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Re: [RC] vectors - Maryanne Gabbani

It's worth noting...and you might want to check with the vets on this to be absolutely sure, though I'm fairly certain that I'm right here...that simply because a horse has been vaccinated for a viral disease, it doesn't mean that the horse is not going to get it. The horse can still get it, although a milder form and often can still pass it on. Things like EI and strangles are viral and the horses do not get an immunity from the vaccines, they just lower the severity of the infection. With WNV, the disease is not passed by coughing/mucus but through mosquito bites, and there isn't usually a high enough concentration of the virus in the horse blood for the mosquitoes to pass it on...though conceivably they could get lucky.

So the onus remains on owners to observe their horses carefully for signs of illness, which will in fact be harder to spot when the horse has been vaccinated. On the whole, my preference is to keep my horses as healthy as possible and to be able to see when they feel lousy so that I can keep them at home.


On Sat, Oct 4, 2008 at 12:26 AM, Lynn White <lynndeepoo@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The vectors are everywhere.  People and horses can be shedders of disease and carry on without any symptoms.  A good example is how the HIV virus was first spread around the world.  People had lots of time transmit this virus because they were not showing signs of illness.  A terrible illness like EBOLA immobilizes the carrier so fast that the carrier does not have time to spread the disease.  It's quite easily contained in this respect.

There's a whole host of illnesses that horses can carry and transmit without showing signs of illness.  Though it's highly probable that someone's horse gets sick from a horse showing symptoms of illness, it's also likely that the horse could have caught a disease from an apparently healthy horse.  Every time our horses drink from a trough they are exposed to whatever all the other horses have.   It's just another risk we take in this sport.   Last year my colt came down with Strangles two weeks after I brought my mare home from a ride.  Whether my colt got Strangles from my mare who got it at the ride, I'll never know.  It's not that important, really.  What I do know is that I became persona non grata as far as my mare was concerned.  I rode alone for the next two months even though my vet told me that I could be around other horses within three weeks.

We all make the decision to accept the risks that we expose our horses to.  About the only thing we can do is keep our horses' immune systems strong and be aware of the health of the horses around us.  The vast majority of riders are considerate of others and I have never seen people knowingly present sick or exposed horses to others at rides.  But there are always people new to horse ownership or just oblivious that need to be made aware.  The thing I do after rides is just watch my horse for a snotty nose or other signs of illness.  Prolonged aerobic exercise and stress negatively affects the immune systems of humans, and it probably does the same to horses.    If my horse gets sick after a ride I tell EVERYONE that might have been exposed to me or my horse.  I don't want my horse to be a vector.

Endurance is a team sport and anything can happen to our equine partners.  We just don't have a whole lot of control on that issue.  I always start every season with Plan "A" and by July I'm on Plan "G".   I've conditioned and planned for a National Championship and multi-day rides only to have the plans dashed by family situations or freak injuries.    Having an unexpected end to a season is a drag, but it's all a part of growing and learning in this sport. And this is, after all, just a sport.  If it ever stopped being fun I'd quit and take up something I had total control over, like biking or knitting.


"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people"

-W.C. Fields

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Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

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[RC] vectors, Lynn White