Check out the first article How to keep your horse healthy during the winter months Part One by clicking here:
In the first section of this article, we discussed the importance of equine care and management, today we will be discussing the next steps in having a managed environment and what I believe could help you in your daily barn work schedule.
Sweep & Clean Stables & Aisles
Haven’t you seen the dust rise in the stable as you skip out and add more bedding? Organic dust comes from hay, grain, wood pellets, straw, and livestock and is associated with your horse’s respiratory health. Organic dust includes molds, pollens, bacteria, pesticides, chemicals, feed and bedding particles, and animal particles including hair, dander, and droppings, these play a role in increased risk of inflammatory reactions and are associated with respiratory diseases.
Remove horses from the stalls when cleaning
Breathing in dust or other fine particles is unhealthy for both horses and humans. If you, a family member, or your horse has a respiratory issue, this should be a major consideration when you are selecting bedding materials. A Dutch study showed that higher levels of dust & microbial exposure were evident in the AM - most likely due to higher activity than in PM. As such, it would be advisable to put horses out in the AM & minimize yours and your horse’s exposure to these activities. (5).
Aerosol therapy offers the benefit of directly targeting the affected area of the respiratory tract all the way to the lungs. This method of targeted drug delivery is a very effective alternative method to delivering treatment medications orally or via injection. To protect & manage your horses respiratory issues, look into equine nebulization to ease respiratory symptoms from your horse.
Implement Biosecurity Protocols
The existing human population has never undergone such high intensity traiing in biosecurity measures this year as we learned to face the devastating effects of COVID-19. As you know, it may be flu season in your stable. Influenza is endemic in the horse population of Europe, North America & Canada and is a disease which effects the horses respiratory system. Thankfully this can be prevented by strict vaccine protocols. An epidemiological study done in Ontario found equine influenza virus to be the casual agent in 56% of 23 outbreaks of acute viral respiratory disease investigated over a 2 year period (6).
Try to apply what you have learned with protecting yourself from the disease this year with protecting your horses from respiratory disease. The most practiced biosecurity principles implemented in stables are potential contamination of feed and water, insect and animal disease vector control and isolation when animals arrive or return to the premise. If you already have an influenza outbreak in your stable, help alleviate any associated respiratory issues, such as nasal discharge and cough, with an equine nebulizer that will ease symptoms through direct delivery to the lungs.
As a horse owner, there is a lot that you can do to help your horse get through the Winter season. The consequences of an un-managed respiratory issue can have long lasting effects on performance.. Get your horse’s respiratory system in top health by treating your horse with Flexineb’s innovative equine nebulizer.
1. Nardoni S, Mancianti F, Sgorbini M, Taccini F, Corazza M. Identification, and seasonal distribution of airborne fungi in three horse stables in Italy. Micropathological. 2005;160(1):29–34.
2. Brinkmann, L., Gerken, M., & Riek, A. (2012). Adaptation strategies to seasonal changes in environmental conditions of a domesticated horse breed, the Shetland pony (Equus ferus caballus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 215(7), 1061-1068
3. Saastamoinen, M., Särkijärvi, S., & Hyyppä, S. (2015). Reducing respiratory health risks to horses and workers: a comparison of two stall bedding materials. Animals, 5(4), 965-977.
4. Kwiatkowska-Stenzel, A., Witkowska, D., Sowińska, J., & Stopyra, A. (2017). The effect of stable bedding materials on dust levels, microbial air contamination and equine respiratory health. Research in veterinary science, 115, 523-529.
5. Samadi, S., Wouters, I. M., Houben, R., Jamshidifard, A. R., Van Eerdenburg, F., & Heederik, D. J. (2009). Exposure to inhalable dust, endotoxins, β (1→ 3)-glucans, and airborne microorganisms in horse stables. Annals of occupational hygiene, 53(6), 595-603.
6. Gagnon, C. A., Elahi, S. M., Tremblay, D., Lavoie, J. P., Bryant, N. A., Elton, D. M., & Elsener, J. (2007). Genetic relatedness of recent Canadian equine influenza virus isolates with vaccine strains used in the field. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 48(10), 1028.
7. Curtis, L., Raymond, S., & Clarke, A. (1996). Dust and ammonia in horse stalls with different ventilation rates and bedding. Aerobiologia, 12(1), 239-247.