The Infectious Disease Task Force of the American Association of Equine Practitioners has developed guidelines for use by veterinarians who encounter contagious infectious disease in horses.
Equine Infectious Disease Outbreak: AAEP Control Guidelines offer recommendations for the control of suspected cases of infectious respiratory tract, neurologic, diarrheal, and vesicular disease. The sign-based guidelines provide a detailed action plan for veterinarians once a case of infectious disease is suspected. The guidelines offer measures to control the spread of infection, diagnostic testing options, and communication considerations.
Highlights from the guidelines include biosecurity instructions in English and Spanish for horse caretakers, recommendations for the implementation of a management plan before an outbreak occurs, and disease-specific guidelines.
"When a large group of horses gathers, be it at a racetrack or a horse show, all those involved in the horses' care should be vigilant about monitoring the health of the animals," said Dr. Mary C. Scollay, task force chair. "It is key that the presence of contagious disease be quickly identified and responsibly addressed. Our expectation is that the AAEP guidelines will assist veterinarians and equine caretakers in minimizing the impact of infectious disease in a given horse population."
The guidelines are available to AAEP members through the members-only area of the AAEP Web site, www.aaep.org.
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