signs of infection
In unvaccinated horses we tend to see certain ‘cardinal’ signs. The virus targets the upper respiratory tract where the cough receptors are positioned so a very harsh dry cough is typical. Often horses will develop a raised temperature which will last around 7-10 days, during this time they may be quiet, off their food and generally sluggish, they may also have a small amount of clear or white nasal discharge and enlarged lymph nodes in their throat.
Partially immune horses
Horses that have been vaccinated but only have partial protection, either because they haven’t been vaccinated frequently enough or because the vaccine type used was not updated, may show varied signs of mild non specific respiratory disease. This can include mild lethargy, nasal discharge and possibly a cough.
Horses that have been regularly vaccinated often show no clinical signs, but they may still shed enough virus to infect other horses. This is how the outbreak in Australia in 2007 started.
There are a number of long term complications that follow infection with equine flu, these tend to be poorly recognised and therefore their importance is often underestimated. Click here for more information.