Category: Infectious diseases

West Nile Virus – what owners should know

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a viral disease previously only seen in Africa, western Asia, and southern Europe. Now it can also be found in the Middle East, Mediterranean region of Europe and the US. Prevention is the name of the game, so make sure you are one step ahead and protect your horse from... Read more »

Tetanus – ‘lockjaw’

Horses are susceptible to a number of serious infectious diseases, e.g. tetanus (lockjaw) and influenza (flu), fortunately there are vaccines available for some of these common conditions. What is tetanus? Tetanus can be a fatal disease, caused by the neurotoxin of Clostridium tetani, which is found in soil and enters the horse's bloodstream, usually via an... Read more »

Strangles (Streptococcus equi infection)

Strangles in a highly contagious infectious disease and can be serious or occasionally even fatal as a result of late diagnosis. Know what to look out for and you will almost certainly avoid the unnecessary suffering of your horse and others. What is strangles? Strangles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by a bacteria... Read more »

Pinworms – an unwanted irritation

Although pinworms are not generally considered harmful, they are a nuisance and irritating for the horse. If your horse is particularly itchy around its tail and anal region then it might be suffering from a pinworm burden. What are pinworms? Pinworms (Oxyuris equi) are small, white-gray, roundworms that live in the large intestine of the... Read more »

Equine viral arteritis (EVA)

Equine viral arteritis (EVA) is a contagious disease of equids (horses, donkeys, mules) caused by equine arteritis virus (EAV) that is present in many equine populations worldwide. The disease, referred to in the past by a variety of clinically descriptive terms, is believed to have afflicted horses in Western Europe for centuries. Although not considered life-threatening in... Read more »

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM)

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a common neurologic disease in horses in the USA. It is not generally seen in the UK, except in imported horses. What is EPM? EPM is a disease caused by infection with the protozoa Sarcocystis neurona or Neospora hughesi, but it is more commonly caused by N. hughesi which is carried by opossums in North... Read more »

Equine Influenza – ‘flu’

Horses are susceptible to a number of serious infectious diseases, eg influenza (flu) and tetanus (lockjaw). Fortunately there are vaccines available for some of these common conditions. What is equine influenza? Equine influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that affects the upper and lower respiratory tract of the horse caused by different strains of... Read more »

Equine infectious anaemia (EIA)

Equine infectious anaemia (EIA) is a disease of horses, mules and donkeys. Also called swamp fever, this disease has been present since the early 1800s, and has been reported worldwide. It remains a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in endemic areas to this day and the disease carries significant economic considerations. What causes the... Read more »

Equine herpesvirus (EHV)

Horses can suffer from a number of viral diseases, EHV is just one of many. If you are considering breeding your horse you should be aware of this disease and how it can affect breeding status as well and your horse's general health and well-being. EHV is the most commonly diagnosed cause of infectious abortion in... Read more »

Disease control

Horses are susceptible to many different diseases which can be passed between them. Horses are traveling and mixing with other horses at shows and events more and more and this increases the risk of them catching different infections. Disease control is very important in order to minimize the risk of disease spread and keep our... Read more »

Botulism

Botulism is one of the most potent toxins known, and unfortunately horses are extremely susceptible to it. There are three types of botulism recognised in horses, all of which can be easily prevented. What is botulism? Botulism is caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum is present in soil as spores, especially in certain... Read more »

Babesiosis (piroplasmosis)

There are a number of tick-borne diseases that can affect horses, including babesiosis. It is useful to know how to prevent infection, especially with increasing international horse movement, and the possible effects of global warming. What is babesiosis? Babesiosis, also referred to as piroplasmosis, is a tick-borne disease that attacks the horse's red blood cells.... Read more »

Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection

Also known as equine granulocytic anaplasmosis (EGA) or equine anaplasmosis. This is a relatively new disease, first described in the United States in 1969 but now increasingly recognised both in the US and Europe. What is A. phagocytophilum infection? Anaplasmosis is an infection caused by the bacterium A. phagocytophilum. A.phagocytophilum infection is tick-borne, spread by Ixodes ricinus (a sheep... Read more »