Mysterious Illness Descends on Icelandic Horses Skip to content

Mysterious Illness Descends on Icelandic Horses

Horses have been falling ill recently in Iceland, Skessuhorn reports. According to Kristín Þórhallsdóttir, a veterinary physician in Laugaland, Borgarfjörður, the nature of the disease has not been determined and therefore no statement has been made yet by the The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority.

Kristín says the illness that’s making the rounds in stables across the country is characterised by a general sickliness and a lack of appetite in the horses. In most cases the symptoms are manageable and pass in around three days without special treatment. Some horses, however, come down with high fever and are visibly unwell. In such cases Kristín recommends the horses be taken in for treatment at the nearest veterinary hospital.

“If their temperature goes over 38.5 degrees celsius, a vet should be consulted. Most of the sick horses we’ve encountered have low appetite and are a little down, but they don’t have a fever,” Kristín says. “Those animals who are sicker than the average horse have been given antibiotics and painkillers, but while we don’t know if they’re dealing with bacterial- or viral infections we’re not sure if antibiotics are of any help.”

Furthermore, Kristín says it’s very different how many horses in a given group will fall ill. In some stables all of the animals are infected, but in others only one horse will come down with something. Kristín hasn’t heard of any deaths related to the mysterious illness and expects that samples taken from sick animals will have been fully diagnosed by the end of this week.

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