Hendra virus (HeV) is a serious, potentially fatal virus that is spread from flying foxes to horses, and from infected horses to humans. The clinical signs of Hendra virus in horses are varied and may include any combination of the following: fever, elevated heart and respiratory rates, nasal discharge, ataxia, muscle twitching, recumbency, colic, blindness, or sudden death. Diagnosis of Hendra virus infection in horses is impossible without laboratory confirmation.
A key consideration is that an infected horse can shed Hendra virus before it shows any signs of illness. This means that there is a risk of apparently healthy horses infecting other horses or people with Hendra virus up to 3-5 days before the onset of illness.
Hendra vaccination provides the most effective means of preventing Hendra virus. Horses are required to have a first dose, followed by a second dose 21-42 days later, whereby after that second vaccination they will have a current Hendra vaccination certificate. Horses then require an initial booster 6 months later, followed by annual boosters.
We will ONLY attend call outs for sick horses that have a CURRENT Hendra vaccination certificate.
Other routine/non-invasive procedures can be performed on horses that do not have a current Hendra vaccination certificate, however the additional cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be added to the invoice.
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