There is no guarantee that any scales available for post arrival weight measurement are identical with those used prior to departure.
The body weight of the accompanying groom of some heavy piece of equipment or feed that has been 18 transported with the horse should give an indication of the comparability of both sets of scales. 6.1.5 Respiratory Health and Disease One of the fundamental rules of transport is “sick horse on, sicker horse when getting off”.
The importance of avoiding the shipment of horses of compromised health status, other than for transfer to a hospital or other clinical facility, cannot be overemphasised.
This is especially true for horses affected by respiratory disease.
Horses with fever or nasal discharge, those with a history of exposure to other horses with infectious respiratory disease (eg Strangles or viral respiratory infections) should not be transported unless passed as being fit to travel by a veterinarian. 6.3.3 Medication Unnecessary medication should always be avoided.
Adverse reactions are an ever present hazard with all therapeutic substances.
Tranquillisers should be administered by a veterinarian.
Acepromazine which seems to be widely available world-wide may be contra-indicated in entire colts and stallions.
The so called “prophylactic” use of antibiotics is also contra-indicated.
This highly questionable practice may lead to respiratory disease caused by bacteria which are resistant to the antibiotic which was administered in the mistaken belief that it would prevent disease.
The use of immunostimulating agents should also be avoided.
They can result in depression, fever and other undesirable effects that can be difficult to differentiate from shipping fever and too little is currently known of their potential efficacy in the prevention of shipping fever to make their administration justifiable.
Any substances 19 that reduce the immune and inflammatory responses (eg nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone, corticosteroids etc.
Etc) also are contra-indicated prior to shipment. Any substance given prior to transport in horses destined for racing or other forms of competition may potentially be detected in the course of post arrival forensic (dope testing) procedures. There is a long standing horse transport industry practice of seeking the administration of mineral/laxative oils prior to transport, in addition to feeding a light laxative diet on the night(s) immediately prior to transport.
The latter may be more important than the former.
Both practices may have their origins in the days when horses shipped for warfare tended to develop laminitis after long sea journeys.
Although it is tempting to state that laxative considerations prior to transport may be unimportant, it is salutary to remember that there have been a reported series of colic related equine fatalities at altitude, on flights to destinations within the former USSR, in the last two years.
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