Fever, Colds, and Flu in Horses
Upper respiratory infections whose symptoms include fever, snotty nose, and cough is a common problem in horses, particularly the young adult that travels to shows or rides. The most common causes are a handful of virus groups and the bacteria Streptococcus equi which is responsible for Strangles. The virus families include influenza (flu), rhinoviruses, several Herpes viruses (rhinopneumonitis), adenoviruses, and less commonly the Equine Arteritis Virus (equine viral arteritis or EVA).
These infections occur wherever horses congregate and young horses are especially susceptible. Though rarely fatal, these diseases count for tremendous loss of time and money in the horse business. These diseases have very similar symptoms but it is important to make an attempt to identify the cause. If strangles is identified early it is treatable. There are complications to some herpes virus infections, particularly EHV-1, that you do not see with the other diseases.
This article discusses how these upper respiratory diseases spread, the symptoms, palliative treatment and nursing care, prognosis, and prevention. The emphasis of this article is to try to differentiate the possible cause of the infection based on the above characteristics and then provide a link to the specific disease where more specific therapy can be instituted.
~Word Count: 2419 words (The average magazine page contains about 600 words);
~Last Updated: July 10, 2015;
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