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58/ MARCH/APRIL 2017 THE RIDER Inquiring Minds Want to Know More About Biosecurity Story by: Jackie Bellamy


Guelph, ON – Spring consists of more than just cleaning. There is much to do, planning ahead to maximize time spent with your horse and working towards your goals for the impending sunny months. Regardless of riding dis- cipline; everyone wants their equine partner to be healthy and performing at its best. In the last offering of Equine Guelph’s on- line Biosecurity short course, the discussions moved beyond giv- ing everything a quick cleaning to help facilitate just that. Guest speaker, Dr. Alison


Moore, Lead Veterinarian, Ani- mal Health & Welfare at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, provided a wealth of information to the par- ticipants of the biosecurity short course. With each answer, Moore revealed biosecurity is more about diligence than diffi- culty. The simple changes that help protect horses from getting sick were discussed in great depth so horse owners can deploy an effective biosecurity plan.


There’s Cleaning, then there is Disinfecting – the right tools for the job Dr. Moore advises the best


way to clean and disinfect is to have a surface that one can truly clean and disinfect. This means wood surfaces should be sealed. Stable surfaces should be non- porous. Flooring is not dirt but one that has been sealed on in- stallation. For a thorough cleaning, be-


fore stall occupancy changes or other occasions when disinfec-


tion is warranted, all bedding, feed and water should be re- moved. One usually wants to clean with a detergent prior to using a disinfectant. Moore says, “the nice thing about Virkon or Accell (accelerated hydrogen peroxide) is they have detergent properties so one doesn’t have to use a separate detergent first but the organic debris should be re- moved.” Depending on the barn and


barn materials, one can remove organic debris (urine/manure) from the inside of the stall using water and a brush or a hose then spray with Virkon or Accell – contact time will vary slightly de- pending on why one is disinfect- ing (as a precaution or because an infectious organism was diag- nosed). Most contact times will vary between 10 and 30 minutes (with 10 minutes being more common). One can use a large garden sprayer with the appropri- ately diluted form of Virkon or Accell, or you can wipe it on using a sponge. Moore cautions against the


use of pressure sprayers as they can aerosolize certain viruses. Squeegee any excess disinfectant off the floor. If there are rubber mats, remove them, clean with water and brush, and disinfect both sides before placing them back in the stall. Feed and water buckets should also be cleaned and disinfected, making sure to rinse well before their next use. Wash stalls are another area that should be cleaned and disinfected with regularity. Moore pointed out some of


the downsides of using bleach as a disinfectant, including the fact


the fumes can irritate your animal’s airways. Bleach can inactivate certain or- ganisms but it is deacti- vated by organic material and particularly in the presence of urine, so one has to clean the stall RE- ALLY well with a deter- gent first. The detergent must be rinsed and the area dried before the bleach is applied.


Are you ready for flu season and fly season? Unlike their human


counterparts, horses tend to receive their first in- fluenza shots of the year in the springtime in antic- ipation of outings and in- creased exposure to pathogens. Horses that travel for more than one season will often opt for mul- tiple boosters to promote a healthy immunity. When plan- ning your horse’s vaccinations, your veterinarian should be con- sulted to find out what diseases are endemic to your area and dis- cuss where you plan to travel with them in the upcoming months. Beyond vaccinations for


diseases such as eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile, there are more precautions to help deter the spread of dis- eases transmitted via insects. Re- moving breeding grounds can be accomplished by eliminating standing water (e.g. old water feeders, tires around the prop- erty) and getting rid of puddles by improving drainage. Keeping manure storage as


far away from the barn as possi-


services they are provid- ing.


First of all, find out


ble but accessible for staff is helpful. Fly zappers and tapes can be beneficial. There are also products that can be fed to horses to interrupt the development of fly larvae in the horse’s manure (feed through fly control). Fly bait can also be useful but should be used with caution if dogs and cats are around. Other options to control flies and mosquitoes in- clude insecticide impregnated blankets/sheets and the tradi- tional fly sprays.


