Animal health company Merial has put together a website and notification system to help protect your horse from infectious diseases.
If you want to see outbreak and disease information in your area, you can simply go to www.outbreak-alert.com and enter your zipcode. When I enter mine, I can see more than one rabies outbreak near me, as well as West Nile Virus in mosquitoes and animals, and endemic Eastern equine encephalitis.
Current information is compiled by gathering data from reputable sources, including the USDA, veterinarians and departments of agriculture. Veterinarians as well as horse owners are invited to contribute reports of disease events. You can read recent news relating to diseases that can affect your horse.
On the site, just for fun (if this is your idea of fun), you can also take a quiz about the major equine diseases. I did. I breezed through the first four questions, and then blew it when I got to the question, “How far can droplets from a horse’s cough travel?” All told, I got only six out of the nine questions correct, missing one on Potomac Horse Fever, one on rabies, and another one on equine disease in general. How embarrasing! But now I know better.
The more “out of the loop” you are on current equine events, the more valuable this service might be for you, so if you don’t frequent chat rooms or bulletin boards, you might want to go over to the site and see if it’s something you want to sign up for.