Tips for Quarantining Your New Horse

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When you buy a new horse, it may be necessary to quarantine him before introducing him to the other horses at your property. There are many diseases which can be spread through respiratory secretions and contact, so if you don’t know for certain that the horse is 100% healthy, then quarantine is always a good idea. These tips can help you quarantine your new horse.

Consider Using a Quarantine Facility

It can be difficult to quarantine a new horse in a traditional stable, since most stables aren’t set up to provide a quarantine environment. If you can’t manage quarantine in your stable, look for a facility which specialises in quarantining horses. You can bring your horse home after he’s cleared quarantine.

Stall Your Horse Separately

In order to quarantine a horse, he needs to be stalled away from all of the other horses. It’s ideal if he’s kept in an entirely separate building. Make sure that people know that this area is off-limits for general visitors.

Use Tools Designated for Your Horse Only

When quarantining your horse, provide him with tools for his use and his use alone. Caretakers should use a specific wheelbarrow and pitchfork for just your horse. The same is true of water and feed buckets, halters, and grooming supplies.

Be the Only Caretaker for Your Horse

It’s ideal to have one single person be responsible for caring for only the quarantined horse. This can help to prevent the spread of germs. If possible, you should try to be your horse’s caretaker and not interact with any other horses. If this arrangement isn’t possible, then make sure that everyone at the stable understands to care for all of the other horses first, then care for your horse so that they don’t carry germs back with them to the main stable.

Monitor Your Horse’s Temperature

A temperature is often the first sign that your horse is sick. Take a quarantined horse’s temperature at least daily to monitor him for signs of illness. If your horse develops a temperature, have a vet out to assess him right away.

Follow a Full Quarantine Period

Sometimes diseases do not create symptoms in a horse for three or four weeks. It’s recommended that you quarantine a horse for a full 30 days, if at all possible, to be sure that the horse is well. Quarantining a horse for a week or two is better than nothing, but it’s best to do a full quarantine period if possible.

Many horses pass through the quarantine period just fine, but it’s better to be safe than to risk the health of the other horses at the stable.

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