Skip to content
  • Print

Managing a Disease Outbreak

There's no way to guarantee your horse will be totally protected and safe from infectious diseases. The steps outlined on the previous page certainly help to reduce the risk of disease, but unfortunately, outbreaks may still occur. So it's important to have a plan in place so that you know what to do to manage any sick animals and minimise the spread to others.

If an outbreak occurs…

  • Isolate the sick horse/s – Either in a separate barn, or at the end of the barn, “taped off” to restrict access, with signs to let people know that this is a "sick area". Put as much distance between the sick horse and healthy horses as you can. Leave at least one empty stall as a buffer zone (more if possible). 
  • Use separate equipment for sick horses. Clean and disinfect all equipment after every use, even if it is only used on the sick animals. 
  • Use separate staff to care for the sick horses if possible. Anyone who will be in contact with the sick animals should wear protective clothing (which remains in the sick area) and disposable gloves.
  • Wash hands before and after handling sick animals.
  • Attend to healthy animals first, and then move on to the sick ones (not the other way round).