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Equine Flu

Performance horse jumping a hurdle with rider

Please see the article below regarding Equine Influenza. Bayhill Equine recommends bi-annual vaccination for Equine Influenza. The article discusses an intranasal vaccine. Bayhill uses a vaccine that can be administered intranasal or intramuscular. If your horse has been vaccinated in the last 6 months they are up to date. If you have any questions about your horse's vaccination status or believe they are exhibiting signs of influenza, please call the office.

What appears to be a virulent strain of horse flu is making its way through Cottonwood and Red Bluff and has claimed the lives of three horses.

Dr. Bill Gray, a Cottonwood veterinarian, said test results from UC Davis first confirmed equine influenza was present in a North State horse about a month ago. That horse has since recovered.

Equine influenza has appeared in the county before, but the rate of infection appears higher than in past years. Gray estimates as many as 80 horses may be infected in the greater Red Bluff-Cottonwood area, based on reports from his patients.

A vaccine for equine influenza is available, and, if administered nasally, takes effect in 24-36 hours.

The vaccine, however, loses its effect after several months and needs to be readministered over the course of the year to remain effective.

Because the vaccine is typically given in a cluster of shots, including tetanus and encephalitis shots, ranchers may make the mistake of thinking their horses are already protected, Gray said.

The vaccine is not advised for horses who are already showing flu symptoms, which may include a temperature of 103 to 106 degrees, loss of appetite, hacking cough and congestion.