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Horse Quarantine Basics
 By Winniefield Park   •   22nd Aug 2017   •   851 views   •   0 comments


If you own a horse, especially if you keep it at home, you need to know how you would keep one in quarantine if the need arises. You may want to bring a new horse home and make sure that it doesnít have any transferable health problems like viruses or lice and other skin diseases. If there is an outbreak of disease, itís good to have a plan to keep your own horses safe and healthy.

Quarantines help prevent or slow down the spread of disease. A horse in quarantine should be kept well away from other horses. This could mean thinking ahead about where and how the horse can be kept separate from the rest. The horse could be kept in a separate shelter and paddock where it canít come in contact with others. Or, a portable pen could be built. It should be stabled and pastured far enough away from other horses that there is no possibility of germs being spread by air. Manure should be disposed of where other horses can not come in contact with it. If the horse is very sick, it may mean taking him off the immediate property altogether.

A new horse, before it is introduced to the home herd may spend time in quarantine to ensure it is not bringing any problems such as lice, mange, viral infections or other health problems with it. The recommended time period for quarantining new horses is fourteen to thirty days. This allows plenty of time for potential problems to crop up. It also gives the horse time to get used to its new surroundings. If the history of the horse isnít well-known, such as a horse bought through an auction barn, the longer the quarantine the better.

If itís a new horse, it should be dewormed when it arrives. If there is a problem, the horse should remain in isolation until all signs of the sickness are gone, and a veterinarian gives it a clean bill of health. Otherwise, it needs to be watched for any sign of disease during the length of the quarantine.

While it may seem inconvenient, especially when youíve just bought a new horse and are excited to make it feel at home, the potential veterinary expenses and additional time that can be lost by spreading any sort of health problem to a stable can be enormous. If you board your horse, youíll probably be subject to your stableís rules regarding bringing new horses in. If you have your own stable, youíll want to be just as careful for the sake of the other horses living with you already.

If there is a sick horse on your property not only should it be kept out of contact with others, but the horse must have a separate water source so it doesnít contaminate common troughs or waterers. And, even handlers need to be very careful about using separate grooming tools, feed buckets and washing up after touching the horse. Handwashing, wearing disposable gloves and boot coverings or using a sanitizing wash may be necessary. The whole point of quarantine can be undone if someone cross contaminates equipment that can carry disease from one horse to another inadvertently.

You may wish to quarantine your horses during a disease outbreak. Either the horses with the sickness will be quarantined, or you may wish to keep healthy horses well away from others that might have a disease. This might be a simple as not allowing anyone to bring horses onto your property, and not taking your horses off the property until a disease is no longer a danger.
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