Flu Virus in Horses

3 min read



There is no treatment to kill the virus itself, so management of this virus revolves around supportive care. Rest is of the utmost importance; at least six weeks is recommended in order to allow the damaged tissues from the illness to fully heal. It is also important that influenza infected horses be stabled in clean and well-ventilated areas. There is some evidence that the dust found in stables can affect horses suffering or recovering from equine influenza.


If the horse has contracted a secondary infection due to the flu, there are antibiotics and other forms of medication the veterinarian will prescribe to make the mucous in the animal's respiratory tract less tacky, liquefying it and allowing it be easily expelled.


Living and Management


Life after the flu should return to normal for the horse, except in extreme cases. Otherwise, provide a well-ventilated area and plenty of rest so that it may recover quickly.




The only thing that has prevented the horse flu from becoming a full-blown epidemic has been an equine influenza vaccine. Horses that are at high-risk for contracting this virus, such as racehorses or show horses, should be vaccinated multiple times a year.