4) Prevent Spread
A. Clearly mark the quarantine/isolation section with duct tape
on the barn floor or rope along with signs to identify to everyone
where the quarantine area is.
B. Reduce the amount of standing water and manure in the environment to limit flies and mosquitoes which can carry disease.
C. Keep feed rooms, tack rooms, and other stable areas tidy and
well-swept to help prevent rodents, which can also carry disease.
D. Human traffic carries big potential for disease spread. Therefore,
advise staff, trainers, and visitors to disinfect boots and wash hands
before entering the barn and handling horses. Keep hand sanitizer
available for additional disinfectant and for visitors to use.
E. Wash your hands with soap and warm water thoroughly before
and after handling each sick horse or consider using gloves.
F. Always handle sick or exposed horses LAST in your daily routine.
G. Use separate equipment for sick animals.
H. Disinfect all equipment that comes into contact with a sick
animal as discussed below.
A. Remove all excess dirt/debris from items to be disinfected.
This includes nylon halters, bits, lip chains, grooming equipment,
buckets, shovels, pitch forks, stall floors and walls, and even shoes
and car/truck tires.
B. Wash each item/area first with laundry detergent or dish soap
C. Immerse/soak or thoroughly wet the item/area with an appropriate disinfectant and then rinse thoroughly with water. Consult
your veterinarian for guidance as to which is most effective for the
surface and pathogen being treated.
D. Create a plan with your staff that includes frequent cleaning
1. Sellon, D.C., Long, M. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, Missouri (2007):
Equine Infectious Diseases: Bioecurity and Control of Infectious Disease
Outbreaks. Chapter 62.
2. Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in a
Public Setting. JAVMA, Vol 243, No. 9, November 1, 2013: 243(9) 1270-1288
3. Equine Biosecurity and Biocontainment Practices on U.S. Equine Operations.
APHIS Veterinary Services Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health
4. Weese, J.S. (2002): A Review of Equine Zoonotic Diseases: Risks in Veterinary
Medicine. American Association of Equine Practicioners Proceedings
Vol. 48, 2002: 362-369
5. American Association of Equine Practicioners. www.aaep.org
6. Center for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/horses.html
1.“Overview of Lungworm Infection.” The Merck Veterinary Manual.
Merck Sharpe and Dohme Corp., 2013. Web.
2. “Dictyocaulus arfieldi; Equine Lungworm.” Merial ltd., 2001. Web
3. Boyle AG and Houston R. Parasitic pneumonitis and treatment in horses.
Clin Tech Equine Pract 2006;5( 4):225-232.
Can donkeys and mules get sick from lungworms?
Here is the interesting thing about this parasite:
donkeys and mules can harbor lungworms without
showing any signs of infection. In fact, they rarely do.
Why? Because they are the parasite’s natural host, so
they may have lungworms and you would never know.
But this is not the case with horses, which are therefore
more susceptible to infection and the disease that results
What are the symptoms of lungworms?
Lungworms cause a parasitic pneumonitis (
inflammation of lung tissue) from the larval stages of the worm
migrating throughout the lung. This larval migration,
which is part of the normal life cycle, doesn’t get completed in the horse like it does in the donkey or mule.
This incomplete larval development in the horse causes
inflammation and mucus production, and infected horses
can have a chronic cough, exercise intolerance and nasal
discharge. Pneumonia, pulmonary edema and secondary
bacterial infections can be complications of lungworms,
and in severe cases heavy worm burdens can lead to death.
How can I prevent lungworms?
Because donkeys and mules can live with these parasites without obvious consequences to their health, they
are considered the main source of pasture contamination
for horses. For this reason, it is important to be aware of
lungworms and what signs to look for in the case of infection of your horse. Ideally, separating donkeys, mules
and horses at pasture is the best way to prevent lungworm
infection in horses. Routine deworming of your pasture
animals as recommended by your veterinarian is helpful
as there are few effective dewormers available for treating
lungworms and the avermectins work best. If you have
donkeys, mules and horses on the same farm, talk to your
veterinarian at your next annual visit to make sure you
are appropriately deworming for lungworms so that they
can continue to live together in good health.
Lungworms (continued from page 3)