Annette Palumbo Micro. Article Review 1 Infectious Disease Control ??? Recommendations for Biosecurity and Vaccination This is an excellent article that goes over many very important and useful points about biosecurity and vaccinations of the equine species. Some points covered that I found especially useful were reducing the exposure to infectious agents in the horses’ environment, minimizing things that decrease resistance and/or increase susceptibility to disease, and enhancing resistance to some diseases by vaccination. I also found very useful some key points that I did not really understand before about biosecurity.
The information on biosecurity was especially helpful because they provide ideas and ways to explain the importance to owners in the best way. In the first section of this article I learned a lot that I previously hadn’t known or knew but not in depth such as the fact that vaccinations do not totally allow for complete immunity from disease, they are only a part of a disease control and good biosecurity habits are also necessary. For example, even if horses are vaccinated, there are certain times when their immunity and/or resistance to diseases are at a low.
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Some of these times include during co-mingling events such as shipping, race tracks, breeding farms, and show grounds, because the stress levels of these horses are high and most diseases are spread through the respiratory route and/or manure, horses in a group setting have a lower natural resistance. Humans can even unknowingly contribute to the transfer of diseases by handling equipment from one horse to the next without proper cleansing and/or disinfecting. There were a lot of points about general biosecurity that while reading I really learned how important they were and thought of good ways to interpret that information to clients.
For instance, simply realizing the risk level of an infectious disease is important. I realized how I should inform the client that early diagnosis and isolation is the key to best prevention of the spread of disease and that if a horse is of unknown medical background they should be kept in minimal exposure to others until they can be sufficiently checked by a veterinarian and get proper vaccinations since direct contact between horses or horses equipment is a main factor in spreading disease.
Along this same line, I saw how I can use this information to explain to the client/owner that they also can contribute to spreading infectious bacteria without the horses even coming in contact. It is important to tell the client that clothing, boots, gloves, harnesses, food and water buckets, grooming supplies, pretty much anything that gets used on or around multiple horses should be cleaned and/or disinfected between each horse and if travelling to multiple barns, if possible clothes should be changed between each facility.
I learned to also make sure to talk to the owners about cleaning of the grounds including proper manure and urine clean up. Along with providing biosecurity and husbandry information to clients, we as techs need to also make clear the importance and information about vaccinations. Even if the client’s barn and horses and equipment are disinfected on a regular basis, and all precautions are taken, disease can still happen if proper vaccinations are not given to the animals.
I as a tech, need to explain that disease is not only spread through fairly controllable situations such as contact, but also uncontrollable situations like visitors to a barn, insects, things horses might encounter out to pasture, etc. and to best prevent infection from these sources their animals should be properly vaccinated. If we as technicians do not enforce and explain the importance of these biosecurity, vaccination and basic husbandry points so that the client fully understands, they could contribute greatly to poor health of their own and other’s animals.
So our job is not just to try to cure sick animals, but to prevent them from getting sick in the first place the best we can by making sure clients understand clearly each and every point, and providing the necessary preventative information and vaccinations. Source: Lohmann, Katharina L. “Infectious disease control ??? recommendations for biosecurity and vaccination. ” Mar. 2008. Western College of Veterinary Medicine. 8 Oct. 2008 <http://www. avma. com>.