Items

Forums
African Horse Sickness Disease
 By Winniefield Park   •   12th May 2016   •   1,001 views   •   0 comments


There are many horse diseases that those of us in North America are unfamiliar with. African Horse Sickness is one of those. Caused by a virus carried by tiny midges or mosquitoes, it may be called ‘horse sickness’, but it also affects donkeys, mules, and zebras. Horses are most susceptible to the disease. Dogs, lions, camels and a few other species may carry the virus, to be picked up when insects bite them, but they aren’t susceptible to the effects of the disease. Carnivores that have picked up the virus do so by eating meat from an infected horse or horse relative. There are actually nine different strains of the virus that causes AHS. Humans are not affected by the virus at all.

Outbreaks of AHS occur in equatorial countries, where rainy seasons alternate with hot dry weather, creating conditions favorable to biting insects. It’s thought that AHS was confined to central African countries, but the Near East and Arabia, Pakistan, India and even Southern Spain and Portugal have seen outbreaks.

There are four different courses the disease can take. In the pulmonary form, death can occur in about 24 hours because severe lung congestion causes respiratory failure. A horse has about 10% chance of surviving this type of viral infection. The cardiac form has a slightly better survival rate, with half to three quarters of infected horses surviving. Symptoms of the disease show seven to twelve days after infection and can include swelling of the head and neck areas, inflammation of the eye area, swelling of the hollow above the eyes, shortness of breath, stomach pain and high fever. Another form that affects donkeys and zebras, and vaccinated horses, and has an almost 100% survival rate may make the animal mildly sick with mild fever and respiratory congestion. The worst form however is a combination of the pulmonary and cardiac forms, that can only be diagnosed after death.

Considering the presence of carrier insects, weather patterns and symptoms the sick animals has is often enough to diagnose AHS, but the only way to be 100% sure what virus causes a horse to be sick however, is by taking a blood sample. Horses can only get the virus through the biting insects. It isn’t actually contagious, but multiple outbreaks occcur because midges can cover horses.

Little can be done to complete avoid outbreaks of AHS. Some years, if the weather is particularly dry and not good for the midges and mosquitoes, AHS is almost unheard of. But, when wet humid weather encourages the proliferation of these bugs, severe outbreaks can occur. Vaccinations are helpful, but not 100% effective, and it’s not practical to immunize all feral herd and domestic horses. In the past, infected horses were collected, quarantined, and slaughtered. One novel way of getting rid of tick infestations on feral horses has been to shoot them with a paintball gun filled with a ball filled with insect repellent. This way the horses do not have to be darted, which can be dangerous for them, and the public should a darted horse saunter sleepily onto a busy roadway or other hazard

Can horses that live in more northerly climates get AHS? It’s unlikely, although there are insects capable of carrying the virus in Europe and North America. The AHS virus is closely related to one that causes a disease called ‘bluetongue’ in deer, sheep and cattle, that has appeared in both the southern US and Europe. As our climate warms up, it’s felt that the insects that carry such diseases may move further north. North America remains AHS free, and it is on the list of reportable diseases in both the U.S. and Canada. If it does appear on our back step, disease control agencies in both countries have agressive policies in place to deal with it.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Tick,
Horse News More In This Category:  Equine Disease and Prevention      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 Related Horse News
Equine Piroplasmosis
13th Sep 2016   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
Like Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, EP is caused by a parasite. The parasite does not dwell in the horse’s gut like ascracids or bot. This microscopic parasite lives in the horse’s blood. There are two ways EP can be transfer ...
Horses and Lyme Disease
30th Jun 2016   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
Singer Avril Lavigne has been battling Lyme Disease for over a year and my vet and I have discussed Lyme Disease vaccine for my dog. My daughter has found a tick logged on the belly of one of her horses. For both humans and animal ...
African Horse Sickness Disease
12th May 2016   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
There are many horse diseases that those of us in North America are unfamiliar with. African Horse Sickness is one of those. Caused by a virus carried by tiny midges or mosquitoes, it may be called ‘horse sickness’, but it also af ...
Tick Prevention and Removal
18th May 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
Tick season is here along with spring weather, although for many of us ticks are now a year round worry. Luckily our dogs and cats can be protected from these pesky little blood suckers, but we have to watch our horses closely, si ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
Jenny The Horse Roaming German Streets
4th Jun 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
For over 10 years, a white mare has been roaming the streets and green spaces of Frankfurt, Germany. Now, with the roadways empty, and more people at home, she’s lifting the spirit of many residents during the coronavirus lockdown ...
Forest Service In Oregon To Brutally Reduce Herd Size
3rd Jun 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
In Defense of Animals is petitioning to halt the sterilization program being planned by the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon that will brutally reduce the herd size and cause harm to horses in the Oregon’s Big Summit wild horse herd ...
Red Wine Stain Contends for Highest Jump on PonyBox
2nd Jun 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
There is a contender for the highest jump record. Red Wine Stain, a full Trakehner mare’s career took off as a four year old and rocketed from 15,709 place to the 125th spot. At the age of 13 when this article was written, she sit ...
Stuff Horse Girls Dont Say
31st May 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
There are some things you just don’t say to a horse person, like horseback riding isn’t a sport because the horse does all the work. And, there are some things you’ll never hear come out of a horse person’s mouth. Here’s a look a ...
Where Did The Disneyland Horses Go During COVID
30th May 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
There are a lot of out of work horses right now! Even the horse cast members at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California are in lock down, no longer pulling carriages of tourists down Main Street, USA. But, they're doing just fine ...
Para-Olympian Dressage Rider Sanne Voets
29th May 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
Often riders who are riding a dressage freestyle will choose music to build their program around. But, not so with Para-Olympian dressage rider Sanne Voets. Voets won triple gold at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and freestyle go ...
Funny Cowboy Horse Challenge
26th May 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
Did you do the Tiktok Cowboy Horse Challenge? With only a few props and a long-haired friend you can too can look like a horseback rider galloping off into the...hallway? Take a look at this compilation for some cowboy inspiration ...
Horses Paying Window Visit To Seniors Facilities
25th May 2020   |   Equine Disease and Prevention   |   Winniefield Park
There are so many bad news stories about senior’s homes right now it’s refreshing to find good news stories. But, everywhere, there are people working hard to not only keep our most vulnerable citizens safe and healthy, but to pro ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
181 Members Online 265,919 Registered Members 2,720 News Articles 11,553,761 Unique News Article Views 274,885,567 Website Views