Here you will find links to information on horse diseases, virus outbreaks, health warnings, and other related topics. Currently includes general biosecurity, Hendra virus and Arbovirus. If you have a suggestion for something we should add to this page, please let us know.
General Biosecurity for horses
- “Horse Biosecurity, the glovebox guide” (PDF file) – from Primary Industries & Resources South Australia (PIRSA), includes what to do and who to call if you suspect an “emergency disease”, with contact details for all states.
- “Horse Alert WA” – biosecurity guide for the WA horse industry, and horse health checklist.
- There have been recent cases (June/July 2011) of horses getting very sick from chaff contaminated with bits of dead rats/mice, thought to be due to plagues of rodents in various areas. Please check your chaff carefully before feeding it to your horses. Consumption of contaminated feed can cause severe illness and can even be fatal, so please ALWAYS check all types of feed before giving them to your horses, and let your feed supplier know about any contamination. It’s important to remember that pieces of dead animals are just one thing you should be careful of, as there are many other things, such as mould, animal droppings/urine, poisonous plants, rocks, other animal materials, foreign materials such as baling twine and no doubt many other things that horses should not be eating, that can find their way into various types of horse feed.
We have now created a separate page for Hendra Virus links and information.
Arbovirus – Increased incidence of Neurological Disease in early 2011
An increase in neurological disease in horses was recorded in several Australian states from February 2011, with several different types of arboviruses (the name given to viruses spread by insects) found to be involved.
- “Disease in horses due to insect borne viruses” on the National pests and disease outbreaks website – most cases in NSW, SA and Vic, with smaller number of cases being investigated in Qld and WA.
- “Mosquito-borne diseases of horses” by Victorian Department of Primary Industries – includes symptoms and prevention
- “Flavivirus nervous disease in horses” by NSW Department of Primary Industries – includes maps of cases by region, symptoms, video of horse displaying symptoms, and advice for horse owners
- “Neurological disease in horses” by Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Qld – includes number of cases in Qld, NSW, Vic and SA.
- “Mosquito-borne Infections implicated in severe neurologic disease in horses” (PDF file) from Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food – includes information on prevention, symptoms, what to do and who to notify
- “Kunjin virus, another deadly threat to horses” ABC news story on Kunjin Virus – A recent mutation in this virus in some areas has seen horses getting a lot sicker than they had previously, resulting in some horses needing to be euthanased in more severe cases. Vets are hoping an American vaccine used for West Nile Virus may be suitable for use in Australia for preventing this disease.
- Video showing the story of two horses that fell ill with Kunjin virus in 2011 and made a full recovery. Shows some possible symptoms, including rapid weight loss and neurological symptoms.
- “Ticks and Horses” article by Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services (A vet practice from Qld)
If you have a suggestion for more information/topics to be added to this page, please let us know at editor(at)australianhorserescue.com