Have a second shot at hendra

SHOTS: Catherine Toft and Felicity Morris.
SHOTS: Catherine Toft and Felicity Morris. Contributed

VETERINARIAN are urging horse owners to ensure they keep their horses protected from the hendra virus by having a second vaccination six months after the initial one.

Stabler and Howlett veterinarian , Dr Catherine Toft, said most horse owners who initially vaccinated their horses were continuing to protect them.

"While the most risk is to horses, it is recognised as a threat to everyone who comes into contact with a horse that may have exposure to the virus," Dr Toft said.

She said it was still early in the vaccination program and vaccinations might become 12 monthly.

The risk is higher when flying foxes are active as in the mango season.

A hendra virus infection should be considered in a sick horse where there is rapid onset of illness, fever, increased heart rate and rapid deterioration associated with either respiratory or nervous signs.

The horse should be separated from other horses and a vet contacted immediately.

Strict hygiene should be observed at all times.

Topics:  animal health hendra hendra vaccination