Any danger to shared water?
We did a hunter pace yesterday. At the halfway check point, they had buckets of water for the horses. Initially I was very happy to see them since my horse drinks like a fish. Then on the way home, the worry wort kicked in and I wondered if I exposed my horse to anything by letting him drink from a bucket that many other horses had been drinking from. Are there any dangers?
Not that I can think of...
Assuming all the horses have had their coggins done.
EIA is the only thing I could think of that spreads through saliva.
Yes there is a big danger through shared water. Your horse was exposed to any germ that other horses had, from colds to strangles & etc, by using the communal buckets. If he is vaccinated you've reduced his risk, but I always bring a water bucket to shows. I know enough people that don't "believe" in vaccinating to make it risky.
EIA is the least of your worries re tranmission from a water bucket.
Edit - From this article: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/...cts/89-114.htm
The EIA virus is spread mechanically. That is, blood, containing the virus has to be transmitted from an infected horse to a susceptible horse by a vector, such as an insect, infected syringes, needles or surgical equipment. The virus can cross the placental barrier and cause fetal infection and a symptomatic stallion can infect healthy mares during breeding."
Strangles: http://umaine.edu/publications/1009e/ This is just one way strangles can be transmitted:
"Bacteria can be transmitted through contact with pus or nasal discharges from an infected horse, or from contaminated bedding or barn equipment (water troughs, buckets, etc.)."
"Infection can also be spread via clothing, horse equipment, people, buildings that have recently housed sick horses, vehicles, floats, grooming and veterinary instruments. Anything that comes into contact with an infected horse should be carefully and thoroughly decontaminated. "
I'd be more worried about Strangles since EIA is usually tested for with Coggins and most events like you're describing require a current negative Coggins. Horses can be inapparent carries of Strangles (having absolutely zero signs for years and years yet actively shedding), with the only detection method being scoping and/or culturing guttural pouches.
If this was what I am thinking of as far as competitions, the only thing I could think of, is to not let him drink from the buckets; unfortunate for your horse though! Or ask if you can leave a bucket for your horse at the checkpoint next time. Get one of those cheapo's from walmart, with a lid; fill it, and mark it, and see if they won't take it out there for you. OR make a suggestion to the board that runs the event to do something different than the shared buckets. It would be hard to do though, depending on how many people ride in the events; a trough would be no different. Maybe you could let your horse drink in a stream?
However, as long as your horse is vaccinated, and healthy, you run a much lesser risk than if he weren't.
I stand corrected!
Also as stated in above posts, consider it like sharing a glass of water at a daycare. You never know where those other kids have been!
(PS - Sometimes you have no other option but to share water.)
Everyone is going to be so paranoid about their horses water now! I think it should be said that if you have a choice between sharing a water bucket and not letting the horse drink I say.. LET THE HORSE DRINK!
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