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.
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
- 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.)