems of Horses Pa g e 7June 1989NOTES


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, Christine Ta y lor Waddill, Director, in cooperation with the United States Department of A g riculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the Ma y 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Con g ress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services onl y to individuals and institutions that function without re g ard to race, color, a g e, sex, handicap or national ori g in. The information in this publication is available in alternate formats. Sin g le copies of extension publications (excludin g 4-H and y outh publications) are available free to Florida residents from count y extension offices. Information on copies for out-of-state purchase is available from Publications Distribution Center, Universit y of Florida, PO Box 110011, Gainesville, FL 32611-0011. Information about alternate formats is available from Educational Media and Services, Universit y of Florida, PO Box 110810, Gainesville, FL 32611-0810. This information was published June 1989 as CO 201, which is superseded b y 4HHSG01, Florida Cooperative Extension Service. 1.This document is section 12 of 14 of 4HHSG01, which supersedes CO 201, one of a series of the 4-H Youth Development Pro g ram, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and A g ricultural Sciences, Universit y of Florida. Date first printed Au g ust 1965. Date revised June 1989. Please visit the FAIRS Website at http://hammock.ifas.ufl.edu 2.Ro y Hostetler, Washin g ton State Universit y Debbie Glauer, member of 4-H Animal Science Desi g n Team, Department of Famil y Youth and Communit y Science, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and A g ricultural Sciences, Universit y of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.