Equine influenza, Respiratory Disease of Horses – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Equine influenza is the respiratory disease of the horses which is very contagious and spreads very quickly among the young horses. Horses aging between 1-5 years old are more prone to this infection. It has affected horses in many countries except few countries like Iceland and New Zealand. Some of the severe epidemics are seen in countries like Japan, China and Australia where thousands of horses got affected. This infection is not deadly except in weak and debilitated horses. This article contains all the information about Equine influenza and its Ayurvedic treatment.
INTRODUCTION TO EQUINE INFLUENZA
Horses and other equidae are commonly affected by this respiratory illness called Equine influenza. It is very contagious in nature and especially for the young or new born horses. Two subtypes of influenza A virus are responsible for the causation of the infection. Outbreak of Equine influenza causes major losses to the industry dealing with equines and usually occurs in areas where large numbers of horses are kept together or they gather for races, shows and events. This virus has gained access to larger areas like across the countries due to the transportation of the horses from one part to other.
AYURVEDIC ASPECT OF EQUINE INFLUENZA
Equine influenza as per Ayurveda is caused due to the vitiation of any of the three doshas, i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Predominantly the influenza is resulted from aggravation of Pitta and Kapha dosha resulting in formation of phlegm, nasal discharges which are yellow or green, fever, cough, and shivering.
CAUSES OF EQUINE INFLUENZA
Equine influenza is caused by strain of influenza A virus, i.e. H strain and N strain where H means hemagglutinin and N means neuraminidase. These both names are of protein which resides on the surface of a virus that helps them invade the cells. The influenza A virus can cause illness in both humans and animals and can pass the barrier of the species causing severe symptoms and resulting in the origin of pandemics.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EQUINE INFLUENZA
As it is a highly infectious illness which has a high transmission rate with short incubation time in the horses, i.e. 1-3 days only. Healthy horses get infected from the affected one by coming in contact with contaminated brushes, buckets or tack and also by infected coughing horses. An entire barn can get affected by the coughing of an infected horse. Even after the 14 days of the post infection, the infected horses are infectious and can transfer the illness to other healthy horses. Even some horses are also reported to be asymptomatic who shed the virus without getting sick themselves. Some of the signs and symptoms of Equine influenza are:
- Nasal discharge
- Loss of appetite
- In severe cases there can occur destruction of lung and throat cells
This illness also makes horses susceptible to other secondary infections like bacterial pneumonia for the first 2-3 weeks post infection.
DIAGNOSIS OF EQUINE INFLUENZA
The clinical signs alone cannot be sued for the diagnosis of Equine influenza as the signs and symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory illnesses. Certain diagnostic tests like virus isolation from the nasal swab samples are done which is to be done soon after infection as testing too late can make the test negative. Quantitative PCR test is done to confirm the diagnosis as it is fast, accurate, sensitive, and specific.
TREATMENT OF EQUINE INFLUENZA
Conventional treatment of Equine influenza in the horses who are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms include supportive care and rest only. However those horses who have major symptoms should be on rest, discontinue the training for at least one week. In case of high fever, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are administered. Further antibiotics are prescribed where the horse develops purulent nasal discharge, continuous fever, or pneumonia. Give them a good time to recover.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT OF EQUINE INFLUENZA
As there is vitiation of the dosha, hence the Ayurvedic treatment will aim at pacifying these doshas and restoring their balance. Also in Ayurveda the emphasis is more given on condition of host, i.e. Prakruti and vikruti rather than the nature of infectious agents. There are many herbs in nature which possess natural qualities to eliminate these infective agents and restore the balance of the dosha, bringing back health.
HERBAL REMEDIES BY PLANET AYURVEDA FOR EQUINE INFLUENZA
Herbal Remedies at Planet Ayurveda are prepared with pure and authentic herbs that not only possess qualities to treat illness in humans but in animals as well. These herbal remedies are also free from any kind of synthetic color, dye, additives, preservatives, chemicals or yeast. For Equine influenza Planet Ayurveda offers a combination of herbal remedies.
- Vasaka capsule
- Aller-G care
- Tulsi capsule
- Praanrakshak churna
- Curcumin capsule
1. Vasaka capsule
This herbal formulation is prepared from standardized extract of Vasaka (Adhatoda vasica) herb. Vasaka herbal capsules help in annihilating the cough and other respiratory troubles other than preventing the lung damage.
Dosage- Give 4 capsules twice daily with or after meals.
2. Aller G- Care
Shirish (Albizialubbock), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Neem (Azadirachta indica)and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) are the herbs used in Aller-G care capsules. These multi herbal capsules help in boosting the weak immune response, and help in treating symptoms related to respiratory infections.
Dosage- Give 4 capsules twice daily with or after meals.
3. Tulsi capsule
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is the herb used in the standardized form in preparation of Tusli, single herb capsules which enhance herb’s medicinal properties. These herbal capsules help in alleviating different types of respiratory ailments like infections, cough, and also boosts immunity.
Dosage- Give 2 capsules twice daily with or after meals.
4. Praanrakshak churna-
Praanrakshak churna is a therapeutic combination of herbs like Dalchini (Cinnamomum zeylanica), Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Shirish (Albizia lebbeck), Bharangi (Clerodendrum serratum), Anantmool (Tylophora asthmatica), Vasaka (Adhatoda vasica), and Kantkari (Solanum xanthocarpum). This herbal churna aids normal breathing, treats cough and helps in correcting the lung damage.
Dosage- Give 5gm twice daily with or after meals.
5. Curcumin capsule
These medicinally potent capsules are prepared from active component of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) i.e. Curcumin. Regular intake of Curcumin capsules help in preventing infections, boost immunity and prevent damage to throat and lung cells.
Dosage- Give 4 capsules twice daily with or after meals
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There are many herbs present in nature which can help in treating the Equine influenza naturally. Early diagnosis and correct type of treatment can save the horse from developing any complications.