Oregon vet hospital resumes normal services after equine flu

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flu-featOregon State University’s Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital has resumed normal operations after an equine influenza outbreak.

The outbreak has kept the hospital from accepting horses for anything but emergency services for the past fortnight.

There were six confirmed cases of equine influenza.

The original source of the infection appears to be a horse admitted to the hospital.

Four horses are still shedding the virus but are now contained in an isolation facility, and all are expected to make a full recovery.

All horses in the large animal hospital are testing negative for the virus, and stalls have been disinfected, then left empty for at least 48 hours – an adequate time to kill any remaining flu virus in a dry environment.

Hospital officials plan to investigate the impact the outbreak has had on hospital operations and the local equine community.

The hospital’s interim associate director, Ron Mandsager, thanked clients for their patience and cooperation.

“The most important thing is to protect the health of all our animals. Unfortunately, equine influenza is endemic in the US and sometimes these situations occur.”

Keith Poulsen, associate professor of large animal internal medicine, said: “The incident should be a reminder to all horse owners.

“It’s important to vaccinate their animals, practice good biosecurity, and monitor horses closely when they are in contact with other horses during and after events like fairs, competitions, and trail rides.”

The first clinical sign of this disease in horses is typically a fever, followed by cough, nasal discharge, and lethargy. Horses with a fever of greater than 102.5°F should be seen by a veterinarian.

 

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