What is in the trailer with my horse? If you are lucky enough to


own a horse trailer, you can per- form the same level of care as recommended above for cleaning and disinfecting stables. When you use a commercial shipper you are putting your horse’s health in their hands so there are a few questions you should ask in order to be comfortable with the


what biosecurity proce- dures they perform be- tween loads of horses. You could also ask what other types of horses will be on the trailer with your horses. Moore suggests, “Ideally horses of similar cohorts should be to- gether. For example, if the transporter is picking up yearlings from a sale and bringing them home you may not want to get on that load or if there are racehorses being shipped between tracks you can make the decision if that’s the right load for your


horse.” You should also be comfort-


able with other management practices of the transporter. Some transporters have climate con- trolled stalls and food and water available at all times, whereas others have more traditional trail- ers and don’t stop to feed or water (depending on the length of the journey). It is important, therefore, that you ensure your horse is healthy enough for the trip particularly if it’s a long one – meaning that the horse is well hydrated and in good flesh. A horse that begins the journey in a healthy state is more apt to finish it in a healthy state. You should make sure your


horses are appropriately vacci- nated for the place to which the horse is travelling. Avoid vacci- nating too close to shipping. Moore recommends, “Depending on the vaccine used, you want to


be at least 2-4 weeks) out from the shipping date when you vac- cinate.” There are some products called immunomodulators that can support the immune system when shipping as well that can be beneficial. On arrival to the barn (or receiving a shipped horse), the horse should ideally be sepa- rated from the resident horses in a quarantine barn/stall or sepa- rated from the other horses in the barn by a stall. Temperatures should be monitored twice daily for at least 7 days (preferably 14 days) and fevers reported to your veterinarian.


Put the Equine Guelph Biose- curity short course on your Spring Checklist Many interesting questions


came up in the last Equine Guelph Biosecurity short course, while exploring Canada’s new Biosecurity standard. Topics such as: how to disinfect items purchased at tack swaps, precau- tions to take when entering a drug testing stall, procedures vets and horse owners follow when confronted with a diagnosis of disease such as EHM or EHV-1 Dr. Alison Moore was a


contributor to the new National Farm-Level Biosecurity standard for the Equine Sector. Moore stresses the importance of having a biosecurity plan and being able to communicate it clearly with every member of the barn com- munity. Dr. Moore will be a guest speaker once again in the next online offering of ‘Equine Biosecurity – Canada’s standard’ April 10 – 28 Bring your questions and register at TheHorsePortal.ca


Equi-Bow: Evolutions in Equine Bodywork


increasingly aware of the oppor- tunities that are provided by bodywork to improve their horses’ performance and well- being. Massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture are now rou- tinely incorporated into horse management practices. And re- cently another option has become available as well, that works with equine physiology in an integra- tive way.


novative bodywork modality that in incorporates techniques from Bowen, Cranio-Sacral therapy, Feldenkrais, myofascial release, and more. Bowen is a neuromus- cular re-patterning technique that affects circulation, fascia, mus- cles, and organs. The movements the practitioner makes on the body are often described as “rolling” and are performed in precise locations on the body de- pending on the issue being ad-


Equi-Bow Canada is an in- Horse people are becoming


dressed: muscle inter- faces, fascial connec- tions, tendons, or muscle bodies. One of the key


components of Equi- Bow work is that it is gentle. As the work is being done on the nerv- ous system, it is neces- sary to use a gentle touch in order to by-pass the body’s instinctive re- sistance to force. The benefit is that because the nervous system so profoundly affects everything that a body does, changing the way that the neurons fire will change both emotional and physical responses. The Equi-Bow


community is small and commit- ted to the holistic well-being of horses. As the faculty is dedi- cated to the expansion of knowl-


edge about equine anatomy, soundness and well-being, classes are open to all interested horse people. Classes are held just north of Hamilton, in a dedi- cated indoor learning facility with a heated classroom, washroom, and kitchen, as well as indoor arena and prac- tice space. In addition to bodywork, the cur- riculum includes work- shops on saddle fit, balanced feet, and anatomy. The material is taught in small groups where each per- son receives individual attention and tailoring to their learning style.


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