After dogs and cats, horses are the most common animal that is kept by humans. A lot of people keep horses to work, while some ride the animal for hobby. Before keeping the animals or while keeping them, you should be aware of some health issues they might undergo or pass. All kinds of animals living near humans are required to have sufficient vaccines to eliminate possible carried diseases.
What diseases can a horse be infected with?
Although the risk of rabies infection on a horse is quite rare compared to dogs, it remains the common disease transferable from horses to humans. Rabies is extremely harmful that horses exposed to it might die within a week. It also shows limited signs in the beginning of infection. Hence, the infection is usually discovered when the attack effects are severe.
Another disease is tetanus. This disease is caused by the bacteria called Clostridium tetani. This disease usually attacks the newborns as they do not develop full immunity yet. This disease is contagious to humans as causes severe muscle pain and spasms. In horses as well as humans, severe tetanus attack can lead to death.
In addition, horses are also susceptible to strangles. This is a certain disease that attacks horse upper respiratory tract. Cold weather, humidity, and bad ventilation spread the disease faster. Infected horses experience swellings in some glands on their neck, jaw, and head. Some horses recover well, while some others do not make it.
What to do to prevent strangles and tetanus?
Since the diseases are contagious, it is really important to prevent these disease attacks on your domestic animals. It is because your risk of catching those diseases in increasing when the animals are infected. Certain vaccines are available for animals with strangles and tetanus. This vaccine should be injected when the horses are young and repeated regularly up to four times. The shots will kill the bacteria by induce horses immune system to produce antibody for the bacteria. As for strangles vaccines, horses can be injected while still alive or after dead. This is important because the bacteria might still be alive even if the horse dead.
Besides giving the complete vaccines to your domestic animals, some steps need to be considered in order to minimize the risk of getting the diseases. Those are as follows:
- In order to prevent tetanus infection, be sure to clean the rust over the horse rails. As known, rusty metals can catch the spores of the bacteria causing tetanus. Therefore, you need to make sure not to keep those shovel, for instance near anywhere your horses defecate. This will prevent Clostridium tetani from moving their habitat.
- Keep close maintain through your horse skin. Be aware of possible open wound, as the bacteria can enter the horse body through the wound. Should your horse get a cut or wound, keep it clean and covered to avoid bacteria contamination that can risk her life.
- It is not only your horse who needs the vaccine for tetanus, your whole family do, too. Be sure to get your family and yourself injected. The booster has to be repeated once every ten years to make the effect stable. Be sure to observe your wounds closely too as your infection of tetanus can be contagious to your horse.
- In order to prevent strangles, keep your horse rails clean. As the bacteria causing strangles grow rapidly under cold and humid weather, make sure that the horse barn has a good ventilation system. Humid air will cause faster bacteria growth and therefore, slower healing process for your horse. If your horse form abscess as the result of strangles, be sure you clean the residues, as these residues might contain the infecting bacteria and be harmful for your pets and you.
Strangles and tetanus are two harmful diseases which can lead to death both in animals and humans. Though reliable vaccines are available for the two diseases, keeping your environment bacteria-free is one of the best way of getting rid of the bacteria spores. Preventing rust, cleaning animal cages, keep a good ventilation are some of the ways that can be effective as precautions.