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When Equine Infectious Disease is Suspected

The Veterinarian’s Responsibilities:

  • Do No Harm—do not rush into a stall/barn until you have a plan on how to leave it.
  • Respond to the ‘worst case scenario’ until you have a specific diagnosis.

Getting Started

Have an established response plan for control of contagious disease outbreaks—a planned response is the most effective tool for minimizing outbreak impact.

Maintain a log, recording events as they occur, including:

  • Case identification—which horse(s) got sick, where, and when
  • Control measures implemented
  • Horse movement—within facility, entering and exiting facility
  • Diagnostic testing results
  • Communications with practitioners, horsemen, and regulatory veterinarians

Establish effective communication, including:

Regular meetings providing clear information and simple instructions to

  • Facility management
  • Horsemen
  • Veterinarians
  • Media
  • Related industry affiliates

Note: Effective communication minimizes speculation and establishes expectations.

Manage time effectively.

Delegate tasks that do not require execution by a licensed veterinarian. (Utilize licensed veterinary technicians for sample collection, physical inspections, temperature recording, etc.)