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One of the many attractive qualities of being a farrier is working outside with animals on a daily basis. While this is an enviable part of our profession, being outdoors with animals does expose us to potential job-related health risks. Farriers are subjected to a high volume of insects, bacteria and problems associated with each. The day-to-day interaction with horses can be a breeding ground for health-related issues if proper hygiene is not adhered to.
As farriers, we do not control the horse owner and whether they have properly vaccinated their horse(s), so asking and/or recommending to the owner upon initial arrival, is a good first step to prevent undue illness. Although farriers are some of the toughest professionals on the planet, being “tough” cannot and will not protect you from potential harmful exposure.
While not all inclusive, this article will help provide you information on prevalent hygienic issues we commonly face, and some resources on how to stay clean and prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. This article is for informational use only. If you experience any health issues related to working with equine animals, seek the attention and care of a medical professional immediately.
Many hygiene issues related to horses can be attributed to insects that spread disease through biting or embedding in the host (horse), which then spreads to humans.
The variety of flies probably is the most notable insect that farriers deal with, but there are many others that can pose a…