Are you thinking of bringing a new horse into you barn? Any time that your barn is already home to existing horses, then you will need to take steps to quarantine this new horse. Quarantining a horse keeps him separate from the other horses until you can confirm that he is free of contagious diseases. These tips can help you to successfully quarantine a horse.
1. Quarantine a Horse in a Separate Stable
When your new horse arrives home, quarantine him in a separate stable, if at all possible. A successful quarantine depends on your horse not having any contact with your other horses, since some diseases can be spread through nasal secretions and even through the air. It’s best to quarantine a horse in an entirely separate building.
2. Quarantine for at Least 10 Days
While a 3-week quarantine is recommended to truly quarantine a horse, this may be impractical for many farms. Instead, make a point of quarantining a new horse for at least 10 days. This period is long enough for the symptoms of many diseases to become present.
3. Use Separate Tools
When caring for a quarantined horse, you will need designated tools to be used only when caring for the quarantined horse. A separate wheelbarrow, pitchfork, hose, and water bucket scrub brush are all necessary for an effective quarantine. Make sure that they are clearly labeled.
4. Store Feed Separately
It’s also a good idea to store the quarantined horse’s feed separately. It’s very easy to contaminate other feeds when you’re bringing a quarantined horse’s bucket into the feed room, so separate everything for a reduced risk of contamination.
5. Have One Person Care for the Quarantined Horse
If multiple people care for the horses in your barn, then one person should be designated for caring for the quarantine horse. This person should not care for any other horses during this period.
6. Wash Your Hands
Be sure to always wash your hands after caring for the quarantined horse, and before touching the other horses on your farm. It is best to care for the quarantined horse last, so that you can then go in the house and wash your hands and change your clothes.
7. Contact Your Vet
If, during his quarantine, the new horse shows any signs of illness, then contact your vet immediately. The sooner you contact your vet, the sooner you can begin treating your horse’s illness, reducing the risk of it spreading to your other horses.
8. Consider Using a Quarantine Facility
In some cases, your property may simply not be set up in a way that you can effectively quarantine a horse. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to have your horse quarantined at a specific quarantine facility. Your local vet can advise you if there are facilities nearby that can house your horse for the quarantine period.
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Have you ever had to quarantine a horse? How did you handle the process?